Paternity affidavit information

What are my options?

Your choices include:

1. You may leave the father's information blank on the birth certificate. You are not required to give any information regarding the baby's father. You may still give the baby any last name you wish, but you will be the baby's only legal guardian. You may add the father's name at any time in the future if the father is willing to sign a paternity affidavit. Contact the Oregon Vital Statistics Office at 503-731-4495.  

2. If the father wants to be listed, but you do not want him on the certificate, you may leave the father information blank. He may, however, pursue legal methods and have a court order issued to recognize paternity.  

3. If you want to list the natural father on the certificate, but he is unwilling to sign the paternity affidavit, you will have to pursue legal methods to prove paternity and have a court order obtained to list him as the legal father.  

4. You are not required to file a paternity affidavit, but the Oregon Child Support Program strongly encourages you to do so in order to help obtain child support. However, by listing the father on the legal birth certificate, he is recognized as the legal father and has rights regarding the baby. He may demand visitation or custody.  

5. Oregon law permits the listing of the natural father for single mothers only. If you are legally married at anytime during the pregnancy and your husband is not the baby's father, you must contact the Oregon vital statistics office at 503-731-4495 to have the father's information listed. We will use your husband's information on the legal birth certificate unless you ask us not to list him. The state reviews each situation individually and will determine whether you will be allowed to do a paternity affidavit for the baby's father. 

Paternity forms

Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity: This form is used only while you are an inpatient of the hospital and within five days of the birth of your baby. It does not need to be notarized, but a hospital employee, such as your nurse or the vital records technician, must witness it. After this form is properly signed and witnessed, two copies will be made (one copy for each person who signed the form). There is no charge to file this document, but the father must be available to sign after the baby is born and before you go home from the hospital.

Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity Affidavit: This form may be filed at any time, even years, after your baby's birth. If you are unsure whether or not to file, you don’t need to decide at this time. However, the father of the baby cannot be listed on the birth certificate until this form is completed and filed with the state of Oregon. Your options are:

1. You may send or take a completed, notarized paternity affidavit to your local county vital records office within seven days of the baby's birth. There will be no charge to have the paternity affidavit filed at this time. It is a good idea to call the office to make sure they still have the birth certificate at their office before you send the affidavit. The form may be obtained from the hospital, your local county vital records office or the Oregon Health Division. Complete the top portion of the form and wait for a notary public to be present before signing the bottom portion of the form. People authorized as notary publics may be found at banks, credit unions, hospitals and your local county vital records office. You and the father must be able to show two pieces of current identification, at least one of which has your picture, in order for the notary to witness your signatures.

2. You may go directly to Oregon Health Statistics office at 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland, Ore., or send the completed, notarized paternity affidavit to the address listed on the bottom of the form. There is a charge for the affidavit in addition to the charge for the legal certificate. Contact the state office at 503-731-4495.

Affidavits completed at the hospital or the county offices are free of charge. You will still need to pay to obtain your baby's legal birth certificate. If you have any questions about paternity affidavits, please ask the hospital vital records technician or contact the state or County vital statistics office.