NoLegal definition of "father"
A man is presumed to be the natural father of a child if he meets the conditions provided in Chapter 1 (commencing with § 7540) or Chapter 3 (commencing with § 7570) of Part 2 or any of the following:
Except as provided in §§ 7575, 7576, and 7577, a completed voluntary declaration of paternity that has been filed with the Department of Child Support Services shall establish the paternity of a child and shall have the same force and effect as a judgment for paternity issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. The voluntary declaration of paternity shall be recognized as a basis for the establishment of an order for child custody, visitation, or child support.
Alternate means to establish paternity
Family Code §§ 7551; 7555; 7631; 7635.5
In a civil action or proceeding in which paternity is a relevant fact, the court may order the mother, child, and alleged father to submit to genetic tests. A party's refusal to submit to the tests is admissible in evidence in any proceeding to determine paternity.
There is a rebuttable presumption of paternity if the court finds that the paternity index, as calculated by the experts qualified as examiners of genetic markers, is 100 or greater. This presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.
A man who is not a presumed father may bring an action for the purpose of declaring that he is the natural father of a child if the mother consents to or proposes to relinquish for or consent to the adoption of the child. An action under this section shall be brought within 30 days after the man is served with a notice that he is or could be the father of the child or the birth of the child, whichever is later. The commencement of the action suspends a pending proceeding in connection with the adoption of the child until a judgment in the action is final.
In any action brought pursuant to this article, if the alleged father is present in court for the action, the court shall inform the alleged father that he has the right to have genetic testing performed to determine if he is the biological father of the child. The court shall further inform the alleged father of his right to move to set aside or vacate a judgment of paternity within 2 years of the date he received notice of the action to establish paternity and that after that time has expired he may not move to set aside or vacate the judgment of paternity, regardless of whether genetic testing shows him not to be the biological father of the child.
Family Code § 7574
The voluntary declaration of paternity shall be executed on a form developed by the Department of Child Support Services in consultation with the State Department of Health Services, the California Family Support Council, and child support advocacy groups. The form described in subdivision (a) shall contain, at a minimum, the following:
If the court finds that the results of genetic tests show that the man who signed the voluntary declaration is not the father of the child, the court may set aside the voluntary declaration of paternity unless the court determines that denial of the action to set aside the voluntary declaration of paternity is in the best interest of the child.If the voluntary declaration of paternity is set aside, the court shall order that the mother, child, and alleged father submit to genetic tests. If the court finds that the conclusions of the genetic tests are that the person who executed the voluntary declaration of paternity is not the father of the child, the question of paternity shall be resolved accordingly. If the person who executed the declaration of paternity is ultimately determined to be the father of the child, any child support that accrued under an order based upon the voluntary declaration of paternity shall remain due and owing.
Credits: Child Welfare Information Gateway (http://www.childwelfare.gov)
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