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Michigan law is instructive. The Acknowledgment of Parentage Act, MCL 722.1001 et seq., provides a voluntary means for both parents, acting together, to establish paternity of a child born out of wedlock. An AOP is 'valid and effective' when the unwed parents complete the form, sign it, and have their signatures notarized. A validly executed AOP establishes paternity and may provide the 'basis for court ordered child support, custody, or parenting time without further adjudication under the paternity act....' The act further provides that the AOP is to be filed with the State Registrar and kept 'in a parentage registry in the office of the state registrar.' 


The Acknowledgment of Parentage Act further provides that when an AOP is executed, 'initial custody' is granted to the mother:  After a mother and father sign an acknowledgment of parentage, the mother has initial custody of the minor child, without prejudice to the determination of either parent's custodial rights, until otherwise determined by the court or otherwise agreed upon by the parties in writing and acknowledged by the court. This grant of initial custody to the mother shall not, by itself, affect the rights of either parent in ...

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