PR 01210.039 Ohio
A. PR 02-031 State Law Regulations Regarding Appearance of Father's Name on a Birth Certificate of a Nonmarital Child
DATE: February 13, 2002
To determine if there is written acknowledgment under section 216(h)(3) of the Act, this opinion provides the written consent/court order requirements of each State in Region V for entering a father's name on the BC of a nonmarital child, or showing the child's surname the same as the father's.
You have asked us to advise you of the current law for each state in Region V regarding the appearance of the father's name on the birth certificate of a nonmarital child. Specifically, you have asked us to determine whether state law requires either the father's written consent or a court determination of paternity before the father's name can be entered on the birth certificate of a child born out of wedlock. You have also asked us to determine whether state law requires the father's written consent or a court determination of paternity before the birth certificate can show the child's surname to be that of the father's. Our findings are as follows:
In Ohio, the father's name can be entered on the birth certificate of a nonmarital child only if both the mother and father sign an acknowledgment of paternity affidavit. OHIO REV. CODE. ANN. §§ 3705.09(F)(2), (G) (West 2001). Thus, the father must give his consent before being named on the birth certificate, if the child is born out of wedlock.
If a man is found to be the father of a child pursuant to an order of the court and documentary evidence of that fact is submitted to the department of health, “a new birth record shall be issued by the department of health which shall have the same overall appearance as the record which would have been issued . . . if a marriage had occurred before the birth of such child.” OHIO REV. CODE. ANN. §3705.09(G); see also OHIO REV. CODE. ANN. § 3111.18 (“upon the order of a court of this state . . . the department of health shall prepare a new birth record consistent with the findings of the court and shall substitute the new record for the original birth record.”). Thus, a court determination of paternity would alternatively be required before the name of the father could be entered on the birth record of a nonmarital child.
As for surnames, in Ohio, the father does not have to provide his consent before the nonmarital child can take his surname. Rather, the child is registered by whatever surname the mother chooses. OHIO REV. CODE. ANN. §3705.09(F)(2) (“If the mother was not married at the time of conception or birth or between conception and birth, the child shall be registered by the surname designated by the mother.”). There is no provision in the Ohio statutes regarding the designation of a surname if paternity is established by an order or judgment of the court.
These are the current requirements for the appearance of the father's name and the child's surname on the birth certificate of a nonmarital child in each of the six states in our region. As requested, we have appended a chart detailing the above information and effective dates for your use.
Thomas W. C~
Regional Chief Counsel
Kathryn A. B~
Assistant Regional Counsel
|Written Consent Father's Name||Yes — 3/16/89|
|Court Order Father's Name||Yes — 3/16/89|
|Written Consent Child's Surname||No — 1/1/98|
|Court Order Child's Surname||No provision|