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    PATERNITY ESTABLISHMENT

    Paternity establishment refers to the legal determination of being named as a child's father. The paternity establishment process is available at any time before the child attains 23 years of age. Paternity can be determined even if the other parent lives in another state or even in a foreign country.  
     
    • The voluntary acknowledgment process refers to completion of a form known as an "Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit." You can complete this at the hospital when your child is born, before both parents leave the hospital. It can also be completed at your county's CSEA or your local Vital Statistics Registrar.
    • If a case is contested or if there is some doubt as to the parentage of the child, either parent may request that the CSEA conduct genetic testing to determine the father of the child. The CSEA will then order all parties to submit to genetic testing and will issue an administrative paternity order based on the outcome of the genetic test. For a paternity order to be established, the test must show at least a 99% probability of fatherhood.
    • If either party fails to submit to the test or fails to submit the child for genetic testing, the CSEA may request the court to find the party in contempt and determine the issue of paternity.
     
    If you want to have Paternity established for your child/ren, contact the Montgomery County CSEA and set up an appointment with a Hearing Officer who will assist you through the process.