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Why and How to Establish Paternity


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How Can You Establish Paternity Without the Birth Father's Cooperation?

If the alleged father of your child does not voluntarily acknowledge your child as his own, and you wish to formally establish paternity, you should contact your local Office of Child Support Enforcement.

The process for establishing paternity in IV-D cases includes:
  1. Meeting with the mother to discuss the process for establishing paternity.

  2. Having the mother sign an affidavit indicating the identity of the alleged father.

  3. Locating the alleged father. This is done using resources provided by various governmental agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the Department of Defense (DOD).

  4. Contacting the alleged father and give him a chance to voluntarily acknowledge paternity.

  5. Requesting that all parties - the alleged father, as well as the mother and child - submit to genetic testing. (Note that if the alleged father does not submit to genetic testing, he may be determined to be the child's father by default.)

  6. Informing the alleged father of the paternity results.

  7. If test results indicate that the alleged father is the biological father the child, and he does not contest the results, those results will then be recognized as a conclusive determination of paternity after 60 days.

Paternity Establishment. Office of Child Support Enforcement. 8 July 2007 [http://ocse.acf.hhs.gov/necsrspub/training/paternity/HHSPE.htm].

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