Navigating Paternity and Birth Certificates in Oklahoma
This is Oklahoma lawyer James Wirth. If your girlfriend is pregnant, you may be wondering how to ensure that you get on the birth certificate. If you are not married, it is not automatic that you will be listed as the father. To get on the birth certificate, an acknowledgment of paternity must be signed by both parents and sent to vital records with DHS. However, if your girlfriend does not agree to put you on the birth certificate, you may need to take legal action.
Filing a Paternity Action
If your girlfriend does not agree to list you as the father on the birth certificate, you can file a paternity action in district court. This will establish jurisdiction and allow you to move forward with the process of establishing paternity. Most of the time, an agreement can be reached that you are the parent, resulting in a decree of paternity that is sent to vital records with DHS to add you to the birth certificate.
You can even file a paternity action before the child is born to establish jurisdiction in a specific location and avoid traveling if your girlfriend moves. However, you cannot finalize the paternity order or do DNA testing before the child is born.
Ensuring Paternal Rights
Signing an acknowledgment of paternity at birth is the easiest way to get on the birth certificate, but it does not grant you any paternal rights. To establish custody and visitation rights, you will need to file a custody action. If you are unsure about your legal rights or have other questions, it is best to consult with an attorney.
Get Legal Advice from an Attorney
If you are dealing with these circumstances and have further questions, it is recommended to talk to an attorney privately and confidentially. You can schedule a consultation with a Tulsa paternity attorney at my office by visiting our website at makelaweasy.com.