Paternity Establishment is the legal determination of fatherhood. Paternity establishment is important for many reasons, including legal rights and privileges. It can provide emotional, social, and economic ties between the father and child. The child may gain access to medical histories, inheritance rights, access to the father’s medical and life insurance benefits, and the child may qualify for certain benefits, such as social security and veteran’s benefits. Paternity must be established before a support obligation can be ordered.
Paternity Establishment (Legal Determination of Fatherhood)
I am pregnant and will need to have paternity testing done once the baby is born. What do I need to do?
How is paternity testing conducted?
How much does it cost to have paternity testing through Medina County CSEA?
How long does it take to receive the results of the genetic test?
What will happen if an individual does not appear for genetic testing?
What is a voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit?
The Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit is a legal document. If unmarried, and both parties agree they are the biological parents of the child, the Acknowledgement of Paternity Affidavit (JFS 07038) can be completed by contacting the CSEA Paternity Support Officer. By signing the form, parents are establishing paternity for their child – meaning legally recognized fatherhood. Completing this form is voluntary, it’s free, and is the quickest way to establish paternity.
The paternity affidavit should NOT be used by:
This document is generated from either the hospital at the time of the child’s birth, or after the birth at a local health department or a Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA). BOTH parents must sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit to establish paternity this way.
What can this Document do?
If the parents sign the Affidavit, will the CSEA start to collect support?
Both parents have a duty to provide for their child. If either parent requests a child support order, or if the custodial parent is on certain types of public assistance, a child support order will be established.
How can I get a copy of the Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP)?
I just had a baby and am married, however, my husband is not the father. How can I get his name removed from the birth certificate?
You will need to have genetic testing completed to exclude your husband and include the biological father. You can start this process by submitting an Application for Services.
What if the alleged father resides in another state or county?
The individual can be scheduled for paternity testing in the county in which he resides or can be mailed the AOP (Acknowledgement of Paternity), if appropriate.
How can I establish paternity for my child if the possible father passed away?
The CSEA will work on a case-by-case basis to determine if paternity establishment services can be completed. If an autopsy was completed, it is possible that a DNA sample may be available to be used to establish paternity. In some cases, it is possible to complete the genetic testing by obtaining DNA samples from the father’s relatives, including the father’s parents or siblings.
The father of my child is incarcerated, can he sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit or have genetic testing done?
Yes, an Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit can be mailed to him or he can be scheduled for genetic testing by the CSEA.
What happens if the child’s alleged father did not sign the paternity affidavit and refuses to submit for genetic testing?
Legal action may be pursued if the alleged father did not sign the paternity affidavit and refuses to cooperate with genetic testing ordered by the CSEA. If the alleged father does not cooperate with the court process, a capias (warrant) could be issued, or the court may establish paternity by issuing a default judgment.
What happens if I am not sure who the father is?
The CSEA will work with you to name all possible fathers. Multiple individuals can be tested discretely. Please provide as much information as you can on all alleged fathers.
How do I know if paternity has been established on a child?
For children born after 1997, a father listed on the birth certificate indicates paternity has been established either by presumption (marriage) or legal document (Court Order or Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit).
Who can request genetic testing to establish paternity?
How do I establish paternity on my child?
Who has legal custody of my newborn baby?
According to Ohio Law, an unmarried mother who gives birth has legal custody of her child born in Ohio.
If paternity and support orders are established, does that automatically give the parent visitation rights?
We recognize that parenting time is a very important matter between the parents and the child, and we encourage parents to work together to provide both the emotional and financial support needed for the well-being of a child. However, visitation/parenting time issues are matters handled by the court. The CSEA is unable to provide services related to visitation or custody. The establishment of paternity or support does not provide automatic visitation/parenting time rights.
Can I change my child’s last name?
Can you Establish Spousal Support/Alimony in addition to Child Support?
No, only the court can establish Spousal Support/Alimony. The CSEA cannot establish or modify Spousal Support.