In Alabama, a parent can change the name of the father on the birth certificate by making a request to Alabama Vital Records. The change is typically called a correction or amendment. An amended birth certificate will be marked “Amended.” The information that is corrected will be documented on the certificate. The Correction Application Form is available from the Alabama Department of Public Health. If you need a lawyer to handle it for you, a divorce lawyer in Huntsville or wherever you live can handle this for you.
Alabama automatically recognizes the husband as the legal father of any child born to a married couple. If no father’s name is listed on the birth certificate, there are four ways that the father’s name can be added. These are:
- Court ordered legitimation, which is processed through a probate court in the county where the child resides.
- Legitimation through marriage, which is processed by the state’s Center for Health Statistics when the parents marry after the birth of the child.
- Acknowledgment of paternity, which is processed by the county department of human resources in the county in which the child lives. This acknowledgment may also be processed by the Center for Health Statistics. This method is appropriate if the mother was not married at time of conception through birth.
- Uniform Parentage Act, which is processed by the juvenile division of a circuit court in the county in which the child lives. The processing determines or establishes the paternity of a child. A court determination can remove a father from a child’s birth certificate.
A party can add the father of a child by completing a Request to Add Father to Child’s Birth Certificate form. The party may request to change the child’s name when the father’s name is added to the birth certificate.
Adopting parents or legal representatives such as their attorneys may request a certified copy of the child’s new birth certificate after a recent adoption in Birmingham. If the adopted child was born in Alabama, the Center for Health Statistics will prepare a new birth certificate for the child showing the new names.
If the adopted child was not born in Alabama, the new birth certificate must be prepared in the state where the child was born. After receiving the fee to do this, the Center for Health Statistics will forward the court order of adoption and information showing the new name to the appropriate vital records office in the state where the child was born. A parent or legal guardian must contact the state of birth for a copy of the new certificate.
Changing the name of the father on a birth certificate does not automatically change child custody arrangements and child support orders. A parent or legal guardian should return to court for a hearing on custody and/or support when the name of the father is changed. A parent may be able to change a custody arrangement without going to court if they and the other parent form a modified agreement. They will still need a judge to sign the agreement. Our custody lawyers in Birmingham can help if you call us today.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, probate, and real estate closings on this website. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply feedback. We appreciate our readers & love to hear from you!