What do I need to do first?

Birth Certificate Worksheet

Please complete the birth certificate worksheet located in your white binder on Mother/Baby Unit (MBU) if your baby is born at UI Hospitals & Clinics. Turn it in to your MBU nurse or clerical staff on the MBU unit for processing. Cost to register the baby’s birth is $35 (check only). If you have Medicaid (or are applying for Medicaid) or do not have health insurance, the fee is waived. If you delivered your baby at another hospital, you must complete the birth certificate worksheet at that hospital. 

Last Name on Birth Certificate

A paternity affidavit is not required to give the baby the father’s last name on the worksheet. In Iowa, a mother can give the baby the last name of her choice.

Last Name Change

The name listed on the birth certificate worksheet will be legally registered with the state of Iowa and the Social Security Administration within seven days of the birth. If your baby’s last name is different in the NICU than on the worksheet, this will be changed by UI Hospitals & Clinics. If your baby was born outside of UI Hospitals & Clinics, show proof of the birth certificate from the local hospital (the local hospital’s medical records office can fax a copy of the birth certificate worksheet to NICU social worker).

If you want to change the baby’s last name after the worksheet has been turned in, you may change it if/when completing a paternity affidavit. Contact your county’s clerk of district court. There is a fee.

Paternity Affidavits

Ask your nurse or NICU social worker for a paternity affidavit. A paternity affidavit has the same effect as a court order establishing paternity.

Women who were not married when they first became pregnant and also were not married when the baby was born may complete a paternity affidavit to establish legal paternity. A paternity affidavit is not required to give the baby the father’s last name. The father’s name will not be listed on the birth certificate by the state as the father of the baby unless a paternity affidavit is submitted.

There is no time limit on signing the affidavit. Both parents must sign in the presence of a notary public. Both parents do not need to sign at the same time or in the presence of the same notary.

Complete the form but do not sign until a notary public is present. A notary public is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the information desk in the Main Entrance Lobby. Call 319-356-1900 to set up a time. Notaries also are available at other businesses.

Have picture identification with you for the notary public. After the paternity affidavit has been signed and notarized, ask the unit clerk to make two copies—one for the chart and one for you. It is important to keep your copy until the birth certificate arrives. If your baby was born at UI Hospitals & Clinics, you may give the notarized affidavit to the unit clerk on the Mother/Baby Unit to be sent to Vital Statistics. Include a photocopy of your identification cards.

If your baby was not born at UI Hospitals & Clinics, or if you complete this locally, we can send it for you or you can sendit to: Bureau of Vital Records, Iowa Department of Health, 321 E. 12th Street, Lucas Bldg 1st floor, Des Moines, IA 50319-0075. Include a photocopy of your identification cards.