PR 01210.055 Wisconsin

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

1. SYLLABUS

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.

2. OPINION

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 Wisconsin, the name of the father can be entered on the birth certificate of a nonmarital child only if the state registrar receives a statement acknowledging paternity which is signed by both parents along with the appropriate fee. WIS. STAT. ANN. § 69.15(3)(b)(3) (West 2001); see also WIS. STAT. ANN. § 69.14(e)(2) (“If the mother was not married at any time from the conception to the birth of a registrant . . . no name of any alleged father may be entered as the father on the birth certificate except as provided under s. 69.15(3)”). The father's name can also be entered on the birth certificate of a nonmarital child pursuant to a court order establishing paternity. Section 69.15(3)(a)(3) specifically provides, that upon receiving an order which establishes paternity, the state registrar must insert the name of the adjudicated father on the original birth certificate if the name of the father was omitted on the original certificate. WIS. STAT. ANN. § 69.15(3)(a)(3).

As for surnames, if the mother was not married at any time from the conception to the birth of the registrant, the given name and surname which the mother of the registrant chooses shall be the given name and surname entered on the birth certificate. WIS. STAT. ANN. § 69.14(f)1.c.; see also WIS. STAT. ANN. § 69.15(3)(b)(4) (allowing the mother of the registrant to request that the given surname of a child under 18 be changed unless the father has legal custody of the child or unless the parents have since married). Thus, it does not appear that either the father's consent or a court order is necessary for the birth certificate to show the child's surname to be that of the father's.

CONCLUSION

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

By: _______________________
Kathryn A. B~
Assistant Regional Counsel

Wisconsin

Written Consent Father's NameYes — 11/1/86
Court Order Father's NameYes — 11/1/86
Written Consent Child's SurnameNo — 11/1/86
Court Order Child's SurnameNo — 11/1/86

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/1501210055
PR 01210.055 - Wisconsin - 04/16/2002
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:04/16/2002