Not everyone gets married before having a child. Some Washington residents become fathers while unmarried, but then they go ahead and marry the mother. In this situation, you as the father might take the step of filing an assertion of parentage form with the state of Washington.
An assertion of parentage form establishes you as the presumed father of your child. This is not the final step to establish paternity, but it is a crucial step in seeking your rights as a father.
Persons who may file
According to the Washington State Department of Health, you must file an assertion if you have married the mother of your child after the mother gave birth to your child. You may also file a petition if you have not married the mother but have entered into a domestic partnership with the mother.
Filing an assertion with the state DOH means you are eligible to sign an Acknowledgment of Parentage form. If the mother or birth parent signs an AOP form as well, you can have the state put your name on your child’s birth certificate assuming that there is no second parent on the document.
Possible legal battles
There are possible legal situations that may develop if you pursue an assertion of parentage. Your birth parent might not want to sign the AOP form. If there is a second parent on your child’s birth certificate, the second parent must sign a Denial of Parentage form to have your name placed on the certificate and to remove the name of the second parent. However, the other parent might not go along with your wishes.
In the event there are disagreements with your attempt to establish paternity, you may go to court to pursue a court order. Each situation will differ according to personal circumstances, so your situation may not be the same as other fathers seeking their rights. Nonetheless, you should have legal options to help you establish paternity.