Establishing Paternity by Affidavit
Establishing Paternity by Signing a Consenting Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity
We encourage all fathers and mothers who are not married to each other to file an affidavit acknowledging paternity.
Florida has an in-hospital paternity process that allows parents to establish paternity at birth. Federal and state laws require staff in all birthing facilities to assist with the completion and filing of affidavits. Parents do not have to pay a fee when both parents sign the form at the hospital or birthing center.
Some parents may wish to take the information home and sign the acknowledgment at a later date. If you choose to sign the affidavit after leaving the hospital, you may have to pay a small fee for the Office of Vital Statistics to process the form.
Rights, Responsibilities and Duties
When the mother signs the affidavit she is swearing that she was unwed at the time of the birth and that the named man is the biological father of the child.
When the father signs the affidavit, he agrees that he is the biological father of the child and that he will be responsible for the child's financial and medical support until adulthood.
Parents should NOT sign the affidavit if the identify of the father is uncertain.
After signing, either parent has the right to cancel the effect of the affidavit in writing within 60 days unless there has been a court hearing regarding that parent and the child. Once the 60 day period expires, paternity can be changed only by providing evidence in court that one of the signatures on the affidavit was obtained through fraud, under duress, or that there was a material mistake in fact.