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 the mother's 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 the mother and the NH were married upon admittance to the hospital,
officials would have no reason to question the fact that the mother listed his name
on the BC and/or showed the child's surname the same as the NH. 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.