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Administrative Determination of Paternity

IM-93-06

Published: November 4, 1993
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Case Management, Paternity Establishment
Types:
Policy, Information Memorandums (IM)
Tags:
Administrative/Judicial Processes

Administrative Determination of Paternity

November 4, 1993

INFORMATION MEMORANDUM

OCSE IM-93-06

TO:ALL STATE AGENCIES ADMINISTERING CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PLANS APPROVED UNDER TITLE IV-D OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT AND OTHER INTERESTED INDIVIDUALS.

SUBJECT:ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION OF PATERNITY

BACKGROUND:The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 extends the requirement for expedited processes to the establishment of paternity. At State option, the expedited paternity process may be implemented under the State judicial system or under State administrative processes. For your information, we have attached a brief description of the processes currently available in various States and the name and telephone number of a contact person who can provide additional details.

ATTACHMENT:Overview of 5 States' administrative processes for establishing paternity

INQUIRIES:ACF Regional Administrators

Robert C. Harris

Acting Deputy Director

Office of Child Support

Enforcement

COLORADO

Colorado's administrative paternity establishment statute, effective August 1, 1992, provides that the County Child Support Enforcement offices may issue an order establishing paternity of, and financial responsibility for, a child in the course of a support proceeding. This process is available in all public assistance and non-public assistance cases, including responding interstate cases, when both parents sign sworn statements that the paternity of the child for whom support is sought has not been legally established, that the parents are the natural parents of the child, and if neither parent is contesting the issue of paternity.

NOTICE OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Within 45 days of the date that the alleged father's location is verified, the CSE worker generally schedules a negotiation conference and issues The Notice of Financial Responsibility (NFR) to alleged fathers in cases in which there is a signed Mother's Parentage Advisement and Admission and a Verified Affidavit of Obligee. The NFR is served by certified mail or any other method of personal service at least 10 days prior to the scheduled conference.

Administrative process is not used and an NFR is not issued for cases in which:

  • a prior judicial paternity and support order exists for the first child and the same parties have a second child needing paternity established;
  • long-arm paternity criteria are met;
  • the alleged father will be incarcerated for one year or longer;
  • either the mother or alleged father is a minor; or
  • the mother claims there is more than one alleged father.

RESPONSES TO NOTICE

Once the alleged father is served, he may take one of the following courses of action.

Continuance - The CSE worker grants a continuance if the alleged father calls or appears at the CSE unit prior to the negotiation conference and requests a continuance. The CSE worker continues the conference once upon request, not to exceed 10 days from theoriginally scheduled date unless there is good cause for additional or longer continuances.

Failure to Appear - If the alleged father fails to appear for the scheduled negotiation conference, the CSE worker refers the case to court for a hearing.

Agreement Reached - If the alleged father admits paternity and signs the Father's Paternity Advisement and Admission, the CSE worker will attempt to negotiate a support order for the guideline calculation amount. If agreement is reached, the alleged father signs the completed Order Establishing Paternity and Financial Responsibility which the CSE worker files in district court along with other appropriate documents.

Agreement Not Reached - If the alleged father admits paternity, but is not willing to pay the guideline calculation amount and wants the court to review the case, the CSE worker establishes a temporary order for child support and/or debt and then refers the case to court.

Contest - If the alleged father contests paternity, the CSE worker issues an Order for Blood Testing and schedules another negotiation conference to occur after the genetic test results are expected to be received. If the alleged father does not agree to genetic testing, the CSE worker refers the case for court hearing.

GENETIC TESTING AND DEFAULTS

The CSE worker enters a Default Order Establishing Paternity and Support if the alleged father fails to appear for a scheduled blood test without good cause or the results of a blood test indicate a 97% or greater probability that he is the father of the child, and he failed to appear for a scheduled negotiation conference, and failed to timely reschedule the conference.

FILING ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS

The CSE worker files a copy of the Order Establishing Paternity and Financial Responsibility and the sworn statements of the parents and, in the case of a Default Order Establishing Paternity and Financial Responsibility, the Verified Affidavit of Obligee, and the blood test results, if any, with the clerk of the district court in the county in which the NFR is issued. The Order Establishing Paternity and Financial Responsibility has all the force, effect, and remedies of an order of the district court, including, but not limited to, wage assignment or contempt of court. Execution may be issued on the order in the same manner and with the same effect as if it were an order of thecourt. If the order establishing paternity is at variance with the child's birth certificate, the court shall order that a new birth certificate be issued.

For additional information, please contact Donna Crow at (303) 866-5986.

IOWA

On May 4, 1993, Iowa's legislature enacted Senate Bill 350 adding new Section 252F to the Iowa Code authorizing, but not requiring, the administrative determination of paternity. The new law, effective July 1, 1993, governs cases in which paternity is at issue, meaning any of the following conditions: a child was not born or conceived within marriage; a child was born or conceived within marriage but a court has declared that the child is not the issue of the marriage; or paternity has been established by the filing of an affidavit of paternity and the father is contesting paternity within the three year statute of limitations period. Iowa is currently developing the necessary rules, procedures and forms and plans to implement the provisions of the new law in 1994.

In any case in which child support recovery is at issue, proceedings may be initiated by the Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU) for the sole purpose of establishing paternity and any accrued or accruing child support or medical support obligations. Such proceedings are in addition to other means of establishing paternity or support. Issues in addition to establishment of paternity or support obligations shall not be addressed in such proceedings.

NOTICE OF ALLEGED PATERNITY AND SUPPORT DEBT

The CSRU may prepare a notice of alleged paternity and support debt to be served on the alleged father if the mother of the child provides a statement to the CSRU verifying that the alleged father is or may be the biological father of the child or children involved. The notice shall be accompanied by a copy of the mother's statement and served on the alleged father.

The notice shall include:

The name of the recipient of services and the name and birth date of the child or children involved;

A statement that the alleged father has been named as the biological father of the child or children named;

A statement that the amount of the alleged father's monthly support obligation and the amount of the support debt accrued and accruing will be established in accordance with State guidelines;

A statement that the alleged father has a duty to provide accrued and accruing medical support to the child or children;

An explanation of the procedures for determining the child support obligation and a request for financial or income information as necessary for application of the child support guidelines;

The right of the alleged father to request a conference with the CSRU to discuss paternity establishment and the amount of support that the alleged father is required to pay, within ten days of the date of service or within ten days of the date of mailing of the paternity test results to the alleged father if the father denies paternity;

A statement that if a conference is requested the alleged father shall have ten days from the date set for the conference or twenty days from the date of service of the original notice, or ten days from the date of the mailing of paternity test results to the alleged father if the alleged father no longer denies paternity, whichever is later, to send a written request for a hearing on the issue of support to the CSRU;

A statement that after the conference is held, the administrator may issue a new notice and finding of financial responsibility for child support or medical support, or both, to be sent to the alleged father by regular mail addressed to the alleged father's last known address;

A statement that if the administration issues a new notice and finding of financial responsibility for child support or medical support, or both, the alleged father has ten days from the date of issuance of the new notice or twenty days from the date of service of the original notice, or ten days from the date of the mailing of paternity test results to the alleged father if the alleged father no longer denies paternity, whichever is later, to send a written request for a hearing on the issue of support to the CSRU;

A statement that if a conference is not requested, and the alleged father objects to the finding of financial responsibility or the amount of child support or medicalsupport, or both, the alleged father must, within twenty days of the date of service or within ten days from the date of the mailing of paternity test results to the alleged father if the alleged father no longer denies paternity, whichever is later, to send a written request for a hearing on the issue of support to the CSRU.

A statement that if a timely written request for a hearing on the issue of support is received by the CSRU, the alleged father has the right to a hearing to be held in district court and that if no timely written request is received and paternity is not denied, the administrator may enter an order in accordance with the notice and finding of financial responsibility for child support or medical support, or both.

A statement of the rights and responsibilities associated with the establishment of paternity;

A statement of the alleged father's right to deny paternity, the procedures for denying paternity, and the consequences of the denial.

RESPONSES TO NOTICE

The alleged father may react to the notice in one of the following ways.

Conference - If the alleged father appears at a conference and admits he is the father, agrees to the terms of the order, and waives his rights to time frames, the CSRU will enter an Administrative Order. If the alleged father appears for a conference and denies paternity, the CSRU will enter an order for genetic tests. If the alleged father appears for a conference and reaches no decision to admit or deny, the time frames on the original notice stand.

Default - If the alleged father fails to respond to the initial notice within 20 days after the date of service of the notice, or fails to appear at the conference on the scheduled date of the conference, the CSRU may enter an order declaring the alleged father to be the biological father and assessing the support obligation and accrued and accruing child support pursuant to State guidelines and medical support against thefather.

Denial - If the alleged father submits a written denial of paternity to the CSRU within 20 days of the service of notice, the administrator shall enter an ex parte administrative order requiring paternity testing. The order shall be filed with the clerk of the district court in the county where the notice was filed.

GENETIC TESTING RESULTS

If the expert concludes that the test results show that the alleged father is not excluded and that the probability of the alleged father's paternity is 95 percent or higher, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the alleged father is the biological father, and the evidence shall be sufficient as a basis for administrative establishment of paternity. If the alleged father fails to timely challenge the results, the administrator may enter an order against the alleged father declaring him to be the biological father of the child and assessing the support obligation and accrued and accruing child support pursuant to guidelines and medical support against the father. The administrator shall establish a support obligation based upon the best information available to the CSRU.

If the test results indicate a probability of paternity of 95 percent or greater and the alleged father wishes to challenge the presumption of paternity, the alleged father shall file a written notice of the challenge with the district court and an application for a hearing by the district court within 20 days of the filing of the expert's report with the clerk of the district court or within 10 days after the scheduled date of the conference, whichever occurs later.

If the test results indicate that the alleged father is not excluded and that the probability of the alleged father's paternity is less than 95 percent, test results shall be weighed along with other evidence of paternity.

If the paternity test results exclude the alleged father as a potential biological father of the child, and additional tests are not requested by either party, the CSRU shall withdraw its action against the alleged father and file a notice of the withdrawal with the clerk of the district court.

If the alleged father fails to appear for a paternity test and fails to request a rescheduling or fails to appear for both the initial and the rescheduled paternity tests, the administrator may enter an order against the alleged father declaring the alleged father to be the biological father of the child and assessing the support obligation and accrued and accruing child support pursuant to the guidelines and medical support against the father. (The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 requires States to have laws requiring, not simply allowing, that default orders be entered under certain conditions.)

CERTIFICATION TO DISTRICT COURT

Actions initiated under the administrative paternity process are not subject to further administrative review. An action may be certified to the district court if a party challenges the administrator's finding of paternity, or the amount of support, or both. Review by the district court shall be an original hearing before the court.

In any action under the administrative process, the action shall not be certified to the district court in a contested paternity action unless all of the following have occurred:

Paternity testing has been completed

The results of the paternity test have beensent to the alleged father

A written objection to the entry of an order has been received from the alleged father

A matter shall be certified to the district court in the county in which the notice was filed. The court shall set the matter for hearing and notify the parties of the time of and place for hearing. If the court determines that the alleged father is the biological father, the court shall establish the amount of the monthly support payment and the accrued and accruing child support pursuant to the guidelines and shall establish medical support. If a party fails to appear at the hearing, upon a showing that proper notice has been provided to the party, the court may find the party in default and enter an appropriate order. (The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 requires States to have laws requiring, not simply allowing, that default orders be entered under certain conditions.)

FILING WITH THE DISTRICT COURT

Following issuance of an order by the administrator, the order shall be presented to an appropriate district court judge for review and approval. Unless a defect appears on the face of the order, the district court shall approve the order. Upon approval by the district court judge, the order shall be filed in the district court in the county in which the notice was filed. Upon filing, the order has the same force and effect as a district court order.

For additional information, please contact Robert Krebs at (515) 242-6097.

MONTANA

Montana enacted its administrative paternity process legislation in 1989 to streamline child support enforcement case processing that was typically difficult and time-consuming. The major stumbling block imposed in contested cases by the judicial process was the requirement that absolute probable cause be established in the district court before a genetic testing order could be granted. With the extensive evidentiary requirements, the many delays available to an uncooperative alleged father, and the heavy backlogs in many Montana courts, most contested cases waited more than a year for progress.

JURISDICTION AND NOTICE

Under the 1989 revisions, codified at Montana Code Annotated õõ40-5-231-40-5-237, personal jurisdiction is established in the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (DSRS) over any person who has had sexual intercourse in Montana that has resulted in the birth of a child who is the subject of a paternity proceeding. Personal jurisdiction may be acquired either by personal service or by service of notice by certified mail. If the child or either parent resides in Montana, any hearing may be held in the county where the child resides, either parent resides, or the DSRS or any of its regional offices is located. The alleged father may be served an Administrative Notice of Paternity Determination based upon the sworn statement of the mother or evidence of a presumption under State law or any other reasonable cause to believe the alleged father is the child's natural father.

RESPONSES TO NOTICE

After service of the administrative notice, the alleged father has three alternatives courses of action.

Default - If the alleged father fails to respond to the notice, such default is taken as an admission of paternity and an administrative order is rendered by the administrative hearing officer. The order takes effect within 10 days unless good cause for failure to appear is alleged. Upon timely request, and for good cause shown, a default judgment can be set aside. Default judgments are not taken in cases involving multiple alleged fathers, unless all other alleged fathers have been excluded by genetic blood testing.

Acknowledgment - Based on a written acknowledgment of paternity from an adult or minor alleged father, the administrative hearing officer enters an order establishing paternity.

Denial - If the alleged father denies paternity in response to the notice, an administrative hearing is scheduled. During the hearing, which is usually conducted by telephone, the hearing officer determines if a reasonable probability exists that the alleged father had sexual intercourse with the mother during the probable period of conception or if any legal presumption of paternity exists under the circumstances of the particular case. If so, an administrative subpoena is issued ordering genetic testing. The Child Support Enforcement (CSE) agency can apply to the district court, if necessary, to have its order enforced. If the alleged father fails to appear for blood tests, the default is taken in the same fashion as if he had not made timely response to the initial service.

GENETIC TESTING RESULTS

If the results of the genetic tests reflect a 95 percent or higher probability that the alleged father is the natural father of the child, a rebuttable presumption of paternity is created. With the consent of the newly presumed father, the hearing officer may enter an order establishing paternity. If the probability of paternity is less than 95 percent, but the alleged father is not excluded by the tests, the test results are weighed along with other evidence of paternity.

Appeal of final administrative orders may be made on the father's initiative to the district court. However, if the results of genetic testing do not exclude the alleged father but he continues to deny paternity prior to the entry of an administrative order, he is served written notice and the case is referred by the CSE agency to the district court.

Once the matter is referred to district court, expert testimony on the genetic testing in the form of a certified report is admissible without further testimony, as is an affidavit documenting the chain of custody of the blood specimens. Genetic exclusion is considered conclusive evidence of non-paternity, and no evidence is admissible concerning sexual intercourse of the mother with any man already excluded by the genetic testing.

If an alleged father objects to the procedures for or the results of a paternity blood test, he must file a written objection with the court within 20 days after the service of the notice of the referral to the district court of the administrative determination. (The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 requires States to have laws under which objections to genetic test results must be made in writing within a specified number of days prior to the hearing, not a specified number of days after notice.) The court must order an additional blood test if awritten objection is filed or at the request of the CSE agency. An additional test must be performed by the same or another expert who is qualified in paternity blood testing. Failure of the alleged father to make a timely challenge is considered a waiver of any defense to the test results or test procedures, including the chain of custody. In any hearing before the court or at trial, testimony relating to sexual intercourse of the mother with any person who has been excluded from consideration as a possible father of the child involved by the results of a paternity blood test is inadmissible in evidence. When a paternity blood test excludes an alleged father from possible paternity, the test is conclusive evidence of nonpaternity of the alleged father for all purposes in district court.

The CSE agency appears in the court proceeding only with regard to the issue of paternity. No other issue--custody, visitation, or other--may be joined. Since Montana's law creates a rebuttable presumption that it is in the child's best interest to legally establish paternity, the court may not normally appoint a guardian ad litem. Furthermore, neither the mother nor the child are necessary parties to the action although they may testify as witnesses. The CSE agency is not liable for attorney fees, including those for indigent alleged fathers, or for the cost of a guardian ad litem unless frivolousness or bad faith is proven.

FILING ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS

An administrative order of the DSRS declaring the paternity of a child, docketed with the court, establishes the legal existence of the parent and child relationship for all purposes and confers or imposes all parental rights, privileges, duties, and obligations. Upon request of the mother or father of the child, DSRS must file a copy of its order with the department of health and environmental sciences, which must prepare a substitute certificate of birth, if necessary, consistent with the administrative order.

SETTING ASIDE ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS

Except for an order based on a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, the DSRS may set aside an administrative order establishing the paternity of a child upon application of any affected party and upon a showing of any of the grounds and within the timeframes provided in Rule 60(b) of the Montana Rules of Civil Procedure. This rule specifies that the court may relieve a party or his legal representative from a final order, judgment, or proceeding based upon (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly-discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have ben discovered in time to move for a new trial; (3) fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged, or a prior judgment upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that the judgment have prospective application; or (6) any other reason justifying relief. The timeframe for the first three bases is 60 days from the entry of the judgment.

For additional information, please contact Gwendolyn Kloeber at (406) 444-4614

OHIO

As a result of legislation enacted effective July 15, 1992, Ohio has statutory authority governing the administrative determination of paternity. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that Ohio's child support enforcement program has historically been judicially-oriented, traditionally depending on the avenue of court proceedings to adjudicate actions. Administrative measures for accomplishing many functions were incorporated in Ohio's laws through passage of Senate Bill 10 in 1992.

ALLEGATION

An administrative request to determine the existence of a parent/child relationship may be brought by the child, the mother, a man alleging himself to be the child's father, any of their personal representatives, or the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) of the county in which the child resides, if the child's mother is a recipient of public assistance or is receiving IV-D services. With limited exceptions, no person may bring court action to establish paternity before requesting an administrative determination from the CSEA of the county in which the child or the guardian or legal custodian of the child resides. If more than one county agency receives a request, the agency receiving the request first must proceed with it.

HEARING NOTIFICATION

Upon receiving a request for a determination of paternity, the CSEA schedules a hearing before an administrative officer to determine whether the mother and alleged father will voluntarily sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity or agree to be bound to the results of genetic testing. After scheduling the hearing, the agency serves a notice on the mother and alleged father, in accordance with rules of civil procedure, via certified mail or in person if the parties are in the office. The hearing must be held no later than 60 days after the date on which the request was received and no earlier than 30 days after the date the CSEA provides notice of the hearing to the mother and the alleged father.

RESPONSES TO NOTICE

Once both of the parties are served, one of the following outcomes is likely to occur.

Voluntary Acknowledgement - If both the mother and the alleged father sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity, the administrative officer issues an administrative paternity order stating that the alleged father is the father of the child and that the father assumes the parental duty of support. The order includes a statement that the mother and father may object to thedetermination by bringing an action in court within 30 days of the date the administrative officer issued the determination and if neither brings an action within the 30 day period, the administrative order is final.

If an administrative officer issues an administrative paternity order or if an Acknowledgment of Paternity is filed in Probate Court and one of the parents named on the Acknowledgement requests an administrative order for support, the administrative officer schedules a separate hearing no later than 60 days after the issuance of the paternity order and no earlier than 30 days after the date the agency provides notice of the support hearing to the mother and father.

No Acknowledgement - If both the mother and the alleged father attend the administrative hearing but fail to sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity, the administrative officer explains to the mother and the father that they have the right to agree to be bound by the results of genetic testing. If both parties sign a Voluntary Genetic Testing Agreement stating that they agree to be bound by the results of genetic testing performed by an examiner authorized by the Department of Human Services and that they waive any right to a jury trial, the administrative officer schedules a date and time for the testing to occur. Notice of the testing is sent to both parties by regular and ordinary mail.

If the mother and the alleged father both do not sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity or a Voluntary Genetic Testing Agreement, the CSEA denies and dismisses the request for an administrative determination of paternity and the mother and alleged father are informed that they may bring an action to determine parentage in juvenile court.

If the alleged father or the mother willfully fails to appear for the genetic testing, the agency enters an administrative order stating that it is inconclusive as to whether the alleged father is the natural father of the child and provides notice to the parties that an action may be brought through the juvenile court to establish the parent/child relationship.

No Show - If either the mother or the alleged father do not attend the administrative hearing and fail to show good cause for not appearing, the CSEA denies and dismissses the request for administrative determination of paternity and notifies both parties by ordinary mail of their right to bring a paternity action in juvenile court.

GENETIC TESTING RESULTS

Upon receipt of the genetic testing results, the CSEA administrative officer issues one of three administrative orders.

If the results show a 95 percent or greater probability that the alleged father is the natural father of the child, the administrative offcer issues an administrative paternity order stating that the alleged father is the father of the child.

If the results of the genetic testing show a less than 95 percent probability that the alleged father is the father of the child but do not exclude him, the administrative officer issues an administrative order stating that it is inconclusive whether the alleged father is the natural father of the child.

If the results show that the alleged father is excluded as the natural father of the child, the administrative officer issues an administrative order that the alleged father is not the father of the child.

ISSUING ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS

When an administrative officer issues an administrative order determining the existence or nonexistence of a parent and child relationship, the order includes a notice that both the mother and the alleged father may object to the determination by bringing, within 30 days after the date the administrative officer issued the order, an action in the juvenile court of the county in which the alleged father, the mother, the child, or the guardian or custodian of the child resides and that if neither brings an action within that 30 day period, the administrative order is final.

For additional information, please contact Ginny Weber at (614) 752-6561.

OREGON

Oregon has been operating for several years under a law which provides for an administrative system for paternity establishment. When both parents are present and agree to paternity, the steps are simple. Both can sign a joint Declaration of Paternity. The document is then filed with the Department of Vital Statistics and a modest fee is paid (either by the parents or the IV-D agency). Vital Statistics prepares the birth certificate. For situations that are not as straightforward as this, Oregon has a very effective administrative paternity establishment process which has been carefully refined over the last several years so that it now is operated almost exclusively by non-attorney staff. According to the the staff, since they prepare for very few trials, they rarely see the mothers or the fathers because the process has been effectively reduced to an organized set of very simple procedures, clearly outlined in flow charts and utilizing standard forms. The process provides multiple opportunities for consent and has built in all their required due process safeguards.

ALLEGATION

The basic law in Oregon is that to establish paternity there must be a statement from one of the parents that a certain man or men could be the father of the child. That is, either the child's mother or a man who alleges himself to be the father, must name a father for the child in question. For this reason, virtually all AFDC paternity establishment actions in Oregon are based upon the sworn statement of the child's mother that a certain man or men could be the biological father. This affidavit is completed by the child's mother at the IV-A office during the eligibility determination process. After it is signed and sworn to, it is sent to the IV-D office.

If the mother indicates that more than one man could be the father, the IV-D office initiates action first against the man who the mother believes to be the "most likely father". If she cannot identify the "most likely father", the IV-D agency will serve the alleged father upon whom it can effect personal service. In most cases, these issues are not relevant because the mother names only one possible father.

NOTICE AND FINDING

A Notice and Finding of Financial Responsibility and Proposed Order, a document analogous to a civil complaint or petition, must be served upon the alleged father personally and in person. It alleges that the named man is the father of the child, asks for relief, and sets forth the process by which paternity can be admitted or denied. It is accompanied by an order requiring thealleged father to submit to blood tests in the event that he does not admit the allegation. The IV-D agnecy will not accept an admission of paternity without blood tests in those cases in which the mother names more than one man as the possible father without being able to identify the "most likely father".

RESPONSES TO NOTICE

Once the Notice and Finding is served upon the alleged father, one of the following outcomes is likely to occur.

Default - If the alleged father does not respond to the Notice and Finding in any way, the IV-D ageny will enter an order establishing paternity.

Denial - If the alleged father returns a written denial of paternity, genetic tests (including DNA) are scheduled pursuant to the order requiring blood tests that was served with the notice. If the alleged father fails to appear for the scheduled blood draw, the IV-D agency enters an order establishing paternity.

Consent - If the alleged father admits paternity in writing, the IV-D agency enters an order establishing him as the father. The corollary issues of child support and medical insurance may also be settled by consent at this time. If no agreement is reached on these issues, the paternity order is entered and a hearing is set on the support and medical insurance obligations.

GENETIC TESTING RESULTS

Genetic testing results of at least a Cumulative Paternity Index of 99 or greater establishes a prima facie case of paternity. The results of such a test are served upon the parties giving them 30 days to object to the entry of an order establishing paternity. If neither party objects, the IV-D agency enters the order. If one of the parties objects, the matter is certified to court for trial and the determination of paternity becomes a judicial matter. After an order establishing paternity is entered, the court may remand the support issue to the IV-D agency for administrative determination.

FILING ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS

The Notice and Finding and all administrative orders are issued by the IV-D agency and signed by designated agency staff people. All administrative orders establishing paternity and support are routinely filed with the Circuit Court. A judge does not have to approve them or sign them. The clerk merely dockets them, and they thereby attain the full force and effect of a final judgment of the court.

Oregon's administrative process appears to avoid contested court actions. METS Periodic Report No. 1, OCSE-IM-92-06 indicates that Oregon reports that they are establishing approximately 440 paternities per month, of which only one is court-ordered.

For additional information, please contact Janet Eixenberger at (503) 378-4879.