A paternity affidavit is a legal document that permits a man and a woman to declare, under penalty of perjury, that the man is the biological father of a child. A properly executed paternity affidavit establishes legal paternity (fatherhood) and parental rights and responsibilities, without the necessity of obtaining a court order.
A paternity affidavit may be completed at the hospital within 72 hours of the child’s birth or at the local health department any time before the child is emancipated. If paternity is established by paternity affidavit, the Department of Health will add the father’s name to the child’s birth certificate.
The Department of Health’s Vital Records Office on the third floor of the Citizens Square Building, 200 E. Berry St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802. The office is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except on holidays observed by Allen County Government. You can park in the parking lot off Berry Street or there is metered parking nearby.
Parents who wish to sign a paternity affidavit must make an appointment. Both parents must be present and have valid and acceptable documentation. Contact the Vital Records Office at (260) 449-7147 for further information or to make an appointment.
The following filing fees apply for paternity affidavits filed at the Department of Health:
- Paternity Affidavit filing fee – $25
- Paternity Affidavit Upon Marriage (filed upon the marriage of the parents of a child born out of wedlock) filing fee- $20
There is a $2 charge for a copy of a paternity affidavit that is on file with the Department of Health.