Paternity in California
Basic Questions are Answered about Establishing Paternity in California.
How Do I Establish Paternity?One way an unmarried mother and father of a child can legally establish parentage of a child is through a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity. A Voluntary Declaration of Paternity is a form through which both parents confirm the identity of the child’s biological father. When the parents sign this form, they are consenting to a parent-child relationship between the father and the child. (Family Code §7570). The form is not effective unless both parents sign it. (Family Code §7570). Voluntary Declarations of Paternity signed and executed in another state are recognized under California law. (Family Code §7573).
Where do I get a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage Form?Since January 1, 1995, California law requires hospital staff to present a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity to an unmarried man and woman upon birth of their child. (Family Code §7572). If the form is not signed at the hospital, it is made available at prenatal care clinics, county registrar or welfare offices, childcare facilities, the Department of Child Support Services and other governmental health agencies. (Family Code §7571).