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  • Writer's pictureKyle Persaud

How Do I Remove the Father's Name on My Child's Birth Certificate if He Is Not the Father?

Someone is listed as your child’s father on your child’s birth certificate, but he’s not the father. You may be wondering: How can you change this?


To have your child’s birth certificate amended and change the designation of the father, you will usually have to file a “paternity lawsuit.” If you file a paternity lawsuit, a judge can sign an order, directing the Oklahoma Department of Health to change the named father on the birth certificate. Send this order to the health department, and you should receive a new birth certificate with the correct father’s name.


There are, however, rules that determine where and when you may file a paternity lawsuit.


Where to file a paternity lawsuit


You may file the paternity lawsuit in any county “where the child resides or is found.” If the child does not live in Oklahoma, you may file in any county where the “respondent” (that is, the father or putative father) resides or is found.


When you may file a paternity lawsuit


There is a deadline for when you may file a paternity suit, and this deadline depends on whether the child has a “presumed” or an “acknowledged” father.


Presumed father


A child has a presumed father if:


  • The father and mother are married and the child is born during the marriage

  • The father and mother are married, and the marriage is terminated by death or divorce, and the child was born within 300 days after the termination of the marriage

  • The father and mother married after the birth of the child, and the father agreed to be named on the birth certificate, the father agreed to support the child, or the father asserted his paternity in a record with the State Health Department or the Department of Human Services

  • For the first two years of the child’s life, the father resided in the same household with the child and openly held out the child as his own.

If the child had a “presumed father” then you usually must file a paternity suit within two years after the child’s birth.


Acknowledged Father


A child has an “acknowledged father” if a man signed an acknowledgment of paternity with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.


Because there’s often a lot of paperwork surrounding a child’s birth, many parents don’t know if a man has signed an acknowledgment of paternity. To see what an acknowledgment of paternity looks like, click here. Look around your papers. If you see anything that looks like the form in that link, it’s probably an acknowledgment of paternity.


The mother, or the father, may rescind an acknowledgment of paternity any time within sixty days after the effective date of the acknowledgment. If the acknowledgment is rescinded, you may be able to change the child’s name on the birth certificate without filing a paternity lawsuit. After sixty days, you have to file a paternity lawsuit to rescind an acknowledgment of paternity. You must file a paternity suit within two years after the acknowledgment is signed.


What if your two-year deadline has expired?


If your two-year deadline has expired, you may still be able to challenge an acknowledgment of paternity, but only if certain circumstances exist. These circumstances include:



  1. If the child had a presumed father, but the presumed father and the mother did not cohabitate or engage in sexual intercourse during the probable time of conception, and the presumed father never held out the child as his own. In this case, you may file a paternity suit at any time.

  2. If the presumed or acknowledged father, and the mother, agree to allow a court to hear a paternity suit. In this case, you may file a paternity suit at any time.

  3. If there was fraud. The Oklahoma Parentage Act defines “fraud” as an intentional misrepresentation of a material fact that could not have been discovered with reasonable diligence and was reasonably relied upon.” If there was fraud, you may file a paternity suit any time before the child turns eighteen. For more information on filing a paternity suit based on fraud, read my earlier post here.


In a paternity suit, the father can also seek custody and visitation


If, in a paternity lawsuit, a court finds that a man is the father, that man will have the right to ask for custody of the child. He may also seek visitation. Also, the court will likely order one parent to pay child support to the other parent; generally, the parent who spends less time with the child will have to pay child support. If the parents have the child for an equal amount of time, the parent with the higher income will often have to pay child support.


I mention this to emphasize that changing the father’s name on the birth certificate is not the only consequence of a paternity lawsuit. If you’re filing a paternity lawsuit just to get the name on a birth certificate changed, be aware that the newly named “father” will also have very important rights and responsibilities as the parent of his child.


Need help? Contact the Persaud Law Office


This website only scratches the surface of Oklahoma paternity and birth certificate law. If you are interested in changing the father’s name on your child’s birth certificate, or if you want to know more, contact the Persaud Law Office. We have represented many parents in paternity lawsuits, and we can guide you.

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