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Child Support -
Establish Paternity For Your Child's Sake

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What is paternity?
Paternity means fatherhood. Establishing paternity means legally naming a father for your child. When a child is born to parents who are married to each other, the mother's husband is assumed to be the father of the child, and paternity is automatically established.

If a baby is born to parents who are not married to each other, paternity is not established automatically. You must have paternity established.

Why is establishing paternity important?
Paternity gives your child:
1. A sense of identity and belonging.
2. Increased likelihood to know about diseases or disorders that exist in the father's family.
3. Entitlement to the father's financial and economic benefits, such as child support, health insurance, social security, pensions and veterans benefits.
4. The right to inherit from the father in the event of his death.
5. Establishing paternity is a must, in order to get a child support order.

How and where can paternity be established?
Paternity can be established by working with your local child support agency in one of three ways. These include by an Administrative Order based on genetic test results, or by a Court Order, or by a Paternity Acknowledgment signed by the appropriate parties.

What is a paternity acknowledgement?
A paternity acknowledgment is a form created by Ohio to allow parents to acknowledge paternity of a child. The form asks for information regarding the mother, the father, and the child. The form must be filled out completely and correctly, signed by both parents, notarized, and sent to the Central Paternity Registry within 10 days from the time of the last notarized signature. The Central Paternity Registry will not accept a copy of the form, but rather requires the original form be sent in.

Can a paternity acknowledgement be completed in the hospital at the time of the child's birth?
Yes. When the child is born, the hospital should speak with you regarding this form. If both parents are willing to sign and paternity is not an issue, the hospital should assist you in completing and forwarding this form to the Central Paternity Registry free of charge. The hospital will not be able to assist you if more than one person is alleged or presumed to be the father or if both parents are not willing to sign the document. If the Paternity Acknowledgment is not completed, the father's name will not appear on the birth certificate.

After a party signs the paternity acknowledgement, can they change their mind?
Either parent may rescind the acknowledgment no later than 60 days after the date of the latest signature by doing both of the following: requesting an administrative parentage determination from the CSEA in which the child, guardian or legal custodian of the child resides and delivering a written notice to the Ohio Department of Human Services, Division of Child Support, Central Paternity Registry that includes the name of the child, the name of the county CSEA, and the date the administrative parentage request was made to the county CSEA. Both persons who sign the Affidavit waive any right to bring a court or administrative action to determine the parentage of the child other than for purposes of rescinding the Affidavit. After the 60-day period, the only way for either parent to rescind this Affidavit is to bring a court action to rescind within one year after it has become final. WHAT IS GENETIC TESTING? Genetic testing will be conducted on all parties involved, by using a buccal swab to collect DNA samples from the inside of the mouth. The samples will then be sent to a laboratory to be analyzed. Test results are usually back within 2-3 weeks. The results will be mailed to all parties involved. Results must be 99% or greater to determine the father.

What is genetic testing?
Genetic testing will be conducted on all parties involved, by using a buccal swab to collect DNA samples from the inside of the mouth. The samples will then be sent to a laboratory to be analyzed. Test results are usually back within 2-3 weeks. The results will be mailed to all parties involved. Results must be 99% or greater to determine the father.

What should I bring to the genetic testing appointment?
You must bring a photo I. D. of each adult being tested. Children must be present for testing to be conducted but not all parties must appear at the same time.

What are the costs for genetic testing?
Huron County CSEA does not charge for genetic testing. However, a court may order a party to be responsible for the cost of genetic testing.

What if I am not sure who the father is?
If you are unsure who the father of the child is, DO NOT sign the acknowledgement at the hospital. This is when genetic testing should be done. Contact your local child support agency to inquire about genetic testing. The CSEA will attempt to notify all presumed and/or alleged fathers to schedule genetic testing along with the mother and child.

What should I do if I completed the paternity affidavit but now think that I am not the father?
You need to contact the CSEA in the county where the mom resides to sign a recission document as long as it has been 60 days or less since the affidavit was signed. After 60 days you must contact a private attorney.

Can paternity be established if the alleged father lives in another state, is incarcerated, or just doesn't appear for the testing?
Yes, paternity can be established in these situations. The agency will initiate the appropriate court action for paternity.

What if I don't know where the father of my child is?
Huron County Child Support can assist you in attempting to find the father so paternity can be established, or to get a child support order established.

How long after a child is born can paternity be established?
Paternity may be established from birth until 23 years of age.

Can the CSEA help me with visitation, custody, or tax exemption status?
No, the agency cannot become involved in visitation, custody or tax exemption issues. You should contact a private attorney to handle these situations.

Huron County Department of Job and Family Services
185 Shady Lane Drive - Norwalk, Ohio 44857
419-668-8126 - 1-800-668-5175
Fax: 419-668-4738

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