How do I get a copy of my Washington State Acknowledgment of Parentage?

How to get a copy of a Parentage Affidavit, Parentage Acknowledgment, or Acknowledgment of Parentage (all the same thing). #3612EN

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes, if your child was born in Washington State to unmarried parents.

 

*This information does not apply if your child was born via surrogacy. Talk to a lawyer who has expertise in this area for help with your situation. 

Do not use this if:

  • Your child was born in another state.

  • You were married to the other parent at the time the child was born.

If filed with the Washington State Department of Health, a completed Acknowledgment form is the faster, cheaper alternative to asking a court to give you the rights and responsibilities of a legal parent.  

When you are not married, the child's birth parent and other genetic parent should sign it. In Washington, they often give this form to the birth parent in the hospital right after the child's birth.

Yes. It used to be called a Paternity Affidavit, Paternity Acknowledgment, or Acknowledgment of Paternity. The form's name changed to Acknowledgment of Parentage in 2019.

Not in Washington. You still have to fill out and file the Acknowledgment of Parentage. It is a sworn statement signed under penalty of perjury of law. This is the written equivalent of giving court testimony under oath.

  • The birth parent and the other genetic parent must sign it.

  • Then someone must file it with the Department of Health.

  • If no one takes back (rescinds) their signature within 60 days after its filing, it is a final legal determination of parentage. 

Yes. You get all a parent's legal rights and responsibilities, including:

  • The right to ask for custody or visitation.

  • The responsibility to provide financial support for the child.

No. This Acknowledgment by itself does not establish custody, visitation, or child support.

Yes. After you file the Acknowledgment and 60 days have passed, either parent (or, if the child gets public assistance, the State) can ask for a child support order through the Division of Child Support (DCS) or in court. You can also file a court action asking for a custody or child support order.

 

You probably can still get child support. You will just have to go about it differently. You should contact DCS for help establishing parentage. Read How Can I Collect Child Support? to learn more.

Yes. It is official proof of your child's parentage. You should keep a copy of it in a safe place.

*If you are filing a Petition for Parenting Plan/Residential Schedule or Child Support, you must attach a certified (official) copy of the Acknowledgment of Parentage.

Yes. You might need it if there is ever a question about the child's parentage.

You can get a certified copy from the Department of Health. It shows the date of filing. Use the Parentage Verification Order Form.

If you signed an Acknowledgment of Parentage, call the Department of Health at (360) 236-4300. They may be able to tell you if an Acknowledgment is on file there.

Due to confidentiality concerns, they cannot give you other information, such as the date it was filed. To get that information, you must write the Department of Health for a certified copy.

If you are not one of the people who signed the Acknowledgment, the Department of Health will not send you a copy. If you need a copy of an Acknowledgment that you did not sign, talk to a lawyer, or file a motion with the court for a court order releasing the Acknowledgment to you.

Fill out and mail the Parentage Verification Order Form. Attach a check or money order for $15 for each copy you want. Make it payable to the Department of Health. In 2022, it may take up to 5 months to arrive. 

Get Legal Help

Visit Northwest Justice Project to find out how to get legal help. 

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Last Review and Update: Aug 15, 2022
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