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Legitimations

When biological parents marry after a child is born, a legitimation process must be completed. The Affidavit by Biological Mother, Affidavit by Biological Father, certified copy of the marriage record and fee are required. If there is a man listed on the birth record to whom the mother was married, a certified copy of their divorce decree is required. The divorce decree must specifically mention the child by name and indicate that the man listed on the birth record is not the father. If the divorce decree does not mention the child, then a court order of paternity is required. If there is a man listed on the birth record to whom the mother was not married, a court order of paternity also is required.

In cases where the biological parent(s) are deceased, further documentation is needed:

  • a notarized statement from a biological relative of the deceased parent(s) (This statement will need to indicate the persons relationship to the deceased and that, while alive, the parent(s) did acknowledge that you were the biological child of that father.) or
  • a copy of an obituary notice (if the notice mentions you as that man's daughter or son); and
  • a certified copy of that parent's death record,
  • a certified copy of the marriage record, and
  • completed affidavits (indicate in the area for signature, deceased).

Please note: Current processing time on mailed requests for legitimations and paternities, that contain the appropriate fee and ID is between 5 to 6 weeks from the date the request is received.

   
FORMS


Legitimations Instructions


Affidavit by Biological Mother

Affidavit by Biological Father


     
       

The fee is $15 and includes one certified copy of the birth certificate. Additional copies ordered at the same time are $2 each.

If you are unable to obtain any of the required documents, a court order of paternity is required. Contact your local court system.

The documents received become part of a sealed file. Once the file is sealed, it cannot be opened without a court order. It is advisable to make copies of any documents you provide; you must submit the originals to this office.

This process is only for biological parents. To add a step-father to a birth record, an adoption is required.

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
925 East Ridgely Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-2737



  What is a legitimation?

A legitimation is when the biological parents marry after the birth of a child and they wish to add the father's name to a birth record. This requires the parents to send the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records a completed Affidavit by Biological Mother and Affidavit by Biological Father (obtained from Vital Records); a certified copy of their marriage record (which is obtainable from the county clerks' office in the county where the marriage occurred; (click here for list of local county clerk offices); and a check or money order (Do not send cash) for the required $15. Please make your personal check or money order payable to the "Illinois Department of Public Health." The mailing address is:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Vital Records
925 East Ridgely Ave.
Springfield, IL 62702-2737


  How do I get a copy of the legitimation forms I have already filled out?

This requires a court order as these forms are impounded.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

LINKS

Vital Records Act
Illinois Vital Records Code (rules)
County Vital Records Web Sites or County Clerk Addresses

 
925 East Ridgely Ave., Springfield, IL 62702