Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 63.2. Welfare (Social Services)
Chapter 19. Child Support Enforcement

§ 63.2-1913. Administrative establishment of paternity.

The Department may establish the parent and child relationship between a child and a man upon request, verified by oath or affirmation, filed by a child, a parent, a person claiming parentage, a person standing in loco parentis to the child or having legal custody of the child, or a representative of the Department or the Department of Juvenile Justice. The request may be filed at any time before the child attains the age of eighteen years.

Pursuant to subsection F of § 63.2-1903, the Department may summons a parent or putative parent to appear in the office of the Division of Child Support Enforcement to provide such information as may be necessary to the proceeding.

Paternity may be established by a written statement of the father and mother made under oath acknowledging paternity or scientifically reliable genetic tests, including blood tests, which affirm at least a ninety-eight percent probability of paternity. The Department may order genetic testing and shall pay the costs of such tests, subject to recoupment from the father, if paternity is established. Where an original test is contested and additional testing is requested, the Department may require advance payment by the contestant.

Before a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is accepted by the Department as the basis for establishing paternity, the Department shall provide to both the mother and the putative father a written and oral description of the rights and responsibilities of acknowledging paternity and the consequences that arise from a signed acknowledgment, including the right to rescind the acknowledgment within the earlier of (i) sixty days from the date of signing or (ii) the date of entry of an order in an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child in which the signatory is a party.

A genetic test result affirming at least a ninety-eight percent probability of paternity shall have the same legal effect as a judgment entered pursuant to § 20-49.8. When sixty days have elapsed from its signing, a voluntary statement acknowledging paternity shall have the same legal effect as a judgment entered pursuant to § 20-49.8 and shall be binding and conclusive unless, in a subsequent judicial proceeding, the person challenging the statement establishes that the statement resulted from fraud, duress or a material mistake of fact. In any subsequent proceeding in which a statement acknowledging paternity is subject to challenge, the legal responsibilities of any person signing it shall not be suspended during the pendency of the proceeding, except for good cause shown.

The order of the Department in proceedings pursuant to this section shall be served upon the putative father in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 8 (§ 8.01-285 et seq.) or Chapter 9 (§ 8.01-328 et seq.) of Title 8.01. The Department shall file a copy of its order determining paternity, including the information required by subsection D of § 20-49.8, with the State Registrar of Vital Records within thirty days after the acknowledgment becomes binding and conclusive or the order otherwise becomes final. No judicial or administrative proceeding shall be required to ratify an unchallenged acknowledgment of paternity nor shall the Department or the courts have any jurisdiction over proceedings to ratify an unchallenged acknowledgment.

1997, cc. 792, 896, § 63.1-250.1:2; 2002, c. 747; 2023, cc. 570, 571.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.