NCCUSL Adopts Revised Uniform Parentage Act
- Information About:
- State/Local Child Support Agencies
- Case Management, Paternity Establishment
- Policy, Dear Colleague Letters (DCL)
DATE: AUG 25, 2000
TO: ALL IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: NCCUSL Adopts Revised Uniform Parentage Act
On August 3, 2000, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) unanimously approved the revised Uniform Parentage Act (UPA). The revised UPA will undergo one more rigorous grammar and style analysis, but no substantive changes will be made to it. NCCUSL is drafting final commentary for the revised UPA this Fall, and the act will then be presented to the American Bar Association House of Delegates for approval in January, 2001.
NCCUSL opened its meetings to representatives from OCSE, the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA), and the Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Enforcement Association (ERICSA), to ensure that the views of the child support community were represented in its discussions. ERICSA passed a resolution May 25, 2000 (attached) supporting the revised UPA. NCSEA has commended NCCUSL for the clear rules the revised UPA sets forth regarding ordering genetic tests, providing for their admissibility, and determining the weight to be given the results of those tests.
NCCUSL approved an earlier version of the UPA in 1973 that 19 States have adopted in full. Many other States have adopted portions of the original UPA. The original UPA set forth rules regarding presumption of parentage, avoided the term "illegitimate" and declared equality for parents and children regardless of the marital status of the parents. NCCUSL decided to revise UPA because in the years since the passage of the original version, genetic testing has made monumental advances, State law became divided on the binding effect of paternity judgments on the ability of others seeking to challenge such decisions, and because the original UPA did not address the relationship of parentage and divorce.
The revised UPA incorporates provisions of the Uniform Putative and Unknown Fathers Act (1988), and the Uniform Status of Children of Assisted Conception Act. Article 3 tracks Federal paternity establishment requirements. The revised UPA applies UIFSA choice of law rules (see section 103), and, consistent with UIFSA, precludes a parentage action from being joined with a UIFSA proceeding (see section 610). The revised UPA requires disclosure of the existence of a presumed, adjudicated or acknowledged father, and the failure to do so renders the acknowledgment void (see section 302). The revised UPA does not attempt to cover issues concerning assisted reproduction or issues of custody or visitation.
Thank you for your continued support and cooperation as we work to improve the lives of our nation’s children.
David Gray Ross
Office of Child Support Enforcement
ERICSA Resolution of May 25, 2000 Supporting the Revised UPA