8.2.2  - Paternity Voluntary Acknowledgment

Federal Authority:

Social Security Act

§454(20) State plan for child support and spousal support

§466(a)(2), (c), and (d) Requirement of statutorily prescribed procedures to improve effectiveness of child support enforcement

§468 - Encouragement of States to adopt simple civil process for voluntary acknowledging paternity and a civil procedure for       establishing paternity in contested cases


Code of Federal Regulations

45 CFR 303.5 Establishing of paternity

45 CFR 303.7 Provision of services in intergovernmental IV-D cases

45 CFR 303.101 Expedited processes

State Authority:

Wyoming Statutes

Wyo. Stat. § 14-2-501 et. seq. Parent-Child Relationship


Wyoming Child Support Enforcement Rules

Chapter 4, General Services

Policy Number:  8.2.2

Effective Date:  October 1, 2010

Overview

The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA) required each State to implement an in-hospital voluntary paternity acknowledgment process.  In 1996, Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA).  PRWORA expanded and added new statutory requirements for each State’s simple civil process for parents of children born out of wedlock to establish paternity.  The voluntary paternity program shall meet certain minimum requirements that include:

The Wyoming Child Support Program (CSP) in conjunction with Vital Records Services worked closely with the Wyoming legislature to implement the Wyoming voluntary acknowledgment program in 1997 and in 2003 made significant statutory changes to the voluntary acknowledgment program based upon the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) of 2002.  Some of the major changes include:

On an on-going basis, the Wyoming CSP and Vital Records Services meet with hospitals in Wyoming to ensure the voluntary paternity acknowledgment program is offered to appropriate parents.  In 2008, the Wyoming CSP contracted for a Paternity Program Specialist to oversee the Wyoming CSP’s voluntary paternity acknowledgment program.

Policy

Paternity Acknowledgment Program

In Wyoming, the Paternity Acknowledgment Program takes a three-pronged approach where the Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity may be provided by Vital Records Services, Wyoming hospitals, or District CSP Offices to parents of children born out of wedlock.

In order for the Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity to be valid, the affidavit will:

Note:  The legal consequences of the Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity will not only be provided in writing but also orally.

The Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity is void if the affidavit:

Hospital Program

The State CSP Office is responsible for ensuring each hospital in Wyoming understands the purpose of the paternity acknowledgment program and for monitoring hospital performance.  Through the in-hospital paternity acknowledgment program, Wyoming hospital staff will:

District CSP Office

District CSP Offices will have access to both the Affidavit Acknowledging Paternity and the Affidavit Denying Paternity and will facilitate the simple civil process of acknowledging paternity in the District CSP Office by providing all required information to parents of children born out of wedlock, answering any questions asked by the parents, working with parents in delicate situations where a presumed father shall also sign an Affidavit Denying Paternity, and mailing completed documents to Vital Records Services within 24 hours of completion.  See Appendix 8.C – Paternity Acknowledgment Procedures for the procedures each District CSP Office will follow.

Legal Action

The following are the Wyoming CSP rules regarding an acknowledged father as defined by Wyoming statutes and the appropriate legal action to take.

Please see Appendix 8.A – Paternity Establishment Legal Action Rules for a table with the appropriate legal action for each paternity option.

Cross Reference

Appendix 8.A – Paternity Establishment Legal Action Rules

Appendix 8.C – Paternity Acknowledgment Procedures

Version Number:  1

Last Revised Date:  July 1, 2014

Last Reviewed Date:  July 1, 2014