GN ATL00306.120 Using Information from Child's Birth Certificate as Written Acknowledgment or Proof of Court Order

See GN 00306.120

A. Background

When chapter GN 00306.000 was last updated (Basic TN 22, dated 11/90) the chart containing information when a presumption of written acknowledgment could be made based on State law requirements was replaced with the current guidelines in GN 00306.120B.

To determine whether the NH filed a written acknowledgment or whether a court determination of paternity was issued, the guidelines in GN 00306.120B require users to either contact BVS on each case or use legal precedent opinions.

The legal opinions must indicate that applicable State law and/or regulations require a written acknowledgment or a court determination of paternity in order for the father's name to appear on the BC, or for the child's surname to be the same as the father's.

In addition, the BC must also show that the child is illegitimate in accordance with GN 00306.120.B.3. The rationale for this policy is that the information on the BC is not reliable if the mother misrepresented her marital status at the time the child was born. SSA would have little or no assurance that the alleged father provided or was a participant in providing the information. For example, if the mother alleged and acted as though she and the NH were married upon admittance to the hospital, officials would have no reason to question the fact that she listed his name on the BC and/or showed the child's surname the same as his. In such a case, hospital officials would not have required the father's written acknowledgment.

NOTE: In addition to the 3 ways reflected in GN 00306.120B.3 regarding how a BC shows illegitimacy, another indication, though not conclusive, is when the mother is shown on the BC as being unmarried.

In an effort to avoid repeated FO contacts with the Bureau of Vital Statistics (BVS) and to establish consistent regional guidelines for applying the presumption, we obtained a precedent (legal) opinion for each State in our region.

B. Chart- presumption of written acknowledgment or court order

The following chart reflects the precedent opinion for each State in our region. The effective dates refer to the point at which the current State law applies regarding the entry of the father's name and the child's surname on the birth certificate of an illegitimate child. It should be used to apply the presumption that written acknowledgment or a court order exists when the criteria in "A" above are met.

CAUTION: The presumption should be applied only after all facts in a given case have been thoroughly reviewed. That is, if the facts indicate that a written consent or a court order does not exist, do not apply the presumption.

NOTE: Additional evidence regarding the availability of information establishing that the birth records show illegitimacy is currently being developed. This information will be shared with FOs in the near future.

 Written Consent Father's NameCourt Order Father's Name

Written Consent Child's Surname

Court Order Child's Surname

AL

Yes-05/21/92

Yes- 5/92

No Provision

Yes-5/01/92

FL

Yes-07/01/77

Yes-07/01/77

NO-07/01/77 1

NO-07/01/77 1

GA

Yes-07/01/64

Yes-07/01/64

Yes-07/01/64

Yes-07/01/64

KY

Yes-07/01/75

Yes-07/01/75

Yes-07/01/75