If you’re an unwed father who recently welcomed a child or is expecting one, it is important that you know about DH Form 432, otherwise known as the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity Form. DH Form 432, which is administered by the State of Florida Department of Health Vital Statistics, allows you and the child’s mother to officially acknowledge that you are the natural, biological parents of the child. This acknowledgement must be made in the presence of two witnesses or a notary public.
Timing of Signing: The form can be signed at any time until the child reaches the age of 18. It can even be signed in the hospital, which is often the simplest and easiest way.
60-Day Cancellation Period: If you decide to complete this form, you have the right to cancel it within 60 days of signing. However, if no court hearing occurs within this 60-day period and it is not cancelled, paternity is legally established under Florida law.
Rights and Responsibilities: By signing DH Form 432, you are not only acknowledging your biological relationship with the child but also agreeing to undertake responsibility for the child, including financial responsibility, and accept the rights and responsibilities of a father.
Record Keeping: To protect your rights, you should always maintain a copy of this form and the child’s birth certificate for your records.
Uncertainty about Paternity
If you are uncertain about whether you are the father of a child, it is a good idea to consider requesting a scientific DNA paternity test prior to signing the form.
It is always a good idea to consult with legal counsel to understand and know your rights.