GN BOS00306.120 Using Information from Child's BC as Written Acknowledgment or Proof of Court Order (TN 2-99 -- 09/2006)

See GN 00306.120

A. Background

If the child's BC does not show the NH's signature as informant, the guidelines in GN 00306.120.B require the user to either contact the Bureau of Vital Statistics (BVS) on each case or use legal precedent opinions to determine whether the NH filed a written acknowledgment or whether a court determination of paternity was issued. 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 birth certificate (BC), or for the child's surname to be the same as the father's. If a precedent opinion is used, the BC must also show that the child is born out of wedlock 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.

In an effort to avoid repeated FO contacts with the BVS and to establish consistent regional guidelines for applying the presumption, the following information is provided.

B. Policy – NH's Signature Not Shown As Informant

1. Contact BVS

The following chart provides information on whether the BVS will respond to requests for information about the basis for BC corrections.

Connecticut

Yes

Maine

Yes

Massachusetts

Yes

New Hampshire

Yes

Rhode Island

Yes

Vermont

Yes

2. Use Precedent Opinions

The following chart reflects the precedent opinion for each State in New England. 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 a child born out of wedlock. The complete precedent opinion containing State law requirements and applicable effective dates relative to the entry of the father's name on the BC of an illegitimate child are summarized in the precedent opinions in PR 01210.000. This chart can be used to presume that there has been written acknowledgment or court determination of paternity, ONLY IF:

  • The BC shows that the child was born out of wedlock in one or more of the following ways:

    • It has been amended with reference to sections of the annotated State code that apply to children born out of wedlock;

    • It shows that the child's last name is the same as the mother's but not the alleged father's;

    • It has a block that can be checked to show that the child was born out of wedlock; or

    • It shows the mother is not married.

      AND

    • The chart below shows YES that applicable State law or regulations require the written acknowledgment or court determination of paternity to be filed 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 on the BC.

This alternative presupposes that the mother and the purported father do not have the same surname. If they have the same surname, further development is required. This is because, in this situation, no consent or court order is necessary for the child's surname to be the same as the purported father's.

PRECEDENT OPINIONS