Office of Vital Records
Amend a Birth Certificate to Acknowledge Paternity
A.R.S. § 36-334 requires that if a mother is not married at the time a child is born and has not been married any time during the preceding 10 months, no father will be named on the birth certificate unless both parents file an Acknowledgment of Paternity or unless so ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Acknowledgment of Paternity
The Acknowledgment of Paternity form may be used to establish paternity for a child under the age of 18 if both parents are in agreement as to the identity of the biological father. These forms are available at all birthing hospitals, the Office of Vital Records, the Arizona Department of Economic Security's Child Support Enforcement offices and many of the county registrar's offices health department Office of Vital Records.
Parents may choose to complete the AOP at the hospital when the child is born or may complete it at a later time. In either case, the father's name will not be added to the birth certificate until the form is completed accurately and signed by both parents. If the form is not completed at the hospital, the parents may complete the AOP at one of the local county health departments.
Before completing the AOP, both parents must read the instructions page and the rights and responsibilities page to ensure both parents understand the guidelines and intent of the paternity establishment process. To avoid any delays in establishing paternity, please review the AOP carefully to ensure all information is correct and the instructions have been followed.
By completing and signing the AOP, both parents are agreeing that the father listed on the AOP is the natural father. The AOP must be completed in BLACK INK and may contain NO ERRORS. The parents must sign the form in the presence of a notary or witness (The witness must be at least 18 years old and cannot be related to the parent by blood or marriage.). If there are any errors, white-outs, strikeouts or other alterations the form will not be not be accepted and a new AOP must be completed.
DO NOT FORGE THE SIGNATURE OF EITHER PARENT. CLAIMS OF FORGERY WILL BE INVESTIGATED.
The AOP’s primary purpose is to establish paternity (identify the father and add the father’s name to the birth record). The AOP can also be used to:
- Change the child's last name to the father’s last name.
- Change any part of the child’s name if the AOP is completed within the first 3 months after the child’s birth.
Either parent may request to rescind the Acknowledgment of Paternity by completing the Paternity Rescission form. This form must be completed and mailed to the Arizona Department of Economic Security's Hospital Paternity Program (HPP) at 2290 W. Guadalupe Road, Building 3, Gilbert, Arizona 85233 within 60 days after the last signature (mother or father) is affixed on the Acknowledgment of Paternity. For a copy of this form, please contact the HPP office at (602) 771-8181.
Court Ordered Paternity
A certified court order of paternity (COP) is required to establish paternity and add the father’s name to the birth record in the following circumstances:
- If the registrant is 18 years of age or older
- When one parent cannot be located or is deceased
- To remove a father from the birth record and add another one (genetic testing may be required)
How to Apply
The parents may submit their request by mail. The parent may also submit the request in person at one of the local county health department Office of Vital Records for births occurring 1997 to the present year. If the birth occurred prior to 1997, you may call the State Office of Vital Records to schedule an appointment at (602)-364-2428. All court orders must be certified by the court where the proceeding was finalized.
- A completed and signed Application for Certified Copy of Birth Certificate [Español]
- A copy of the front and back of your valid government-issued picture identification which bears your signature or have your signature notarized on the Arizona Vital Records Request for Copy of Birth Certificate. Note: If you are not the registrant or the parent named on the certificate, you must also submit proof of eligibility.
- A completed and signed AOP. Or, a certified court order of paternity.
- Include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your request.
- Appropriate fee, according to the fee schedule. Acceptable payment methods are: cashier's check, money order, Visa, or MasterCard. PLEASE DO NOT SEND CASH. Cashier's checks and money orders must be for the exact amount and made payable to Office of Vital Records. If you pay by credit/debit card, you must include the full card number and expiration date on your application.
Note: An incomplete application will delay the processing of your request.
The processing fee for a court ordered paternity is NOT paid by the Court. If the order is filed by the Court and an application for certified copies is received later, the applicant must pay the amendment fee before the certified copies can be issued. The fee includes one certified copy of the birth certificate with the father's name on it. Additional certified copies may be purchased; reference the fee schedule for the State Office of Vital Records.