How Do You Add a Name to a Birth Certificate?

Sometimes a parent will wonder how to add another parent’s name to a birth certificate.  The answer depends on your particular situation.  Read on to learn more.

Married Parents and Birth Certificates

If parents are married at the time a child is born, the law presumes that both spouses are the baby’s parents and both will appear on the birth certificate.

Non-Biological Married Parents and Birth Certificates

If one spouse isn’t biologically related to the couples’ child, they should likely still complete a co-parent or second-parent adoption.  In other words, if you conceived your child through assisted reproductive technology or IVF including donor egg or sperm, you will want to adopt.  This is true even though both parents appear on the birth certificate.

A child born to married Connecticut spouses is presumed to be the child of both parents.  However, that presumption is rebuttable based upon biology.  Otherwise put, a known donor or even an unknown donor may attempt to assert parentage over his or her biological child.  In some cases, a disgruntled spouse may attempt to, for example, avoid child support by arguing that a child born into the marriage is not his or her biological child. In other divorce cases, one spouse may argue that the other has no right to custody of a child that isn’t the other spouse’s biological child.

A co-parent adoption is a Connecticut legal process in which a child who is the biological child of one spouse is adopted by a non-biological parent.  After the adoption, the child has two legal parents.  Unlike when a couple relies on the presumption, adoption is not rebuttable.

Read: Unmarried Couples

Same-Sex Married Spouses and Birth Certificates

If you’re a married same-sex spouse who isn’t biologically related to your child, you should also do a co-parent adoption.  This is the case for all of the reasons listed above for any non-bio married parent.  Additionally, although all states are constitutionally required to recognize your marriage, they are not required to recognize you as a parent of the children born into your marriage.  However, all states must recognize the validity of adoptions under the full faith and credit clause of the United States Constitution.  In other words, once you complete your co-parent adoption, you have full legal rights to your children in all 5o states.

Read: Why is it Important for Same Sex Couples to do a Second Parent Adoption?

Naming Biological Father on Birth Certificate

If a mother is unmarried at the time a child is born and has not been married at any time between conception and the birth of the child, no father will be named on the birth certificate unless:

  • Both parents acknowledge paternity, or
  • A court establishes paternity.

Acknowledgment of Paternity

Parents can voluntarily establish paternity by completing the Acknowledgment of Paternity form at the hospital or a local DSS office.  Once it is signed by both parents, paternity is legally established.

Court-Ordered Paternity

Another way to establish paternity is through a court order. Court-ordered paternity is necessary when either:

  • the parents disagree about the identity of the father, or
  • either parent is unwilling to sign the Acknowledgement of Paternity form.

The judge will usually order genetic (DNA) testing to determine paternity. If paternity is established through a court order, you next submit a certified copy of the court order to the Department of Public Health. Then, the father’s name will be included on the child’s birth certificate.

Next Steps

For more information about Connecticut divorce and family law, check out our Divorce Information and Facts.

If you have questions or want to learn more about how our team of divorce attorneys can help you with your custody or Post Judgment issue, please contact us either here or by phone at 860-560-8160.