Hospitals play a vital role in assisting parents with establishing paternity for their child. For a child born to unwed parents, establishing paternity provides that child with legal proof of parentage, including legal rights and eligibility for parental benefits. The paternity of a child must be established if a child is born to an unmarried mother or a mother who has not been married within the past 10 months.
Provide parents with information on the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity process at the time of a child's birth, including:
- Assist parents with the Affidavit of Parentage (AOP) form and instructions Note: Hospitals are required by state law (MCL 333.21532) to assist parents with the AOP process. A completed and notarized AOP form is legal proof of parentage.
- Assist both parents to ensure they understand the consequences, rights and responsibilities that appear on the AOP form and offer notary public services.
- Share the publication What Every Parent Should Know about Establishing Paternity.
- Share the publication Fatherhood - Taking Responsibility for Your Child.
Provide one copy of the completed AOP form to each parent.
Promptly complete the AOP form electronically at the hospital, and file the hard-copy AOP with the Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
Hospital Paternity Acknowledgment Guide - Detailed information about paternity establishment and the procedures for completing and sending AOPs to the MDHHS.
The Office of Child Support provides hospitals and other agencies with guidance, support and reliable information about paternity establishment issues. Email questions to DHS-OCS-PEP@michigan.gov.
Use this Order Form to order free publications, posters and the Power of Two video.
Share These Resources with Parents
- What Every Parent Should Know About Establishing Paternity - DHS Pub-780 Provides a full description of the importance of paternity.
- Fatherhood - DHS Pub-806 Questions and answers for new dads.
- DNA Paternity Testing - DHS Pub-865 Questions and answers about DNA Paternity Testing.