45 CFR 303.5 - Establishment of paternity.
(a) For all cases referred to the IV-D agency or applying for services under § 302.33 of this chapter in which paternity has not been established, the IV-D agency must, as appropriate:
(1) Provide an alleged father the opportunity to voluntarily acknowledge paternity in accordance with § 302.70(a)(5)(iii); and
(2) Attempt to establish paternity by legal process established under State law.
(b) The IV-D agency need not attempt to establish paternity in any case involving incest or forcible rape, or in any case in which legal proceedings for adoption are pending, if, in the opinion of the IV-D agency, it would not be in the best interests of the child to establish paternity.
(c) The IV-D agency must identify and use through competitive procurement laboratories which perform, at reasonable cost, legally and medically acceptable genetic tests which tend to identify the father or exclude the alleged father. The IV-D agency must make available a list of such laboratories to appropriate courts and law enforcement officials, and to the public upon request.
(1) Upon request of any party in a contested paternity case in accordance with section 466(a)(5)(B) of the Act, and subject to the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section, the IV-D agency shall require all parties to submit to genetic tests unless, in the case of an individual receiving aid under the State's title IV-A, IV-E or XIX plan, or those recipients of the food stamp program, as defined under section 3(h) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 who are required to cooperate with the child support program, there has been a determination of good cause for refusal to cooperate under section 454(29) of the Act.
(2) A contested paternity case is any action in which the issue of paternity may be raised under State law and one party denies paternity.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (e)(3) of this section, the IV-D agency may charge any individual who is not a recipient of aid under the State's title IV-A or XIX plan a reasonable fee for performing genetic tests.
(2) Any fee charged must be reasonable so as not to discourage those in need of paternity establishment services from seeking them and may not exceed the actual costs of the genetic tests.
(3) If paternity is established and genetic tests were ordered by the IV-D agency, the IV-D agency must pay the costs of such tests, subject to recoupment (if the agency elects) from the alleged father who denied paternity. If a party contests the results of an original test, the IV-D agency shall obtain additional tests but shall require the contestant to pay for the costs of any such additional testing in advance.
(4) The IV-D agency must use any amount collected under paragraphs (e) (1) and (3) of this section that exceeds the costs of performing genetic tests to reimburse any fee paid under paragraph (e)(1) of this chapter.
(f) The IV-D agency must seek entry of a default order by the court or administrative authority in a paternity case by showing that process has been served on the defendant in accordance with State law, that the defendant has failed to respond to service in accordance with State procedures, and any additional showing required by State law, in accordance with § 302.70(a)(5)(viii).
(g) Voluntary paternity establishment programs.
(1) The State must establish, in cooperation with hospitals, State birth record agencies, and other entities designated by the State and participating in the State's voluntary paternity establishment program, a program for voluntary paternity establishment services.
(i) The hospital-based portion of the voluntary paternity establishment services program must be operational in all private and public birthing hospitals statewide and must provide voluntary paternity establishment services focusing on the period immediately before and after the birth of a child born out-of-wedlock.
(ii) The voluntary paternity establishment services program must also be available at the State birth record agencies, and at other entities designated by the State and participating in the State's voluntary paternity establishment program. These entities may include the following types of entities:
(A) Public health clinics (including Supplementary Feeding Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Maternal and Child Health (MCH) clinics), and private health care providers (including obstetricians, gynecologists, pediatricians, and midwives);
(B) Agencies providing assistance or services under Title IV-A of the Act, agencies providing food stamp eligibility service, and agencies providing child support enforcement (IV-D) services;
(C) Head Start and child care agencies (including child care information and referral providers), and individual child care providers;
(D) Community Action Agencies and Community Action Programs;
(E) Secondary education schools (particularly those that have parenthood education curricula);
(F) Legal Aid agencies, and private attorneys; and
(G) Any similar public or private health, welfare or social services organization.
(2) The hospitals, State birth record agencies, and other entities designated by the State and participating in the State's voluntary paternity establishment program must, at a minimum:
(i) Provide to both the mother and alleged father:
(A) Written materials about paternity establishment,
(B) The forms necessary to voluntarily acknowledge paternity,
(C) Notice, orally or through video or audio equipment, and in writing, of the alternatives to, the legal consequences of, and the rights (including any rights, if a parent is a minor, due to minority status) and responsibilities or acknowledging paternity, and
(D) The opportunity to speak with staff, either by telephone or in person, who are trained to clarify information and answer questions about paternity establishment;
(ii) Provide the mother and alleged father the opportunity to voluntarily acknowledge paternity;
(iii) Afford due process safeguards; and
(iv) File signed original of voluntary acknowledgments or adjudications of paternity with the State registry of birth records (or a copy if the signed original is filed with another designated entity) for comparison with information in the State case registry.
(3) The hospitals, State birth record agencies, and other entities designated by the State and participating in the State's voluntary paternity establishment program need not provide services specified in paragraph (g)(2) of this section in cases where the mother or alleged father is a minor or a legal action is already pending, if the provision of such services is precluded by State law.
(4) The State must require that a voluntary acknowledgment be signed by both parents, and that the parents' signatures be authenticated by a notary or witness(es).
(5) The State must provide to all hospitals, State birth record agencies, and other entities designated by the State and participating in the State's voluntary paternity establishment program:
(i) Written materials about paternity establishment,
(ii) Form necessary to voluntarily acknowledge paternity, and
(iii) Copies of a written description of the alternatives to, the legal consequences of, and the rights (including any rights, if a parent is a minor, due to minority status) and responsibilities of acknowledging paternity.
(6) The State must provide training, guidance, and written instructions regarding voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, as necessary to operate the voluntary paternity establishment services in the hospitals, State birth record agencies, and other entities designated by the State and participating in the State's voluntary paternity establishment program.
(7) The State must assess each hospital, State birth record agency, local birth record agency designated by the State, and other entity participating in the State's voluntary paternity establishment program that are providing voluntary paternity establishment services on at least an annual basis.
(8) Hospitals, State birth record agencies, and other entities designated by the State and participating in the State's voluntary paternity establishment program must forward completed voluntary acknowledgments or copies to the entity designated by the State. If any entity other than the State registry of birth records is designated by the State, a copy must be filed with the State registry of birth records, in accordance with § 303.5(g)(2)(iv). Under State procedures, the designated entity must be responsible for promptly recording identifying information about the acknowledgments with a statewide database, and the IV-D agency must have timely access to whatever identifying information and documentation it needs to determine in accordance with § 303.5(h) if an acknowledgment has been recorded and to seek a support order on the basis of a recorded acknowledgment in accordance with § 303.4(f).
(h) In IV-D cases needing paternity establishment, the IV-D agency must determine if identifying information about a voluntary acknowledgment has been recorded in the statewide database in accordance with § 303.5(g)(8).