The Rights of Unmarried Parents - Connecticut

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Definitions

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 46b-451

'Acknowledged parent' means a person who has established a parent-child relationship under §§ 46b-476 to 46b-487, inclusive. 'Adjudicated parent' means a person who has been adjudicated to be a parent of a child by a court of competent jurisdiction.

'Alleged genetic parent' means a person who is alleged to be, or alleges that the person is, a genetic parent or possible genetic parent of a child whose parentage has not been adjudicated. 'Alleged genetic parent' includes an alleged genetic father and alleged genetic mother. 'Alleged genetic parent' shall not include the following:

  • A presumed parent
  • A person whose parental rights have been terminated or declared not to exist
  • A donor who provides a gamete or gametes or an embryo or embryos intended for use in assisted reproduction

'Determination of parentage' means establishment of a parent-child relationship by a court adjudication or signing of a valid acknowledgment of parentage under §§ 46b-476 to 46b-487, inclusive.

'Parent' means a person who has established a parent-child relationship under § 46b-471. 'Parentage' or 'parent-child relationship' means the legal relationship between a child and a parent of the child.

'Presumed parent' means a person who under § 46b-488 is presumed to be a parent of a child unless the presumption is overcome in a judicial proceeding.

Use of Parentage Registries

Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 19a-42a; 46b-172a

The following documents shall be filed in the parentage registry maintained by the Department of Public Health:

  • Voluntary acknowledgments of parentage and rescissions of such acknowledgments executed in accordance with §§ 46b-476 to 46b-489
  • Adjudications of parentage issued by a court or family support magistrate under §§ 46b-47 and 46b-172a

Any person claiming to be the alleged genetic parent of a child born to an unmarried birth parent and for whom parentage of the other parent has not yet been established shall file a claim for parentage with the probate court for the district in which either the birth parent or the child resides. The claim may be filed at any time during the life of the child, whether before, on, or after the date the child reaches age 18, or after the death of the child, but no later than 60 days after the date of notice under § 45a-716.

The claim for parentage shall be admissible in any action for parentage under § 46b-160 and shall prohibit the claimant from denying parentage of such child and shall contain language that the person acknowledges liability for contribution to the support and education of the child after the child's birth and for contribution to the pregnancy-related medical expenses of the birth parent.

Any person claiming to be the alleged genetic parent of a child born to an unmarried birth parent (1) who has not been adjudicated as the parent of the child by the court, (2) who has not acknowledged in writing that the person is the parent of the child, (3) who has not contributed regularly to the support of the child, or (4) whose name does not appear on the birth certificate shall cease to be a legal party in interest in any proceeding concerning the custody or welfare of the child, including, but not limited to, guardianship and adoption, unless the person has shown a reasonable degree of interest, concern, or responsibility for the child's welfare.

Alternate Means to Establish Parentage

Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 46b-471; 46b-472; 46b-476

A parent-child relationship is established between a person and a child if any of the following apply:

  • The person gives birth to the child.
  • There is a presumption under § 46b-488(a)(1) or (2) of the person's parentage of the child unless the presumption is overcome in a judicial proceeding.
  • There is a presumption under § 46b-488(a)(3), and the person is adjudicated a parent of the child or acknowledges parentage of the child under §§ 46b-476 to 46b-487.
  • The person is adjudicated a parent of the child under § 46b-490.
  • The person is adjudicated a parent of the child using genetic testing under §§ 46b-495 to 46b-505.
  • The person adopts the child.
  • The person acknowledges parentage of the child under §§ 46b-476 to 46b-487, unless the acknowledgment is rescinded under § 46b-482 or successfully challenged under § 46b-483.
  • The person's parentage of the child is established under §§ 46b-509 to 46b-17.
  • The person's parentage of the child is established under §§ 46b-521 to 46b-538.
  • The court is deemed to have made an adjudication of parentage pursuant to § 46b-468(b).

A parent-child relationship extends equally to every child and parent, regardless of the marital status or gender of the parent or the circumstances of the birth of the child.

A person who gave birth to a child and an alleged genetic parent of the child or a presumed parent under § 46b-488 may sign an acknowledgment of parentage to establish the parentage of the child.

Required Information

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 46b-477

An acknowledgment of parentage shall include all the following:

  • Be in a record signed by the person who gave birth to the child and by the person seeking to establish a parent-child relationship, and the signatures shall be attested by a notary or witnessed
  • State that the child whose parentage is being acknowledged shall not have another acknowledged or adjudicated parent or person who is a parent of the child under §§ 46b-509 to 46b-538, other than the person who gave birth to the child
  • State that the child whose parentage is being acknowledged shall not, at the time of signing, have a birth certificate identifying as a parent a person other than the person who gave birth to the child or the person acknowledging parentage
  • State that no action is pending in which the child's parentage is at issue, unless all parties to the action agree to the establishment of the signatory's parentage pursuant to the acknowledgment
  • State that the signatories understand that the acknowledgment is the equivalent of an adjudication of parentage of the child and that a challenge to the acknowledgment is permitted only under limited circumstances

Revocation of Claim to Parentage

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 46b-482

A signatory may rescind an acknowledgment of parentage by filing with the Department of Public Health a rescission in a signed record that is attested by a notarial officer or witnessed, before the earlier of either of the following:

  • Sixty days after the effective date of the acknowledgment
  • The date of the first hearing before a court in a proceeding, to which the signatory is a party, to adjudicate an issue relating to the child, including a proceeding that establishes support

If an acknowledgment of parentage is rescinded, the Department of Public Health shall notify the person who gave birth to the child that the acknowledgment has been rescinded. Failure to give the notice required by this section shall not affect the validity of the rescission.

Access to Information

Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 19a-42a; 46b-486

All information in the parentage registry shall be made available to the IV-D agency for child support enforcement purposes. Except for the IV-D agency, the department shall restrict access to and issuance of certified copies of acknowledgments of parentage to the following parties:

  • Parents named on the acknowledgment of parentage
  • The person whose birth is acknowledged if such person is age 18 of age or older
  • A guardian of the person whose birth is acknowledged
  • An authorized representative of the Department of Social Services
  • An attorney representing such person or a parent named on the acknowledgment
  • Agents of a State or Federal agency, as approved by the department

The Department of Public Health may release information relating to an acknowledgment of parentage to a signatory of the acknowledgment, the child if such child is aged 18 or older, a guardian of the person whose parentage is acknowledged, an attorney representing a person to whom such information may be released, a court, a Federal agency, an authorized representative of the Department of Social Services, the child support agency of this State, any agency acting under a cooperative or purchase of service agreement with the child support agency of this State, and the child support agency of another State.