Filing Paternity to Add the Biological Father to the Birth Certificate
Locations: 4115 E. Foothills Drive 1415 Melody Lane, Bldg. A
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 Bisbee, AZ 85603
Phone: 520-803-3925 Phone: 520-432-9400
Office Hours: Sierra Vista- Monday – Friday from 8:00am – 12:00pm & 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Bisbee- Monday - Thursday from 9:00am - 12:00pm & 1:00pm - 4:00pm
NEWS FLASH - We Keep Growing! Paternity DNA Testing Now Available at All Health Department Locations - Confidential paternity testing is now available at all Cochise County Health Department locations. This service is through the DNA Diagnostics Center. To make an appointment call toll free to 1-800-613-5768 and ask to be tested at the Cochise County Health Department site closest to you. You can also visit their website for more information on testing and fees by going to http://www.dnacenter.com.
What Is An Acknowledgement of Paternity? The Acknowledgement of Paternity form may be used to establish paternity for a child under the age of 18. If both parents are in agreement as to the identity of the biological father of a child they may establish paternity by filing an "Acknowledgment of Paternity" form in English & Spanish. These forms are available at all birthing hospitals, the Cochise County Office of Vital Records, the Arizona Department of Health Services - Office of Vital Records, the Arizona Department of Economic Security's Child Support Enforcement offices and most other county Vital Records offices around Arizona.
Acknowledgment of Paternity can also be used to change the child's surname to the father’s last name. Also note that acknowledgment can be used to change any part of the child’s name from birth to 3 months of age. This process can be done in person or by mail.
When Is An Acknowledgement of Paternity Required? Arizona law (§36-334) requires that if a mother is not married at the time a child is born and has not been married any time during the preceding 10 months, no father will be named on the birth certificate unless both parents file sworn statements or unless so ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
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Parents may choose to complete the Acknowledgment of Paternity at the hospital when the child is born or may do it later. In either case, the father's name will not be added to the birth certificate until the form is filed with the County or State Office of Vital Records, or the DES Hospital Paternity Program.
How Do I Fill Out the Forms? The Acknowledgment of Paternity form is a two-part form that must be completed in BLACK INK and may contain NO ERRORS. If there are any errors, white-outs, changes, strikeouts or other alterations, it will be rejected. BE SURE TO COMPLETE BOTH PARTS OF THE FORM.
Both parents must sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity form and both signatures must be notarized or witnessed. PLEASE NOTE: The second page must also be signed separately and notarized or witnessed. Failure to sign both pages, or lack of a notary or witness on any signature will cause the form to be rejected.
DO NOT FORGE THE SIGNATURE OF EITHER PARENT. CLAIMS OF FORGERY WILL BE INVESTIGATED.
More Information & Resources -
Arizona Court Locator
Putative Father Registry
Amendments & Corrections - ADHS
Fees & Payments - The fee for filing the Acknowledge of Paternity is $13.00. There is an additional charge of $10.00 for each certified copy of the amended birth certificate, payable by money order, cash, or debit card (in office payments only). Total fees are usually $23.00, there are cases where additional fees may apply.
How To Apply - Once you have completed the Acknowledgement of Paternity and completed a Birth Certificate Request form certified copies of the birth certificate can be requested by visiting one of our offices, or by sending a request with all required forms, documentation and payment via mail. We do not accept requests via fax or email. The documentation needed to obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate is:
- Application Request Form – Click Here to download the form or it is also available at our local office.
- A government issued picture ID, i.e. a valid driver's license, state ID etc. with applicant's signature.
- If not for self, documentation showing your relationship to the person the requested certificate is for.
Who may order and obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate? For more information on who is elgible to receive a certified copy of the amended birth certificate CLICK HERE
To get more information from the Arizona Department of Health Service's Office of Vital Records please visit http://www.azdhs.gov/vitalrcd/index.htm, reach them by phone at (888) 816-5907 or (602) 364-1300, or by mail at Arizona Department of Health Services, Office of Vital Records, 1818 West Adams, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
Have an emergency; need your birth or death certificate(s) fast? Click here to visit the VitalChek Network, Inc. website and see if they can help.