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Some Helpful Suggestions:
- Your baby may be given any last name.
- If you are unmarried, the baby's father's name will not be included on the birth certificate unless both you and the baby's father complete a paternity affidavit. The forms are available at the nurses' station. We are required to send the birth certificate worksheet to the state within 10 days of your baby's birth. If we do not have the paternity affidavit within this time frame, you will need to contact the state directly to have your baby's father's name added to the official birth certificate. Their number is (360) 236-4300.
- A Social Security number for your baby can be requested automatically by checking "yes" in the box on your Birth Certificate Worksheet that says "Social Security Number Requested for Child." You will need to check this box if you will be applying to DSHS for assistance.
- Return completed worksheets to your nurse before you leave. Call the birth certificate coordinator's number at (360) 704-2535 with any remaining information to complete the worksheet within 10 days of your baby's birth.
Return completed worksheets to your nurse before you leave. Call the birth certificate coordinator's number with any remaining information to complete the worksheet within 10 days of your baby's birth.
Paternity means legal fatherhood. Paternity must be established when parents are not married. In Washington State, there are three ways to establish paternity:
- Signing an official form called a paternity affidavit
- Going to court (RCW 26.26.020)
- Seeing a private attorney
There are many important reasons to establish paternity. Knowing who both parents are will help your child to know of any inherited health problems. Knowing who both parents are helps a child know who they are and what their history is. Also, your child has the right to benefits from both parents, including Social Security, insurance benefits, inheritance rights, veterans and other types of benefits. Children who are financially supported by one parent often do not have enough money for their needs.
Both parents are financially responsible to support the child even if the father did not want the child. If the father refuses, the state can have his wages withheld or his assets taken. Blood tests are used to help determine paternity when needed. The hospital has brochures to assist you in paternity testing through the state.
Paternity papers can be signed and notarized for no charge during regular business hours at the hospital, after the birth of the child. If the parents go outside the hospital to notarize the Paternity Affidavit, there may be a charge.
To obtain more information about establishing paternity, ask your nurse for the paternity pamphlet. You can call the state number at (800) 442-KIDS.
How to Obtain a Social Security Number for Your Child
You have the option of requesting that a Social Security number automatically be issued for your child. Simply check "yes" in the box on your Birth Certificate Worksheet that says "Social Security Number Requested for Child." Your child will receive a card only if you specifically request it and only if certain criteria are met.
The requirements are:
- The mother's residence must be a physical address (no post office boxes) in the United States, Mexico or Canada.
- The baby must have a first and last name (not "Baby" Jones or "Baby Girl" Johnson).
- It takes four to six weeks from the date of birth of your child to receive a Social Security card. The card will be mailed to the mother's residence address that was on the birth certificate.