1999 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Nunnelee, Johnson (19th), Hawks
Senate Bill 2845
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 93-9-28, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF PATERNITY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 93-9-28, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
93-9-28. (1) The Mississippi Department of Health in cooperation with the Mississippi Department of Human Services shall develop a form and procedure which may be used to secure a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity from the mother and father of any child born out of wedlock in Mississippi. The form shall clearly state on its face that the execution of the acknowledgement of paternity shall result in the same legal effect as if the father and mother had been married at the time of the birth of the child. When such form has been completed according to the established procedure and the signatures of both the mother and father have been notarized, then such voluntary acknowledgement shall constitute a full determination of the legal parentage of the child. The completed voluntary acknowledgement of paternity shall be filed * * * with the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the Mississippi Department of Health. The name of the father shall be entered on the certificate of birth upon receipt of the completed voluntary acknowledgement.
(2) The Mississippi Department of Health and the Mississippi Department of Human Services shall cooperate to establish procedures to facilitate the voluntary acknowledgement of paternity by both father and mother at the time of the birth of any child born out of wedlock. Such procedures shall establish responsibilities for each of the departments and for hospitals, birthing centers, midwives, and/or other birth attendants to seek and report voluntary acknowledgements of paternity. In establishing such procedures, the departments shall provide for obtaining the social security account numbers of both the father and mother on voluntary acknowledgements.
(3) Upon the birth of a child out of wedlock, the hospital, birthing center, midwife or other birth attendant shall provide an opportunity for the child's mother and natural father to complete an acknowledgement of paternity by giving the mother and natural father the appropriate forms and information developed through the procedures established in paragraph (2). The hospital, birthing center, midwife or other birth attendant shall be responsible for providing printed information, and audio visual material if available, related to the acknowledgement of paternity, and shall be required to provide notary services needed for the completion of acknowledgements of paternity. The information described above shall be provided to the mother and natural father, if present and identifiable, within twenty-four (24) hours of birth or before the mother is released. Such information, including forms, brochures, pamphlets, video tapes and other media, shall be provided at no cost to the hospital, birthing center or midwife by the Mississippi State Department of Health, the Department of Human Services or other appropriate agency.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.