Parents may establish legal fatherhood through a simple and inexpensive acknowledgment process. If you have questions, contact Child Support Services at 1-800-356-9868.
If parents do not wish to sign an acknowledgment, Child Support Services will request parents take a genetic test. If the test indicates the man is the father, or if he refuses to take the genetic test, Child Support Services will ask a court to name him as the legal father and order child support. Child Support Services may also ask the court to order him to pay for the genetic tests and legal fees.
You may choose to use a private attorney to help you through the legal process of establishing fatherhood. If you do, notify Child Support Services so that we can coordinate our efforts.
How to Acknowledge Legal Fatherhood
Parents who are sure the man is the father of a child may acknowledge legal fatherhood by completing these steps:
Step 1: Get the Acknowledgment Form
The acknowledgement form is printed on green paper and is titled "Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit" (HWHP00). Forms are available at Vital Statistics and Child Support Services offices. Forms are also available at hospitals.
Step 2: Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities
When you sign a voluntary acknowledgment, you state that you have received written and oral notification of the rights and responsibilities of establishing legal fatherhood. Written notice is provided on the back of the acknowledgment form. Oral notice means someone has explained the information on the back of the form to you.
To get more information, or if you have not talked with someone about your Rights and Responsibilities for acknowledging paternity, you may view a 15-minute video online. Viewing this video fulfills the oral notice requirement.
Step 3: Complete the Acknowledgment Form
The father completes the first section of the acknowledgment form. The mother completes the second section of the form.
If the mother was married to someone other than the biological father during any part of her pregnancy, her husband must complete the bottom section of the acknowledgment form. The child’s father, the mother, and the mother’s husband must all sign the acknowledgment form to name the biological father as the legal father and have his name listed on the birth certificate. Otherwise, the husband is considered the legal father and his name will be listed on the child’s birth certificate.
The acknowledgment form is a permanent legal record and must be typed or printed in ink. Do not use pencil. If you make a mistake, start over with a new form. Do not use correction fluid or correction tape to cover errors. Discrepancies or alterations on the forms may damage their legal credibility.
The acknowledgment form must be filled out completely, and both parents’ signatures must be notarized in order for the form to establish legal fatherhood. Without this information and the notarized signatures, the acknowledgment will not be accepted by Vital Statistics. In instances where information is not available, write a brief explanation at the bottom of the form.
Step 4: Sign and Notarize the Acknowledgment Form
Your signature is an acknowledgment of your child’s paternity and verifies you received written and oral notification of the rights and responsibilities of establishing legal fatherhood. All signatures on the form must be original, and each signature must be notarized.
Step 5: Send the Acknowledgment Form to Child Support Services
Send or deliver the acknowledgment form to your local Child Support Services office. The filing fee charged by Idaho Vital Statistics is waived for parents with a Child Support Services Casae.
If you complete the acknowledgment form at the hospital when your child is born, the hospital staff submits the form, along with the birth certificate information, to Vital Statistics. The filing fee charged by Idaho Vital Statistics is waived if the form is submitted within 10 days of your child’s birth. If you want to order an updated birth certificate from Vital Statistics, there is an additional fee charged by Idaho Vital Statistics.
If You Have Doubts After You Sign the Acknowledgment Form
Either parent (or the husband/ex-husband) has 60 days from the date the acknowledgment is filed with Vital Statistics to rescind (or take back) the acknowledgment. The parent may sign a Rescission of Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit form and file it with Vital Statistics. Rescission forms are available at Vital Statistics or at your local Child Support Services office.
After 60 days have passed, the acknowledgment can be challenged only in court.
If an acknowledgment is rescinded, Vital Statistics places the birth certificate on “hold” and does not issue copies until legal fatherhood is determined by a court. Either a private attorney or Child Support Services can help you establish legal fatherhood through the court system.