The Rights of Unmarried Parents - Arizona

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Definitions

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 25-814

A person is presumed to be the other parent of a child if any of the following applies:

  • The child's parents were married at any time in the 10 months immediately preceding the child's birth; or the child is born within 10 months after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity or dissolution of marriage; or after the court enters a decree of legal separation.
  • Genetic testing affirms at least a 95-percent probability of parentage.
  • A birth certificate is signed by the parents of a child born out of wedlock.
  • A notarized or witnessed statement is signed by both parents acknowledging parentage or separate substantially similar notarized or witnessed statements are signed by both parents acknowledging parentage.

Use of Parentage Registries

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-106.01(A)-(B)

A person who is seeking parentage, wants to receive notice of adoption proceedings, and is the other parent or claims to be the other parent of a child shall file notice of a claim of parentage and of their willingness and intent to support the child to the best of their ability with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics in the Department of Health Services. The department shall provide forms for the purpose of filing the notice of a claim of parentage. Forms shall be made available by the department, the office of the clerk of the Board of Supervisors in each county, every hospital, every licensed child-placing agency, the Department of Economic Security, the Department of Child Safety, sheriff's offices, jails, prisons, Department of Corrections facilities, and Department of Juvenile Corrections facilities.

The Department of Health Services shall maintain a confidential registry for this purpose.

Alternate Means to Establish Parentage

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 25-812

This State or the parent of a child born out of wedlock may establish the parentage of a child by filing one of the following items with the clerk of the superior court, the Department of Economic Security, or the Department of Health Services:

  • A notarized or witnessed statement that contains the Social Security numbers of both parents and that is signed by both parents acknowledging parentage or two separate substantially similar notarized or witnessed statements acknowledging parentage
  • An agreement by the parents to be bound by the results of genetic testing, including any genetic test previously accepted by a court of competent jurisdiction, or any combination of genetic testing agreed to by the parties, and an affidavit from a certified laboratory that the tested other parent has not been excluded

On filing the required document, the court shall issue an order establishing parentage, which may amend the name of the child or children, if requested by the parents. The clerk shall transmit a copy of the order to the Department of Health Services and the Department of Economic Security.

A voluntary acknowledgment of parentage may be filed with the Department of Economic Security, which shall provide a copy to the Department of Health Services. A voluntary acknowledgment of parentage made pursuant to this section is a determination of parentage and has the same force and effect as a superior court judgment.

Required Information

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-106.01(B)

The notice of a claim of parentage may be filed before the birth of the child but shall be filed within 30 days after the birth of the child. The notice of a claim of parentage shall be signed by the putative other parent and shall include their name and address, the name and last known address of the birth parent, and either the birth date of the child or the probable month and year of the expected birth of the child. The putative other parent who files a notice of a claim of parentage under this section shall notify the Registrar of Vital Statistics of any change of their address.

Revocation of Claim to Parentage

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 25-812

Either parent may rescind the acknowledgment of parentage within the earlier of either of the following:

  • Sixty days after the last signature is affixed to the notarized acknowledgment of parentage that is filed with the Department of Economic Security, the Department of Health Services, or the court
  • The date of a proceeding relating to the child, including a child support proceeding in which either parent is a party

A rescission must be in writing, and a copy of each rescission of parentage shall be filed with the Department of Economic Security. The Department of Economic Security shall mail a copy of the rescission of parentage to the other parent and to the Department of Health Services.

Either parent or the child may challenge a voluntary acknowledgment of parentage established in this State at any time after the 60-day period based only on fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof on the challenger and under which the legal responsibilities, including child support obligations of any signatory arising from the acknowledgment, shall not be suspended during the challenge except for good cause shown. The court shall order the birth parent, the child or children, and the alleged other parent to submit to genetic testing. If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the genetic tests demonstrate that the established other parent is not the biological parent of the child, the court shall vacate the determination of parentage and terminate the obligation of that party to pay ongoing child support.

Access to Information

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-106.01(B)

The department shall only respond to written inquiries of the confidential registry that are received from the court, the Department of Child Safety, a licensed adoption agency, or a licensed attorney participating or assisting in a direct placement adoption.