TITLE 13

Domestic Relations

CHAPTER 8. UNIFORM PARENTAGE ACT

Subchapter III. Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity


The mother of a child and a man claiming to be the genetic father of the child may sign an acknowledgment of paternity with intent to establish the man's paternity.

74 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) An acknowledgment of paternity must:

(1) Be in a record;

(2) Be signed, or otherwise authenticated, under penalty of perjury by the mother and by the man seeking to establish his paternity;

(3) State that the child whose paternity is being acknowledged:

(i) Does not have a presumed father, or has a presumed father whose full name is stated; and

(ii) Does not have another acknowledged or adjudicated father.

(4) State whether there has been genetic testing and, if so, that the acknowledging man's claim of paternity is consistent with the results of the testing; and

(5) State that the signatories understand that the acknowledgement is the equivalent of a judicial adjudication of paternity of the child and that a challenge to the acknowledgement is permitted only under limited circumstances and is barred after 2 years.

(b) An acknowledgment of paternity is void if it:

(1) States that another man is a presumed father, unless a denial of paternity signed or otherwise authenticated by the presumed father is filed with the Office of Vital Statistics;

(2) States that another man is an acknowledged or adjudicated father; or

(3) Falsely denies the existence of a presumed, acknowledged or adjudicated father of the child.

(c) A presumed father may sign or otherwise authenticate an acknowledgment of paternity.

74 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

A presumed father may sign a denial of his paternity. The denial is valid only if:

(1) An acknowledgment of paternity signed, or otherwise authenticated, by another man is filed pursuant to § 8-305 of this title;

(2) The denial is in a record, and is signed, or otherwise authenticated, under penalty of perjury; and

(3) The presumed father has not previously:

(i) Acknowledged his paternity, unless the previous acknowledgment has been rescinded pursuant to § 8-307 of this title or successfully challenged pursuant to § 8-308 of this title; or

(ii) Been adjudicated to be the father of the child.

74 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) An acknowledgment of paternity and a denial of paternity may be contained in a single document or may be signed in counterparts, and may be filed separately or simultaneously. If the acknowledgment and denial are both necessary, neither is valid until both are filed.

(b) An acknowledgment of paternity or a denial of paternity may be signed before the birth of the child.

(c) Subject to subsection (a) of this section, an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity takes effect on the birth of the child or the filing of the document with the Office of Vital Statistics, whichever occurs later.

(d) An acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity signed by a minor is valid if it is otherwise in compliance with this chapter.

74 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Except as otherwise provided in §§ 8-307 and 8-308 of this title, a valid acknowledgment of paternity filed with the Office of Vital Statistics is equivalent to an adjudication of paternity of a child and confers upon the acknowledged father all of the rights and duties of a parent.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in §§ 8-307 and 8-308 of this title, a valid denial of paternity by a presumed father filed with the Office of Vital Statistics in conjunction with a valid acknowledgment of paternity is equivalent to an adjudication of the nonpaternity of the presumed father and discharges the presumed father from all rights and duties of a parent.

74 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The Office of Vital Statistics may not charge for filing an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity.

74 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

A signatory may rescind an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity by commencing a proceeding to rescind before the earlier of:

(1) Sixty days after the effective date of the acknowledgment or denial, as provided in § 8-304; or

(2) The date of the first hearing, in a proceeding to which the signatory is a party, before a court to adjudicate an issue relating to the child, including a proceeding that establishes support.

74 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) After the period for rescission under § 8-307 of this title has expired, a signatory of an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity may commence a proceeding to challenge the acknowledgment or denial only:

(1) On the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact; and

(2) Within 2 years after the acknowledgment or denial is filed with the Office of Vital Statistics.

(b) A party challenging an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity has the burden of proof.

74 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Every signatory to an acknowledgment of paternity and any related denial of paternity must be made a party to a proceeding to rescind or challenge the acknowledgment or denial.

(b) For the purpose of rescission of, or challenge to, an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity, a signatory submits to personal jurisdiction of this State by signing the acknowledgment or denial, effective upon the filing of the document with the Office of Vital Statistics.

(c) Except for good cause shown, during the pendency of a proceeding to rescind or challenge an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity, the court may not suspend the legal responsibilities of a signatory arising from the acknowledgment, including the duty to pay child support.

(d) A proceeding to rescind or to challenge an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity must be conducted in the same manner as a proceeding to adjudicate parentage under subchapter VI of this chapter.

(e) At the conclusion of a proceeding to rescind or challenge an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity, the court shall order the Office of Vital Statistics to amend the birth record of the child, if appropriate.

74 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

A court or administrative agency conducting a judicial or administrative proceeding is not required or permitted to ratify an unchallenged acknowledgment of paternity.

74 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

A court of this State shall give full faith and credit to an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity effective in another state if the acknowledgment or denial has been signed and is otherwise in compliance with the law of the other state.

74 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) To facilitate compliance with this subchapter, the Division of Child Support Services shall prescribe forms for the acknowledgment of paternity and the denial of paternity.

(b) A valid acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity is not affected by a later modification of the prescribed form.

74 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 80 Del. Laws, c. 234, § 14.;

The Division of Child Support Services may release information relating to the acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity to a signatory of the acknowledgment or denial and to courts and agencies authorized by other law of this State or another state to receive the information of this or another state.

74 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 80 Del. Laws, c. 234, § 15.;

The Division of Child Support Services may adopt rules to implement this subchapter.

74 Del. Laws, c. 136, § 1; 80 Del. Laws, c. 234, § 16.;