In Washington, unmarried parents can sign a Paternity Acknowledgement to show the courts the identity of the biological father. If the mother was married or in a recognized relationship and a different person is acknowledging paternity, the presumed person will need to sign a Denial of Paternity as they are thought to be the biological father of the child. If both documents are not filed with the Department of Health, the new paternity will not be valid.
A Paternity Acknowledgment can be signed at a hospital, clinic or under the eye of a midwife. The paperwork should then be notarized and submitted to DOH. However, the form can be filed through the county or through a Division of Child Support office. The parents will need to pay the related fee and have the form notarized before they return it to DOH. Even minors can follow this procedure; they will be expected to understand the form just as legal adults are.