Establishing Paternity

In North Dakota, for children who are born out of wedlock, the paternity of the biological father can be established in two ways.  The biological father may voluntarily establish his paternity by completing an Acknowledgment of Paternity form or any legal parent may be added to the birth record by way of a court order.

 

Acknowledgment of Paternity

The North Dakota Acknowledgment of Paternity form (SFN 8195) allows a biological father to establish paternity when he is not married to the mother. There is no fee to file this form with the Division of Vital Records. 

The form can either be completed at the hospital at the time of birth utilizing hospital staff to assist the parents with the completion of the form and then the form is sent to our office shortly after completion.  The form can also be completed any time after the birth, either by mail or stopping by our office.

Some important requirements about this Acknowledgment of Paternity form, is it:

  • must show the child’s name and the mother's name as they appear on the birth record
  • must be signed and dated by both parents in front of a witness and the witness must sign and date the form (the mother and father cannot be the witness for each other's signature)
  • must be free of corrections, errors and cross outs to avoid rejection
  • the original must be filed with the Division of Vital Records to be considered valid and have the father's name added to the birth record (the child's last name may be changed at the time the form is originally filed) 

If the mother is married to someone else who is not the father of the child, her spouse must also complete Section III of the form, the Denial of Paternity.  The spouse's signature must also be witnessed by someone other than the mother and father of the child.

Acknowledgment of Paternity forms are available from county child support offices, hospital birth centers or the Division of Vital Records.  The form cannot be downloaded, because it is a three-part paper form.  The completed original top part must be sent to the Division of Vital Records, while the second canary color form is for the father and the last pink color form is for the mother.  To obtain an Acknowledgment of Paternity form, email us at vitalrec@nd.gov or contact a local child support office.

 

How do I request a certified copy of an Acknowledgment of Paternity that is already filed with Vital Records?

  1. Complete the acknowledgment request form.
  2. Include a check or money order made out to the "North Dakota Department of Health" for all required fees.
  3. Include primary and/or secondary forms of identification.
    • The form may also be notarized instead of sending identification. 
  4. Mail form, fees and identification to:

         Division of Vital Records

         600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 301

         Bismarck, ND 58505

 

Court Order Adjudication

A legal parent, including a biological father, can be added to a birth record with a court ordered adjudication. 

The certified court order must:

  • show the child’s full name and date of birth as it appears on the birth record
    • If court order shows child's initials, we must receive the certified confidential information form
  • state the name of the person who is the legal parent of the child, and
  • state that the legal parent's name is to be added to the child's birth record.

 

Where do I mail the form or court order?

Mail either the completed Acknowledgment of Paternity form or a certified copy of the court order adjudication and confidential information form to our office at:

ND Department of Health
Division of Vital Records
600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 301
Bismarck, ND 58505-0200