What is the difference between paternity acknowledgement and legitimation?

This situation occurs when the parents of a child are not married at the time of birth.  Once the child is born and the birth certificate paperwork is completed at the hospital, the father must sign a Paternity Acknowledgement document agreeing that he is the father of the child and will be reflected on the birth certificate as the father.  Paternity Acknowledgement DOES NOT grant the Father any legal rights to the child.

Legitimation is a legal process for the father of a child born out of wedlock asking the Court to establish his legal rights to his child. This order establishes the Father as a legal parent.  Quite frequently, the Court will address the request for visitation and child support in the Legitimation order.  If a father is seeking custody or visitation of his child, the Legitimation process must be completed first.

Please remember, this article is merely meant for guidance and information purposes.  It is NOT intended as legal advice nor does it establish attorney/client relationship or privilege.