Can a minor acknowledge the paternity of his child in Michigan?

Full Question:

I am 17 years old and I live in Michigan. I had a relationship with a girl of the same age. Somehow it didn’t work out and we got separated. Later I came to know that she is pregnant. I would like to acknowledge the paternity of the child. Is there any issue to acknowledge the paternity as I am a minor?
12/26/2016   |   Category: Paternity » Minor as Par...   |   State: Michigan   |   #28802

Answer:

In Michigan, when a woman is unmarried, the initial birth certificate for her child will not contain the father’s name unless paternity is established. Unmarried parents of any age can sign the Affidavit of Parentage to acknowledge that they are the legal parents of the child. In Michigan, the acknowledgment of parentage and provisions related to minor parent is governed by MCL§ 722.1003, § 700.2114, and § 722.1009.

MCL§ 722.1003 provides that:
“Sec. 3.   (1) If a child is born out of wedlock, a man is considered to be the natural father of that child if the man joins with the mother of the child and acknowledges that child as his child by completing a form that is an acknowledgment of parentage.
(2) An acknowledgment of parentage form is valid and effective if signed by the mother and father and those signatures are each notarized by a notary public authorized by the state in which the acknowledgment is signed or witnessed by 1 disinterested, legally competent adult. The witness must be an employee of 1 of the following: a hospital, publicly funded or licensed health clinic, pediatric office, friend of the court, prosecuting attorney, court, department of human services, department of community health, county health agency, county records department, head start program, local social services provider, county jail, or state prison. The witness must sign and date the acknowledgment of parentage form and provide his or her printed name, address, and place of employment. An acknowledgment may be signed any time during the child's lifetime.
(c) ***”
Marriage is not an essential requirement to establish paternity. The parent and child relationship may be established per MCL § 700.2114 regardless of their marital status. It is provided that:[a]n individual is the child of his or her natural parents, regardless of their marital status.”
 
The parent and child relationship may be established per MCL § 700.2114 regardless of their marital status, if:
“***
The man joins with the child's mother and acknowledges that child as his child by completing an acknowledgment of parentage as prescribed in the acknowledgment of parentage act, 1996 PA 305, MCL 722.1001 to 722.1013.”
Moreover, the consent given by the minor parent is valid and have the same effect as of a parent. This is provided under § 722.1009 as: “Sec. 9.   In proceedings under this act, the court may appoint a next friend or guardian ad litem to represent a minor parent at the court's discretion. A minor parent may sign an acknowledgment of parentage with the same effect as if he or she were of legal age.”

Thus, a minor father may claim the paternity of the child. You may acknowledge the paternity of the child though you are a minor.