Right after your baby is born, you can encourage the father to start the paternity process by signing the Affidavit of Parentage while you are still in the hospital. This action will allow the father’s name to be placed on the birth certificate. You can also take the form home with you, complete it and send it back to the Division of Vital Records. If you choose to take the form home, each parent must sign the Affidavit in the presence of a notary public. You may contact the Maryland Department of Health/Division of Vital Records at 410-764-3038 to request an Affidavit. You can establish paternity using an Affidavit up until your child’s 18th birthday.