When petitioning for my illegitimate son (born out of wedlock), the USCIS requested evidence to prove father-child relationship. What are acceptable “bona fide” documents that would strengthen my case?
The evidence needed to show a parent-child relationship in the case where the child was born out of wedlock, and who was not legitimated (e.g. by the parents‡ marriage, or other process for legitimation based on the local laws) before turning 18, is specified in 8 CFR 204.2(d)(2)(iii). Specifically, the part regarding a petition by the father is as follows:[…] If the petition is submitted by the purported father of a child or son or daughter born out of wedlock, the father must show that he is the natural father and that a bona fide parent-child relationship was established when the child or son or daughter was unmarried and under twenty-one years of age. Such a relationship will be deemed to exist or to have existed where the father demonstrates or has demonstrated an active concern for the child's support, instruction, and general welfare. Primary evidence to establish that the petitioner is the child's natural father is the beneficiary's birth certificate, issued by civil authorities and showing the father's name. If the father's name has been legally changed, evidence of the name change must accompany the petition. Evidence of a parent/child relationship should establish more than merely a biological relationship. Emotional and/or financial ties or a genuine concern and interest by the father for the child's support, instruction, and general welfare must be shown. There should be evidence that the father and child actually lived together or that the father held the child out as being his own, that he provided for some or all of the child's needs, or that in general the father's behavior evidenced a genuine concern for the child. The most persuasive evidence for establishing a bona fide parent/child relationship and financial responsibility by the father is documentary evidence which was contemporaneous with the events in question. Such evidence may include, but is not limited to: money order receipts or cancelled checks showing the father's financial support of the beneficiary, the father's income tax returns, the father's medical or insurance records which include the beneficiary as a dependent, school records for the beneficiary, correspondence between the parties, or notarized affidavits of friends, neighbors, school officials, or other associates knowledgeable about the relationship.