My question involves paternity law for the State of: California
I have a very complex situation and Iíd appreciate any help with this. I got pregnant as a teenager by a man who was a lot older than me. Because he could be tried in my state (California) for statutory rape even though it was consensual, he made me believe that if I kept his identity as my daughters father secret, he would help me, versus having to go to jail. Naively I believed this. Thinking that I needed to list a father on the birth certificate I made up a name, (horrible , I know) so that I could have the support I thought he would give me. I did not realize at that age how horrible and stupid that was, or just how hard it would be to change things. He ended up never supported me and in turn, neglected his responsibilities, and went against everything I lied and protected him for in order to just get help for my daughter. I wanted to protect my daughter, so I called an investigator who helped me press charges and started the ball rolling to get child support. I went to Superior Court in Los Angeles ,California and was given a Judgment Establishing Parental Relationship and Child Support. This was awarded on default because he failed to show up after being served. On the judgment, both PARENTAL RELATIONSHIP and CHILD SUPPORT are checked. It then continues to list the orders and amount for child support. It does not say, or have an option for there to have been a correction to her birth certificate, at the time, I thought this document was enough to change that, and I was never asked if that needed to be done.
A few months after he was served, he moved to another state in the middle of the night to avoid total responsibility and possible jail time. Long story short, I would like to have my daughters name and father information changed to his information, meaning I would like his name on the certificate and her last name changed. I feel that itís only right to have this corrected. How do I go about doing this? As years passed, he had gotten in contact with us, and tried to make amends, however he died shortly after. I am currently receiving Survivors benefits for her from Social Security, but I need to know how I can amend her birth certificate. Do I have to go to court again? And is this something I can do myself? I cannot afford an attorney, and really would like to have this resolved soon. The only reason why I waited so long is because I didnít know where to start with this, and if it was going to ever require an attorneys help, I would not have been able to afford it. I have looked into seeing what Vital records could do, but without a court order to change her name, they can't help. Is the above form I have enough to start that? I have started to fill out form FL200, Petition to establish parental relationship, which looks like it would establish everything I already had (child support, etc) but also has a "name change" option. Unfortunately it says I have to send a summons to the respondent (who is deceased) so now I don't know where to go with that! Any advice is greatly appreciated!