Information on Birth Certificates and Paternity
Congratulations! Having a child is rewarding and life-changing experience. We are happy and excited that you have chosen Aiken Regional Medical Centers (ARMC) as your choice for delivery. ARMC will be happy to apply for your newborn's birth certificate for you. You can pick up the completed Birth Certificate at the Aiken County Health Department, Vital Records within two to four weeks.
Aiken County Health Department
222 Beaufort Street Aiken
Aiken, SC 29801
Cost: Birth certificate cost: $12 for the long form. $3 for additional copies
If you are not married to the baby's father and want the father's name on your child's birth certificate, you need to establish paternity. "Establishing paternity" is the process by which the biological father becomes the legal father of his child.
Why is Establishing Paternity So Important?
Studies show that men who establish paternity at the hospital are more likely to have a relationship with their child. Your child needs love and support from both of you!
Establishing paternity helps children:
- Have a relationship with both parents and their extended families
- Gain the security of knowing that their father cares and is there for them
- Have knowledge of both families' medical histories
- Achieve better outcomes
- Decrease the likelihood of high-risk behavior
- Have access to health insurance and/or benefits such as Social Security or inheritance
Establishing paternity helps fathers:
- Gain legal rights to their child
- Show that they are committed to their child
- Establish an emotional bond with the child and participate in the child's life
Establishing paternity helps mothers:
- Share the responsibility and rewards of parenthood
- Share the cost of raising the child
If you are sure who the biological father of the child is and do not want a DNA test, complete a Paternity Acknowledgment at the hospital. The paternity acknowledgment is completely voluntary and the easiest way to establish paternity. In addition, it is free of charge while you are at the hospital! However, if the mother was legally married within 280 days of the child's birth to an individual who is not the biological father, contact 866-914-8786 for information on establishing paternity.
Both Parents Must Be Present to Complete the Paternity Acknowledgment
Have a valid government-issued picture ID card such as a driver's license or state identification card (please be aware that expired identification cannot be accepted). If you do not have a driver's license, a state identification card is available at your local Department of Motor Vehicles office. If your country of origin is not the United States and you do not have a valid government-issued picture ID, you can apply in person for a consular identification card from your country's consulate. Have their social security numbers (if you are a US citizen). If the father cannot be present or either of you do not have your ID and/or social security number (if you are a US citizen), then the hospital cannot add the father's name to the birth certificate. In this instance both parents should go to the Vital Records office to complete the paternity form.
If either of you are not sure of paternity, do not complete the Paternity Acknowledgment. You can get a low-cost DNA test through the Department of Social Services after your child is born. For more information about the test, call the South Carolina Parenting Opportunity Program at 866-914-8786 or view their online guide.
If you have any questions before or after your baby is born, call the Birth Certificate Clerk at 803-641-5725. You may also call the South Carolina Parenting Opportunity Program toll-fee at 866-917-8786.