GN PHI00306.120 Using Information from Child's BC as Written Acknowledgment or Proof of Court Order

See GN 00306.120

A. Background

The Bureau of Vital Statistics must be contacted when the child's BC does not show the Number Holder's (NH's) signature as informant. See GN 00306.120B. If contact is not made with the Bureau of Vital Statistics (BVS) a legal precedent opinion is used 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 00306.120B.3. The rationale for this policy is because 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 based on contact with each State in our region.

B. Procedure - NH Not Shown As Informant

When the NH is not shown as informant on the BC but is shown as the father for an ILLEGITIMATE child (i.e., child born outside of wedlock), you may follow either B.1 or B.2 below to determine if the NH filed a written consent or if a court determination of paternity was issued (GN 00306.120B.).

CAUTION: You may NOT infer from information on the BC or any numident record that there was written consent or a court determination unless one of the following two procedures is productive. Remember to also consider child relationship under other provisions in GN 00306.000 ff.

If you entitle the child based on a positive result from the Bureau of Vital Statistics (BVS) or based on a legal precedent opinion when the BC shows illegitimacy, document the file on the MCS RPOC screen or on an RC in non-MCS cases per GN 00301.292.

1. Contact BVS

To avoid repeated FO contacts with the BVS, the following information is provided on which States will release information about amended BCs and about a written statement or court determination of paternity.

Delaware

Father has to sign an affidavit at BVS or have a Court Order from Family Court.*

District of Columbia

Notarized document signed by both parents is required.*

Maryland

Affidavit of parentage at child's birth at hospital or a notarized statement at a later date.*

Pennsylvania

Both parents must sign acknowledgement of paternity or administrative agency (Court Order) issued adjudication.*

Virginia

Both parents must sign a sworn acknowledgement of paternity or an administrative agency issued adjudication.*

West Virginia

Father has signed a Declaration of Paternity affidavit with the mother or an administrative agency issued adjudication.*

* Please note the administrative agency issued adjudication (court order) for all of the states above can be reversed after the initial decision at any time. This affects the reliability of such a document.

2. Use Precedent Opinions

To establish consistent guidelines for applying the presumption, precedent opinions for each State in the Philadelphia Region have been secured. State law requirements and applicable effective dates relative to the entry of the father's name (or use of the father's surname) on the BC of an illegitimate child are summarized in the chart below.

This chart can be used to presume that there has been written acknowledgment or court determination of paternity, but ONLY IF:

The BC shows illegitimacy per GN 00306.120B.3.; 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 the child's surname to be the same as the father's on the BC.

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 at PR 01210.000 ff for the state Pennsylvania only.

However, the precedent opinion should ONLY be used to infer that there has been written acknowledgment or a court determination of paternity if the BC shows illegitimacy. As indicated in GN 00306.120B.3. a BC may show illegitimacy in one or more of the following ways:

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

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

  • It has a block that can be checked to show that the child is illegitimate.

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

 

Written Consent (1)
Father's Name On B.C.

Court Order
Father's Name On B.C.

Written Consent
Child's Surname Same as Father's On B.C.

Court Order
Child's Surname Same as Father's B.C.

DE

Yes (as of 1/1/95)

Yes (as of 1/1/93)

No

No

DC

Yes (as of 10/8/81)

Yes (as of 4/3/01)

Yes (as of 10/8/81)

No (as of 4/11/03)

Yes (as of 4/3/01)

No (as of 4/11/03)

MD

Yes (as of 10/1/95)

Yes (as of 10/1/95)

No

No

PA

Yes (as of 1/1/98)

Yes (as of 1/1/98)

No

No

VA

Yes (as of 10/1/79)

Yes (as of 10/1/79)

No

No

WV

Yes (as of 7/1/69)

Yes (as of 7/1/69)

No

No

(1) Under current law, Delaware and West Virginia require Notarized statements of paternity to place the father's name on the child's birth certificate. The District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia require sworn Statements of paternity to place the father's name on the child's birth certificate.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200306120PHI
GN PHI00306.120 - Using Information from Child's BC as Written Acknowledgment or Proof of Court Order - 06/20/2008
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:06/20/2008