The Rights of Unmarried Parents - New Jersey

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Definitions

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 9:3-38; 9:17-39; 9:17-40; 9-17-43

The term 'parent' means a birth parent, including the birth other parent of a child born out of wedlock who has acknowledged the child or to whom the court has ordered notice to be given.

The 'parent and child relationship' means the legal relationship existing between a child and the child's parents, incident to which the law confers or imposes rights, privileges, duties, and obligations. The parent and child relationship extends equally to every child and to every parent, regardless of the marital status of the parents.

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

  • The child's parents are or have been married to each other and the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage is terminated.
  • Before the child's birth, the child's parents have attempted to marry each other, and either of the following apply:
    • If the attempted marriage could be declared invalid only by a court, the child is born during the attempted marriage or within 300 days after its termination.
    • If the attempted marriage is invalid without a court order, the child is born within 300 days after the termination of cohabitation.
  • After the child's birth, the child's parents have married or attempted to marry each other, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and any of the following apply to the other parent:
    • They have acknowledged parentage of the child in writing.
    • They have sought to have their name placed on the child's birth certificate as the child's other parent.
    • They are obligated to support the child under a written voluntary agreement or court order.
    • While the child is a minor, they receive the child into their home, provide support for the child, and openly hold out the child as their natural child.

Use of Parentage Registries

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Alternate Means to Establish Parentage

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 9:17-41

The parent and child relationship between a child and the birth parent may be established by proof of them having given birth to the child unless the child is born in connection with a gestational carrier agreement executed in accordance with the provisions of § 9:17-60 et seq.

The parent and child relationship between a child and the natural other parent may be established by any of the following:

  • Proof that their parentage has been adjudicated under prior law or under the laws governing probate
  • Giving full faith and credit to a determination of parentage made by any other State or jurisdiction, whether established through voluntary acknowledgment or through judicial or administrative processes
  • A certificate of parentage as provided by § 26:8-28.1 that is executed by the other parent, including an unemancipated minor, prior to or after the birth of a child
  • A default judgment or order of the court
  • An order of the court based on a blood test or genetic test that meets or exceeds the specific threshold probability, creating a rebuttable presumption of parentage

Required Information

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 26:8-28.1

The certificate of parentage shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:

  • A sworn statement by the person that they are the natural other parent of the child
  • The Social Security numbers, except in those cases in which a person is ineligible to apply for one, and addresses of the parents
  • The signature of the birth parent and the other parent authenticated by a witness or notary
  • Instructions for filing the certificate of parentage with the agency designated by the State IV-D agency

Revocation of Claim to Parentage

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 9:17-41

A signed voluntary acknowledgment of parentage shall be considered a legal finding of parentage subject to the right of the signatory to rescind the acknowledgment within 60 days of the date of signing or by the date of establishment of a support order to which the signatory is a party, whichever is earlier.

The adjudication of parentage shall only be voided upon a finding that there exists clear and convincing evidence of fraud, duress, or a material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof upon the challenger.

Access to Information

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.