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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9081
Experience:  since 1983
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How to put father's name on birth certificate?

Customer Question

how to put father's name on birth certificate?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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Can you tell me what state this is in?

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Has the father undergone a DNA test to confirm paternity through the courts?

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Is the mother agreeable to listing the father on the birth certificate?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
American Samoa, and no he has not gotten a DNA test.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, the mother doesn't want his name on birth certificate.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, I am not familiar with American Samoa laws regarding paternity, so I will have to opt out and open the question to other experts who may be more familiar with their laws..

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No need to reply and another expert should be along shortly to assist.

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thanks

Barrister

Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question.
I'm sorry the answer is not simple.
The code sections on establishing paternity are posted at
http://www.asbar.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=721&Itemid=172
You will notice that the first section states:
"45.1501 Persons who may initiate proceedings-Limitations.
(a) Proceedings to establish the paternity of a child and to compel support under this chapter may be commenced by the mother, whether a minor or not, by the child’s guardian of the person, or, if the mother or the child is a public charge, by the Department of Health.
(b) No proceeding under this chapter may be initiated after the child is 5 years of age or older unless paternity has been acknowledged by the father in writing or by furnishing support."
Denying a father the right to file a paternity case is in my opinion clearly a violation of the equal protection of the law guaranteed by the US Constitution, which applies in American Samoa, see item 2 listed at
http://www.asbar.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=119&Itemid=172
Every attorney in American Samoa is listed at
http://asbar.org/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contactsatoz&id=32&sortby=lastname&Itemid=104
You are going to need an attorney.
You might file a paternity case and try to convince the judge that males are equally entitled to establish parentage as females. If the judge disagrees, you will have to appeal. I predict that the appellate court will agree that the statute as written unlawfully and unconstitutionally discriminates against men. There do not appear to be any cases that address this issue, and I am not aware of any other US State or territory that prevents an unwed father from filing a case to establish parentage.
https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/putative.pdf
states:
Legal Definition of ‘Father’
A.S. Code § 45.0103(21)
The term ‘parent’ means either a natural parent of a legitimate child, a parent by adoption, or the natural parent of an illegitimate child.
A child born to a woman married at the time of its conception or birth is presumed to be the legitimate child of her husband. In the event that the mother is legally married to a different man at the time of birth than she was at the time of conception, the child is presumed to be the legitimate child of her husband at the time of conception. If this presumption is legally rebutted and no contrary
determination is made, the man to whom the mother is married at the time of the child’s birth is presumed to be the legitimate father of the child.
Paternity Registry
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Alternate Means to Establish Paternity
A. S. Code §§ 45.0103(21); 45.1501; 45.1502
The father of an illegitimate child has no parental rights to the child unless, prior to entry of a decree of adoption, he has acknowledged the child as his own by affirmatively asserting paternity, as follows:
• Causing his name to be affixed to the birth certificate of the child
• Paying medical or hospital bills associated with the birth of the child
• Paying support for the child
• Otherwise asserting his paternity in writing
Proceedings to establish the paternity of a child and to compel support under this chapter may be commenced by the mother, whether a minor or not; by the child’s guardian; or, if the mother or the child is a public charge, by the Department of Health. No proceeding may be initiated after the child is age 5 or older unless paternity has been acknowledged by the father in writing or by furnishing support.
Proceedings under this chapter are started by the filing of a verified petition alleging that the person named as respondent is the father of the child.
Section 21 of the statute referred to above is posted at
http://www.asbar.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=714&Itemid=172 and states:
(21) “Parent” means either a natural parent of a legitimate child, or a parent by adoption, or the natural parent of an illegitimate child. A child born to a woman married at the time of its conception or birth is presumed to be the legitimate child of her husband. In the event that the mother is legally married to a different man at the time of birth than she was at the time of conception, the child is presumed to be the legitimate child of her husband at the time of conception. If this presumption is legally rebutted and no contrary determination is made, the man to whom the mother is married at the time of the child’s birth is presumed to be the legitimate father of the child. The father of an illegitimate child has no parental rights to the child unless he, prior to entry of a decree of adoption, has acknowledged the child as his own by affirmatively asserting paternity as follows:
(A) causing his name to be affixed to the birth certificate of the child;
(B) paying medical or hospital bills associated with the birth of the child;
(C) paying support for the child; or
(D) otherwise asserting his paternity in writing.
Please follow up on this with a local attorney who can consult with you about whether there is a way to be named on the birth certificate without going to court. But even if there is, given what seems like the hostility of the mother, you may need to go to court to establish visitation rights even if you can establish paternity without court action,
I hope this information is helpful.