Record efforts to determine the alleged father’s identity

You may not know who the biological father of the child is. In this situation, before moving forward, you must document for the court everything you’ve done to identify the child’s father, find him, and provide notice. You'll document your efforts by creating a Declaration of Mother.

Before you start

If you do not know who the child’s other parent is, you can still move forward with a stepparent adoption. But first you must document for the court that you’ve done everything you could to try to identify the child’s father and find him.

To do this, you will provide the court with detailed information about the mother’s relationships prior to, during, and after the time of the child’s conception. The information must be clear and accurate to the best of your ability.

The court calls this a Declaration of Mother. This Declaration is signed under penalty of perjury which means that it is treated the same way as testifying under oath in a court of law. You must be truthful and accurate.

You may complete this form with the assistance of any family member who may have additional information or recollection of any possible alleged father(s).


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Get help from your court’s Self-Help Center or an attorney if you’re in this situation since the process can be complicated.

Create the Declaration of Mother

  • Gather information

    You need to provide the court with as much information as possible, including circumstances surrounding conception and any details (if you have them) that might lead to the father's identity.


    It is helpful to include the following in your declaration:

    1. The mother’s full name and age
    2. The child’s full name, date of birth and place of birth (city and state)
    3. If not born, expected birth date (month, day, and year)
    4. An indication of whether the mother was married when she became pregnant, during the pregnancy, or when the child was born. (yes or no). If yes, include the husband’s name, last known address, and date and place of marriage. Also include how the marriage ended (divorce, death or annulment) and the date and place of either termination of marriage or date and place of death.
    5. Any person the mother believes to be the father or anyone who has claimed to be the father
    6. Whether the mother was in a relationship at the time of conception, whether they were living together, and whether anyone provided support or care for her during the pregnancy or after the birth of the child.


    The court will assign an investigator to review your documents and possibly conduct additional searches. An investigator may ask additional questions if the Declaration is not complete, detailed, and accurate.
  • Create and sign an official Declaration

    Use the sample provided as a template or use this form to create your Declaration (form MC-030). The mother must sign the form at the bottom.

    This Declaration is similar to testimony given in court. It is required to be signed under oath and under penalty of perjury. This means that if you lie on the form, you could be fined by the court and/or be subject to time in jail. 
  • Get help if you need it

    Your court’s Self-Help Center may be able to help you prepare the Declaration and make sure it’s complete.

Stepparent adoption

What's next?

Once you have the Declaration, you can ask the court to dispense with notice and end (terminate) the alleged father’s parental rights.

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Have a question about Stepparent Adoption?

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