If there is no father on your child’s birth certificate, can your husband put his name on it and become the child’s father even if he isn’t?

Me and my fiance are about to marry in January. He has been in my child’s life since she was 2 months. She is 2 now, and he wants to be her father legally. Does he have to adopt her or can he just put his name on her birth certificate?

Asked on December 1, 2010 under Family Law, North Carolina


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

How wonderful for you and for your daughter.  But just as you must get a license and be married by someone with authority in the state of North Carolina in order to have the union be "legal", so there is a path that you must follow for your daughter to be legally your husband's child.  You will have to terminate the rights of her biological Father.  You did not mention if her biological father was in the picture at all.  If he is not and he does not want the responsibilities that come with being her Father - visitation and support and the like - then you may want to approach him to give up his rights voluntarily.  And that means no support or inheritance rights after either of the scenarios given.  You need some legal help here.  Good luck.

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