In all 50 states, when a child is born to married parents, the law automatically assumes the woman’s husband is the child’s biological and legal father. However, when a child is born to unmarried parents, the law does not automatically name a legal father for the child. Instead, legal steps must be taken before a father is placed on a child’s birth certificate.
“How is a father added to a child’s birth certificate in Texas?” The process of adding a father to a birth certificate involves two steps. First, paternity must be established through the court and second, the correct form must be submitted to the Texas Vital Statistics Office.
Step 1: Establishing Paternity
To add a father’s name to his child’s birth certificate, he must submit to genetic testing, where his DNA will be compared to the child’s DNA. If the DNA test confirms that he is the child’s biological father, paternity will be established by the court. This means the court will establish that he is the child’s legal father. Another way to establish paternity is for the father and mother to complete an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) and submit it to the State of Texas.
Paternity means to establish “legal fatherhood” and not only is it important for the sake of adding a father to a birth certificate, but it is a critical step in the child support and custody processes. When paternity is legally established, it benefits the child and the father in more ways than one. It also benefits the mother because she can get help raising her child.
Step 2: Completing Form VS-166
After paternity is established through genetic testing, the father will move to Step 2: completing the Texas Vital Statistics Form VS-166, Application for a New Birth Certificate Based on Parentage. This form will be submitted to the Texas Vital Statistics Office.