What is an Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit?

Because all kids deserve the benefits that legal fatherhood can provide.

The Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit (JFS 07038) is a legal form unmarried parents complete to add the biological father's name to the child's birth certificate. By signing the form, parents are establishing paternity for their child - meaning legally recognized fatherhood.

In Ohio, if a woman is married at the time of birth or at any time during the 300 days prior to birth, the husband is presumed to be the natural father of the child. The hospital may not put the “natural”/biological father’s name on the birth certificate.

However, if the mother got divorced during her pregnancy, and the divorce decree states that the husband is not the father of the child, the mother should provide the hospital with a copy of the finalized divorce decree at the time of her child’s birth. The mother and the biological father may then complete an Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit (JFS 07038) at the hospital if they wish.


What are the requirements to complete an Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit form (JFS 07038)?

    • Each parent will need a picture ID and Social Security number.

    • Father’s: (date of birth, place of birth, highest grade completed, address, employment and insurance), as well as both parent’s: (Full name, current address, state and county of birth, date of birth, and SSN).

    • Both parents must sign the affidavit in the presence of a public notary and have the affidavit notarized, but they don’t have to sign it at the same time.

    • Notaries are provided free of charge at hospitals, local registrars and CSEAs.


Where can I complete a paternity affidavit?

The Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit can be completed at these locations:

  • At the time of the birth, unmarried parents are offered the opportunity to complete the affidavit at the hospital or birth facility.

  • Afterwards, an affidavit may be completed at your local health department. Click here to find a health department.

  • Affidavits may also be completed at a child support enforcement agency (CSEA). Click here to locate the CSEA in your county.

All of these locations have trained staff available to assist parents in completing an affidavit. They also have notaries on staff to notarize the parent’s signatures. Parents must provide suitable picture identification to the notary.


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Rescission Information

Either person who signed the Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit may bring an action to rescind it within 60 days of the last signature on the affidavit. Use form: JFS 07029, Request for Paternity Determination and Notification to Central Paternity Registry.

The child support enforcement agency where the child or guardian or legal custodian of the child resides can assist with this process. It involves filling out a rescission form, signing up for genetic testing, and completing genetic testing. The CSEA will issue an order of paternity based on the results.

After the 60 day period, the only way to rescind the affidavit is to bring a court action to rescind within one year after it has become final.

A man presumed to be the father of the child under Ohio law who did not sign acknowledgment, either person who signed the acknowledgment, or a guardian or legal custodian of the child may bring an action to rescind the affidavit on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.