My dad isn’t on my birth certificate

My Dad Isn’t On My Birth Certificate. What Now?

We’ve discussed in a previous blog post what it means when a father is left off of a birth certificate, as well as a few common reasons this may happen. So what if you’ve finally come to a point in your life where you happen to look at your birth certificate and uh oh! Your dad isn’t on the birth certificate! How could this happen? What does that mean for you? Do you need to add him? Having your father added to your birth certificate isn’t impossible, so let’s find out what you need to do to have him added, and if it’s even necessary.

My Dad Isn’t On My Birth Certificate – What Do I Do?

When it comes to providing proof of citizenship or using certified copies of your birth certificate to obtain government issued identification, you may be surprised to know that having both parents listed on your birth certificate may not be necessary. If you are over 18 and your biological father was never listed on your birth certificate, you can still use it as a form of identification without any hassle. It can be used to obtain your passport, and it can even be used for enrolling in school or processing for employment. 

The issue of needing a father on the birth certificate is not even relevant when applying for your child’s passport, as it shows sole custody of your child. So then is it really a big deal if the father is missing on the birth certificate? The short answer is no. In situations where the father wishes to be added while the child is a minor, the legal process can be a complicated one. Because the decision to add the father to the birth certificate can be a highly personal one, it may involve a lengthy legal process to have him added after the birth of the child. This process may include a court ordered paternity test or legal affidavits notarized and submitted to the vital records office in the location where the child was born

father missing on your birth certificate
Is your father missing on your birth certificate? In order to have him added, you may need to do a DNA paternity test for verification.

With all of that being said, the desire to add your father to your birth certificate as an adult can come for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the relationship between father and child was strained or maybe even non-existent. Maybe the father came back into the child’s life and that child would like to have them added for personal or symbolic reasons. It may also be the case that after doing genealogy research or attempts to track down family members, an individual may desire to have their father listed even if they aren’t in contact. In other situations, an individual may need their biological father listed on their birth certificate to receive social benefits or estate items after their father is deceased.

Can I Add My Father to My Birth Certificate as an Adult?

It may require the assistance of an attorney, but as long as your father is still alive and able to consent, you should have no problems getting him added to your birth certificate. If both your mother and father are alive they can both sign an acknowledgement of paternity and it can be submitted to your vital records office. You can file a petition in court to prove paternity, which would require the paternity test as well. You can then submit your documents to the vital records office to have your birth certificate amended.

If you’re attempting to have your father added to your birth certificate after your father has passed, the process is a bit more complicated. You will most likely need the assistance of an attorney as this will require proof of paternity through DNA. You can find more information on how to start this process here. Some reasons you may wish to add your father to your birth certificate as an adult can include social security benefits or legal rights to property or assets after your father has passed. This may require assistance from a lawyer in the event you need official copies of death certificates or statements, especially if his next of kin are not being openly helpful. 

No matter what your reason, adding your father to your birth certificate can hold special meaning to some, or it may be a matter of legal necessity. Hopefully the reason you’ve found yourself here today is a happy one, but good luck on your path no matter what!


  1. Why do I have a registration birth certificate is green but it Doesn’t have My Father or Mothers Name.. what it Mean plz help

    1. Hello Lily. You may want to contact the issuing agency for more information.

  2. You can also go to a health department near you and they should be able to help you with the birth certificate

    1. Hello Sandra. Going to the vital records office in person is often the quickest and least expensive method to obtain a vital record if it is convenient. If you live in another city or state or have an inflexible schedule or other life factors that will not allow you to get there during business hours, VitalChek is there to offer a secure, convenient online ordering method that accepts credit card payments.

  3. My sons work is demanding
    A Birth Certificate for time off, he is waiting on paternity test
    Results. Baby is 8 days old. Can he be fired?

    1. More than likely not. Once a child is born, it may take a few weeks for the birth to be registered with the state and a copy of the birth certificate to be available to the new parents.

  4. I’m getting ready to send in a request for a copy of my marriage license
    from 12/1/62. The problem is, we can’t remember if the Justice of the
    Peace was in Mobile or Baldwin County Alabama . How do we handle
    that. On the request form? Is There a way to notate that info on the
    document somewhere? It’s an expensive document and I can’t afford
    to pay for two.

    Thanks so much for your help with this.

    Vickie Chestine Honeycutt (Pennington)

    1. Hello Vickie. You could check with Alabama Vital Records to see how deatiled you have to be on the request. Another suggestion would be to do some research on your own. Perhaps using a free trial offer on a genealogy website may provide the information you are looking for.

  5. My sons birth certificate has only my name on it and not my husband, my husband adopted in 1973/74 he wants a certificate to apply for a driving licence but it has only my maiden name it

    1. Hello. You may want to contact the vital record agency that issued the certificate originally. They can provide you with their requirements for amending you son’s birth certificate.

  6. Necesito saber cómo agregar al papa de mi niño al certificado y también el nombre de él porque no apaparese en el certificado. Disen q es porq no estamos casados pero nos dijieron q preguntemos por una forma que se llama así AOP no sé cómo conseguirla porque llamo para la oficina y no contestan

    1. Hola gaby Deberá comunicarse con la agencia de registro vital que emitió el certificado de nacimiento originalmente. Pueden proporcionarle los requisitos necesarios para modificar el certificado de nacimiento. Es posible que su oficina esté actualmente cerrada a consultas debido a la pandemia de COVID-19. También puede visitar su sitio web y buscar una sección sobre enmiendas.

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