Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–909.01. Establishment of paternity by voluntary acknowledgment and based on genetic test results.

(a) Paternity may be established by:

(1) A written statement of the father and mother signed under oath (which may include signature in the presence of a notary) that acknowledges paternity; provided, that before the parents sign the acknowledgment, both have been given written and oral notice of the alternatives to, legal consequences of, and the rights and responsibilities that arise from signing the acknowledgment. (Oral notice may be given through videotape or audiotape.) The acknowledgment shall include the full name, the social security number, and date of birth of the mother, father, and child, the addresses of the mother and father, the birthplace of the child, an explanation of the legal consequences of the affidavit, a statement indicating that both parents understand their rights, responsibilities, and the alternatives and consequences of signing the affidavit, the place the affidavit was completed, signature lines for the parents, and any other data elements required by federal law. Nothing in this paragraph shall affect the validity of a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity executed before December 23, 1997, or preclude the submission of an acknowledgment of paternity that does not comply with the requirements of this paragraph as evidence of paternity in a judicial or administrative proceeding; or

(2) A result and an affidavit from a laboratory of a genetic test of a type generally acknowledged as reliable by accreditation bodies designated by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that is performed by a laboratory approved by such a body, that affirms at least a 99% probability that the putative father is the father of the child.

(a-1) A signatory to a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity pursuant to subsection (a)(1) of this section may rescind the acknowledgment within the earlier of 60 days or the date of an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child in which the signatory is a party.

(b) When a child has no presumed parent under § 16-909(a)(1) through (4) or § 16-909(a-1)(2), an acknowledgment in accordance with subsection (a)(1) of this section, which has not been rescinded pursuant to subsection (a-1) of this section, or a genetic test and affidavit that meet the requirements of subsection (a)(2) of this section shall legally establish the parent-child relationship between the father and the child for all rights, privileges, duties, and obligations under the laws of the District of Columbia. The acknowledgment or genetic test and affidavit shall be admissible as evidence of paternity.

(c) A public or private agency or institution that operates in the District of Columbia shall accept as adequate proof of paternity a birth certificate issued by the District of Columbia after the effective date of the District of Columbia Paternity Establishment Temporary Act of 1991 [June 18, 1991] or other evidence that the requirements of subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section have occurred.

(d) If a child has a presumed parent, in the absence of an acknowledgment, or if the probability of paternity shown by a genetic test is less than 99%, paternity may be established as otherwise provided in this chapter.