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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Default Can an Adult Get the Father Changed on Her Birth Certificate Based on DNA Testing

    My question involves paternity law for the State of: Indiana

    In 1979, my wife and I conceived a child shortly before we split. We were married and lived in Illinois. Immediately after splitting, she moved in with another man in Indiana. Our divorce was finalized in the first week of November and our baby girl was born three weeks later in that state. They hurriedly married in Indiana in the interim, and claimed the new husband to be the father of record. I heard of the birth through a third party who was close to my ex-wife, and I inquired through that person if the child could be mine, but the word came back that she was not.

    Over 39 years later, that girl is now a grown woman who discovered through a DNA test that her father of record was not her father at all. Even though her mother denied her any knowledge of me and refused to admit that I could be her father, against all odds, she found me through online research of relatives via ancestry web sites. We had a DNA test done and it is a >99% match. Besides that, her physical resemblance to my side of her family is obvious.

    She wants very much to have her records, including her birth certificate, corrected to reflect that I am her father and to change her maiden name to my own. (She is now married and does not wish to change her married last name.)

    The mother has been uncooperative -- and even dishonest in denying that I could have been the father, when she absolutely knew from the moment of conception that I could have been (and I have a story to back it up) -- so I cannot presume that she will be of any help. I, on the other hand, am the proud new papa of a 39 year old girl who also wants very much to set the records straight.

    Is there any mechanism by which we can get this taken care of? Indiana has restrictive rules when it comes to paternity affidavits. I don't think that's an option. What about the courts? Is there any way at all we can get this done? I understand the implications with regard to inheritance; that is not a concern. We want our posterity to know, without any question or confusion, from whence they came. It is very important to us.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    16,744

    Default Re: Adult Child, 39, Wants Birth Certificate Corrected

    Quote Quoting kalsdad
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    It is very important to us.
    Then you've got your priorities backward.

    What should be important is that you are father/daughter and you don't need a piece of paper to make it so.

    It's probably impossible to change a birth certificate at this late date and it wouldn't be advisable anyway.

    If she wants to change her name from Mary Jane Smith to Mary Jones Smith there's a court packet of forms and instructions available at:

    https://indianalegalhelp.org/court-f...t-name-change/

    Which is also not advisable due to the hassle of changing ID's, Social Security, accounts, etc.

    Rejoice that you found each other and forget about name changes.

    As for inheritance, you can leave your stuff to whoever you want, doesn't matter what the name or relationship is.

    Now I'll punctuate my advice with my story. Many years ago I married a woman with two young children. After a few years I wanted to adopt but her ex wouldn't consent. Fine, I was Dad anyway and they started using my last name for convenience (common law name change). Years later, my kids are in their 20s and divorce happens. I'm still Dad. A few years later, the kids and their mother become estranged. I'm still Dad. My daughter gets married, takes her husband's name, mine disappears. But I'm still Dad. Last year my ex-wife died. My kids are in their late 40s. I'm still Dad. Never had a piece of paper that said so. Didn't need one. Don't need it now.

    Neither do you. The "record" is already straight. You don't need to prove anything to anybody.

    Please show this to your daughter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    2

    Default Re: Adult Child, 39, Wants Birth Certificate Corrected

    I came to this forum because it is named "Establishing Paternity."

    We are not looking for relationship advice or instructions on how to effect a simple name change. We want to know if it is possible to get the Indiana birth certificate changed or amended at this point.

    Is there anyone who has knowledge of how this can be done -- or if it can be done at all?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Default Re: Adult Child, 39, Wants Birth Certificate Corrected

    Quote Quoting kalsdad
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    I came to this forum because it is named "Establishing Paternity."

    We are not looking for relationship advice or instructions on how to effect a simple name change. We want to know if it is possible to get the Indiana birth certificate changed or amended at this point.

    Is there anyone who has knowledge of how this can be done -- or if it can be done at all?
    No need to be snippy and what Jack said is pretty accurate.

    At age 39 it's unlikely that the BC will be changed. A name change is simple and can be done only by your daughter with comparatively little hassle but will require some legwork to make it known to the various creditors, banks, agencies, etc.

    You can bequeath your assets to whomever you choose regardless of paternity. Just ask Leona Helmsley. She left her entire fortune to her dog.

    As for establishing paternity, this is usually done AT BIRTH, not well into adulthood. Not many states, if any, allow modification of BC's at such a point in life without adoption or the like. And I wouldn't recommend adoption. It would create many different problems as well as mean that Mom is no longer mother.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,183

    Default Re: Adult Child, 39, Wants Birth Certificate Corrected

    Quote Quoting kalsdad
    View Post
    I came to this forum because it is named "Establishing Paternity."

    We are not looking for relationship advice or instructions on how to effect a simple name change. We want to know if it is possible to get the Indiana birth certificate changed or amended at this point.

    Is there anyone who has knowledge of how this can be done -- or if it can be done at all?
    No, its not possible. I am sorry.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    18,903

    Default Re: Adult Child, 39, Wants Birth Certificate Corrected

    As LL points out, the ship has sailed on "establishing paternity" long ago.

    I'll disagree with AJ on the name change. People change names all the time (if for no other reason than marriage). While there's work to do afterward, it's not all that daunting (the worst was the FAA which took me YEARS to convince them that my wife was the same person who purchased our airplane originally), the DMV, SSA, etc... were trivial comparatively. I've had other friends change their name for no other reason than they never used their given first name. The key with changing your name either by court order or by marriage get extra true copies of the order (or marriage certificate) at the time you do the change when it will be easier to get them. You'll have to show or even sometimes give one to people to document the name change. Keep a few around in your files. My wife needed her marriage certificate over twenty years after the fact when convincing a retirement plan that was in her old name that she was the same person.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Can an Adult Get the Father Changed on Her Birth Certificate Based on DNA Testing

    I suggest speaking to a local lawyer about the possibility of adult adoption. It's reported to be a simple procedure in Indiana when all parties agree, and is apparently often used by stepparents to adopt a child after the child reaches adulthood. But you would want to make sure that any adoption that you pursue would not affect the status of your mother as your legal parent.

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