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:
- Assisting 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.
- Assisting both parents to ensure they understand the consequences, rights and responsibilities that appear on the AOP form, and offering notary public services.
- Sharing the publication What Every Parent Should Know about Establishing Paternity (below).
- Sharing the publication Fatherhood: Give Your Child the Dadvantage (below).
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 Michigan 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 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 Publication Order List to order free publications.
Resources to share with parents
Seven-page booklet provides a full description of the importance of establishing paternity. (8.5" x 5.5")