The Rights of Unmarried Parents - Iowa

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Definitions

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 144.12A

A 'father' means the biological other parent of a child. A 'putative father' is a person who is alleged to be or who claims to be the biological other parent of a child born to a birth parent to whom the person is not married at the time of the child's birth.

Use of Parentage Registries

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 144.12A

The State Registrar of Vital Statistics shall establish a declaration of parentage registry to record the name, address, Social Security number, and any other identifying information required by rule of the department of a putative other parent who wishes to register prior to the birth of a child and no later than the date of the filing of the petition for termination of parental rights.

A declaration of parentage filed with the registry may be used as evidence of parentage in an action to establish parentage or to determine a support obligation with respect to the putative other parent. Failure or refusal to file a declaration of parentage shall not be used as evidence to avoid a legally established obligation of financial support for a child.

Alternate Means to Establish Parentage

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 252A.3; 600B.41

Parentage may be established as follows:

  • By order of a court of competent jurisdiction or by administrative order
  • By the statement of the person admitting parentage in court and upon concurrence of the birth parent
  • Subject to the right of any signatory to rescind, by filing with the State registrar of an affidavit of parentage, provided that the birth parent of the child was unmarried at the time of conception, birth, and at any time during the period between the child's conception and birth
  • By establishment of parentage in another State or foreign country in any manner provided for by the laws of that jurisdiction

If the birth parent was married at the time of conception, birth, or at any time during the period between the child's conception and birth to a person other than the person admitting parentage, the person to whom the birth parent was married at the time of conception, birth, or at any time during the period between conception and birth must deny parentage in order to establish the parentage of the person admitting parentage upon the sole basis of the admission. If the birth parent was married at the time of conception, birth, or at any time during the period between the child's conception and birth, an affidavit of parentage may not be registered unless a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the person to whom the birth parent was married at that time is not the child's other parent.

In a proceeding to establish parentage, the court may require the child, birth parent, and alleged other parent to submit to blood or genetic tests. If the test results show that the alleged other parent is not excluded and that the probability of the alleged other parent's parentage is 95 percent or higher, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the alleged other parent is the child's genetic other parent.

Required Information

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 144.12A; 252A.3A

A person who files a declaration of parentage with the registrar shall include in the declaration all the following:

  • The person's name, current address, Social Security number, and any other identifying information requested by the department
  • The name, last known address, and Social Security number, if known, of the birth parent of the child, or any other identifying information requested by the department
  • The name of the child, if known, and the date and location of the birth of the child, if known

The registrar shall accept a declaration of parentage filed in accordance with this section and forward a copy of the declaration to the birth parent as notification that the person has registered with the registry.

A completed affidavit of parentage shall contain all the following:

  • A statement by the birth parent consenting to the assertion of parentage and the identity of the other parent and acknowledging either of the following:
    • That the birth parent was unmarried at the time of conception, birth, and at any time during the period between conception and birth of the child
    • That the birth parent was married at the time of conception, birth, or at any time during the period between conception and birth of the child, and that a court order has ruled that the individual to whom the birth parent was married at that time is not the genetic parent of the child
  • A statement from the putative other parent that they are the genetic parent of the child
  • The name of the child at birth and the child's birth date
  • The signatures of the child's parents
  • The Social Security numbers of the child's parents
  • The addresses of the child's parents, as available
  • The signature of a notary public attesting to the identities of the parties signing the affidavit

Revocation of Claim to Parentage

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 144.12A; 252A.3A

Information provided to the registry may be revoked by the registrant by submission of a written statement signed and acknowledged by the registrant before a notary public, as provided in chapter 9B. The statement shall include a declaration that to the best of the registrant's knowledge, the registrant is not the genetic parent of the named child or that parentage of the true genetic parent has been established.

Revocation nullifies the registration and the information provided by the registrant shall be expunged. Revocation is effective only following the birth of the child.

An affidavit of parentage may be rescinded by a completed and notarized rescission form signed by either parent stating that the putative other parent is not the genetic parent of the child. The form shall be filed with the State registrar prior to the earlier of the following:

  • Sixty days after the latest notarized signature of either parent on the affidavit of parentage
  • Entry of a court order establishing parentage

Unless there is a court order that legally established parentage, upon registration of a timely rescission form, the State registrar shall remove the other parent's information from the certificate of birth.

If an affidavit of parentage has been rescinded, the State registrar shall not register any subsequent affidavit of parentage signed by the same birth parent and putative other parent relating to the same child.

Access to Information

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 144.12A

The department shall, upon request, provide the name, address, Social Security number, and any other identifying information of a registrant to any of the following:

  • The birth parent of the child
  • A court
  • The Department of Human Services
  • The attorney of any party to an adoption, termination of parental rights, or establishment of parentage or support action
  • The child support recovery unit for an action to establish parentage or support

The information shall not be divulged to any other person and shall be considered a confidential record as to any other person, except upon order of the court for good cause shown. If the registry has not received a declaration of parentage, the department shall provide a written statement to that effect to the person making the inquiry.