2010 Tennessee Code
Title 68 - Health, Safety and Environmental Protection
Chapter 3 - Vital Records
Part 3 - Births
68-3-305 - Father's name on birth certificate Surname of child.

68-3-305. Father's name on birth certificate Surname of child.

(a)  (1)  If the mother was married at the time of either conception or birth, or anytime between conception and birth, to the natural father of the child, the name of the natural father shall be entered on the certificate and the surname of the child shall be entered on the certificate as one of the following:

          (A)  The surname of the natural father; or

          (B)  The surname of the natural father in combination with either the mother's surname or the mother's maiden surname.

     (2)  If the surname of the child includes the mother's surname, mother's maiden surname, or any combination of those two (2) surnames but does not include the surname of the natural father, it may be so entered, but only upon the concurrent submission of a sworn application to that effect signed by both parents who mutually agree to that surname or combination of surnames.

     (3)  If a surname is not chosen by the parents within the ten (10) days required for filing of the birth certificate, the father's surname shall be entered on the birth certificate as the surname of the child. Within this ten (10) day period, the father may file and submit a sworn statement to the hospital that states that the parents do not agree on a surname, in which case the father's surname shall be entered on the birth certificate as the surname of the child.

     (4)  If, within the first year after the child's date of birth, both the mother and the father sign and submit a sworn statement to the office of vital records that both parents wish to change the child's surname, then the office of vital records shall amend the child's birth certificate in accordance with the parents' request to change the child's surname, if the chosen surname is either:

          (A)  The surname of the natural father;

          (B)  The surname of the mother;

          (C)  The mother's maiden surname; or

          (D)  Any combination of the surnames listed in subdivisions (a)(4)(A)-(C).

     (5)  If, within the first year after the child's date of birth, the parents cannot mutually agree on a surname, either one can submit a signed, sworn statement that acknowledges the disagreement, states the father was not available within the time allowed by law for filing of the birth certificate to participate in the choice of his child's surname, and requesting that the name be changed to the father's surname, in which case the father's surname shall be entered on the amended birth certificate as the surname of the child.

(b)  (1)  If the mother was not married at the time of either conception or birth or between conception and birth, the name of the father shall not be entered on the certificate of birth and all information pertaining to the father shall be omitted, and the surname of the child shall be that of either:

          (A)  The surname of the mother;

          (B)  The mother's maiden surname; or

          (C)  Any combination of the surnames listed in subdivisions (b)(1)(A) and (b)(1)(B).

     (2)  (A)  If an original, sworn acknowledgment signed by both the mother and the biological father of a child, on a form provided by the state registrar or the department of human services, is submitted to the office of vital records at any time prior to the child's nineteenth birthday, the legal surname of the father may be entered on the certificate as that of the child, and the father's name and other personal information may be entered in the spaces provided on the birth certificate, notwithstanding the absence of a marriage relationship between the parents of the child.

          (B)  The acknowledgment form shall be in the form of an affidavit, shall contain the social security numbers of the mother and father of the child and shall be approved by the state registrar and the department of human services. The state registrar and the department of human services shall modify the form to comply with the minimum regulations for the form, which are finalized by the secretary of health and human services. An acknowledgment executed in conformity with this section shall be valid as long as it is executed on a form approved by the state registrar and the department of human services. A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity may be completed by a minor, if a parent or legal guardian of the minor is present and consents at the time of completion of the acknowledgment.

          (C)  A legitimation by subsequent marriage of the individuals shown on the certificate of birth as the father and mother shall not require a new certificate of birth; and the provisions of §§ 68-3-310(3), 68-3-311, and 68-3-313 shall not apply.

     (3)  Upon request of the department of human services or any of its contractors in the child support program established under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, the office of vital records shall provide to them a certified copy of the acknowledgment of paternity form executed under this part.

(c)  In any case in which paternity of a child is determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, the name of the father and surname of the child shall be entered on the certificate of birth in accordance with the finding and order of the court.

(d)  In all other cases, the surname of the child shall be either:

     (1)  The surname of the mother;

     (2)  The mother's maiden surname; or

     (3)  Any combination of the surnames listed in subdivisions (d)(1) and (d)(2).

(e)  If the father is not named on the certificate of birth, no other information about the father shall be entered on the certificate.

[Acts 1977, ch. 128, § 6; T.C.A., § 53-445; Acts 1985, ch. 11, § 2; 1994, ch. 988, § 12; 1997, ch. 551, §§ 40, 42; 2003, ch. 214, §§ 1, 2.]  

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