Article 1. Determination Of Father And Child Relationship of California Family Law Code >> Division 12. >> Part 3. >> Chapter 4. >> Article 1.
(a) A child, the child's natural mother, a person presumed to
be the child's parent under subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of Section
7611, an adoption agency to whom the child has been relinquished, or
a prospective adoptive parent of the child may bring an action as
(1) At any time for the purpose of declaring the existence of the
parent and child relationship presumed under subdivision (a), (b), or
(c) of Section 7611.
(2) For the purpose of declaring the nonexistence of the parent
and child relationship presumed under subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of
Section 7611 only if the action is brought within a reasonable time
after obtaining knowledge of relevant facts. After the presumption
has been rebutted, parentage of the child by another person may be
determined in the same action, if that person has been made a party.
(b) Any interested party may bring an action at any time for the
purpose of determining the existence or nonexistence of the parent
and child relationship presumed under subdivision (d) or (f) of
(c) Except as to cases coming within Chapter 1 (commencing with
Section 7540) of Part 2, an action to determine the existence of the
parent and child relationship may be brought by the child, a personal
representative of the child, the Department of Child Support
Services, a presumed parent or the personal representative or a
parent of that presumed parent if that parent has died or is a minor,
or, in cases in which the natural mother is the only presumed parent
or an action under Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
or adoption is pending, a man alleged or alleging himself to be the
father or the personal representative or a parent of the alleged
father if the alleged father has died or is a minor.
(d) (1) If a proceeding has been filed under Chapter 2 (commencing
with Section 7820) of Part 4, an action under subdivision (a) or (b)
shall be consolidated with that proceeding. The parental rights of
the presumed parent shall be determined as set forth in Sections 7820
to 7829, inclusive.
(2) If a proceeding pursuant to Section 7662 has been filed under
Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 7660), an action under subdivision
(c) shall be consolidated with that proceeding. The parental rights
of the alleged natural father shall be determined as set forth in
(3) The consolidated action under paragraph (1) or (2) shall be
heard in the court in which the proceeding under Section 7662 or
Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 7820) of Part 4 is filed, unless
the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that transferring
the action to the other court poses a substantial hardship to the
petitioner. Mere inconvenience does not constitute a sufficient basis
for a finding of substantial hardship. If the court determines there
is a substantial hardship, the consolidated action shall be heard in
the court in which the parentage action is filed.
(e) (1) If any prospective adoptive parent who has physical
custody of the child, any licensed California adoption agency that
has legal custody of the child or to which the mother proposes to
relinquish the child for adoption, or any person whom the mother has
designated as the prospective adoptive parent in a written statement
executed before a hospital social worker, an adoption service
provider, an adoption agency representative, or a notary public, has
not been joined as a party to an action to determine the existence of
a parent and child relationship under subdivision (a), (b), or (c),
or an action for custody by the alleged natural father, the court
shall join the prospective adoptive parent or licensed California
adoption agency as a party upon application or on its own motion,
without the necessity of a motion for joinder. A joined party shall
not be required to pay a fee in connection with this action.
(2) If a person brings an action to determine parentage and
custody of a child who he or she has reason to believe is in the
physical or legal custody of an adoption agency, or of one or more
persons other than the child's parent who are prospective adoptive
parents, he or she shall serve his or her entire pleading on, and
give notice of all proceedings to, the adoption agency or the
prospective adoptive parents, or both.
(f) A party to an assisted reproduction agreement may bring an
action at any time to establish a parent and child relationship
consistent with the intent expressed in that assisted reproduction
(g) (1) In an action to determine the existence of the parent and
child relationship brought pursuant to subdivision (b), if the child'
s other parent has died and there are no existing court orders or
pending court actions involving custody or guardianship of the child,
then the persons having physical custody of the child shall be
served with notice of the proceeding at least 15 days prior to the
hearing, either by mail or in any manner authorized by the court. If
any person identified as having physical custody of the child cannot
be located, the court shall prescribe the manner of giving notice.
(2) If known to the person bringing the parentage action,
relatives within the second degree of the child shall be given notice
of the proceeding at least 15 days prior to the hearing, either by
mail or in any manner authorized by the court. If a person identified
as a relative of the second degree of the child cannot be located,
or his or her whereabouts are unknown or cannot be ascertained, the
court shall prescribe the manner of giving notice, or shall dispense
with giving notice to that person.
(3) Proof of notice pursuant to this subdivision shall be filed
with the court before the proceeding to determine the existence of
the parent and child relationship is heard.
Regardless of its terms, an agreement between an alleged
father or a presumed parent and the other parent or child does not
bar an action under this chapter.
An action under this chapter may be brought, an order or
judgment may be entered before the birth of the child, and
enforcement of that order or judgment shall be stayed until the birth
of the child.
(a) The local child support agency may, in the local child
support agency's discretion, bring an action under this chapter in
any case in which the local child support agency believes it to be
(b) The Department of Child Support Services may review the
current practices of service of process used by the local child
support agencies pursuant to subdivision (a), and may develop methods
to increase the number of persons served using personal delivery.
(a) The child may, if under the age of 12 years, and shall,
if 12 years of age or older, be made a party to the action. If the
child is a minor and a party to the action, the child shall be
represented by a guardian ad litem appointed by the court. The
guardian ad litem need not be represented by counsel if the guardian
ad litem is a relative of the child.
(b) The natural parent, each person presumed to be a parent under
Section 7611, and each man alleged to be the natural father, may be
made parties and shall be given notice of the action in the manner
prescribed in Section 7666 and an opportunity to be heard.
Appointment of a guardian ad litem shall not be required for a minor
who is a parent of the child who is the subject of the petition to
establish parental relationship, unless the minor parent is unable to
understand the nature of the proceedings or to assist counsel in
preparing the case.
(c) The court may align the parties.
(d) In any initial or subsequent proceeding under this chapter
where custody of, or visitation with, a minor child is in issue, the
court may, if it determines it would be in the best interest of the
minor child, appoint private counsel to represent the interests of
the minor child pursuant to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 3150)
of Part 2 of Division 8.
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 of his 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 pursuant to
Section 7646 within two 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.
The judgment or order of the court determining the existence
or nonexistence of the parent and child relationship is determinative
for all purposes except for actions brought pursuant to Section 270
of the Penal Code.
The judgment or order may contain any other provision
directed against the appropriate party to the proceeding, concerning
the duty of support, the custody and guardianship of the child,
visitation privileges with the child, the furnishing of bond or other
security for the payment of the judgment, or any other matter in the
best interest of the child. The judgment or order may direct the
parent to pay the reasonable expenses of the mother's pregnancy and
The procedure in an action under this part to change the name
of a minor or adult child for whom a parent and child relationship
is established pursuant to Section 7636, upon application in
accordance with Title 8 (commencing with Section 1275) of Part 3 of
the Code of Civil Procedure shall conform to those provisions, except
that the application for the change of name may be included with the
petition filed under this part and except as provided in Sections
1277 and 1278 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
If the judgment or order of the court is at variance with the
child's birth certificate, the court shall order that a new birth
certificate be issued as prescribed in Article 2 (commencing with
Section 102725) of Chapter 5 of Part 1 of Division 102 of the Health
and Safety Code.
The court may order reasonable fees of counsel, experts, and
the child's guardian ad litem, and other costs of the action and
pretrial proceedings, including blood tests, to be paid by the
parties, excluding any governmental entity, in proportions and at
times determined by the court.
(a) If there is a voluntary declaration of paternity in
place, or parentage or a duty of support has been acknowledged or
adjudicated under this part or under prior law, the obligation of the
parent may be enforced in the same or other proceedings by any of
(1) The other parent.
(2) The child.
(3) The public authority that has furnished or may furnish the
reasonable expenses of pregnancy, confinement, education, support, or
(4) Any other person, including a private agency, to the extent
the person has furnished or is furnishing these expenses.
(b) The court may order support payments to be made to any of the
(1) The other parent.
(2) The clerk of the court.
(3) A person, corporation, or agency designated to administer the
payments for the benefit of the child under the supervision of the
(c) Willful failure to obey the judgment or order of the court is
a civil contempt of the court. All remedies for the enforcement of
judgments, including imprisonment for contempt, apply.
The court has continuing jurisdiction to modify or set aside
a judgment or order made under this part. A judgment or order
relating to an adoption may only be modified or set aside in the same
manner and under the same conditions as an order of adoption may be
modified or set aside under Section 9100 or 9102.
(a) Notwithstanding any other law concerning public hearings
and records, a hearing or trial held under this part may be held in
closed court without admittance of any person other than those
necessary to the action or proceeding. Except as provided in
subdivision (b), all papers and records, other than the final
judgment, pertaining to the action or proceeding, whether part of the
permanent record of the court or of a file in a public agency or
elsewhere, are subject to inspection and copying only in exceptional
cases upon an order of the court for good cause shown.
(b) Papers and records pertaining to the action or proceeding that
are part of the permanent record of the court are subject to
inspection and copying by the parties to the action, their attorneys,
and by agents acting pursuant to written authorization from the
parties to the action or their attorneys. An attorney shall obtain
the consent of the party to the action prior to authorizing an agent
to inspect and copy the permanent record. An attorney shall also
state on the written authorization that he or she has obtained the
consent of the party to authorize an agent to inspect and copy the
(a) Notwithstanding any other law, an action for child
custody and support and for other relief as provided in Section 7637
may be filed based upon a voluntary declaration of paternity as
provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 7570) of Part 2.
(b) Except as provided in Section 7576, the voluntary declaration
of paternity shall be given the same force and effect as a judgment
of parentage entered by a court of competent jurisdiction. The court
shall make appropriate orders as specified in Section 7637 based upon
the voluntary declaration of paternity unless evidence is presented
that the voluntary declaration of paternity has been rescinded by the
parties or set aside as provided in Section 7575 of the Family Code.
(c) The Judicial Council shall develop the forms and procedures
necessary to implement this section.