The Rights of Unmarried Parents - North Carolina

Date:

Definitions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Use of Parentage Registries

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 130A-101

A certificate of birth for each live birth that occurs in this State shall be filed with the local registrar of the county in which the birth occurs within 10 days after the birth.

If the birth parent was married at the time of either conception or birth, or between conception and birth, the name of the spouse shall be entered on the certificate as the other parent of the child, except as provided in this section. The surname of the child shall be the same as that of the spouse, except that upon agreement of the spouse and birth parent or, upon agreement of the birth parent and other parent if parentage has been otherwise determined, any surname may be chosen.

The name of the putative other parent shall be entered on the certificate as the parent of the child if one of the following conditions exists:

  • Parentage has been otherwise determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, in which case the name of the other parent as determined by the court shall be entered.
  • The child's birth parent, their spouse, and putative other parent complete an affidavit acknowledging parentage.

If the birth parent was unmarried at all times from the date of conception through the date of birth, the name of the other parent shall not be entered on the birth certificate unless the birth parent and other parent complete an affidavit acknowledging parentage.

Alternate Means to Establish Parentage

Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 48-2-206; 49-14

At any time after 3 months from the date of conception, the birth parent, agency, or adoptive parents chosen by the birth parent may file a special proceeding with the clerk requesting the court to determine whether consent of the biological other parent is required. The other parent shall be served with notice of the intent of the birth parent to place the child for adoption, allowing the other parent 30 days after service to assert a claim that their consent is required.

If the other parent fails to respond within the time required, the court shall enter an order that the other parent's consent is not required for the adoption. The other parent who fails to respond within the time required under this section is not entitled to notice under § 48-2-401(c) of an adoption petition filed within 3 months of the birth of the minor or to participate in the adoption proceeding.

The parentage of a child born out of wedlock may be established by civil action at any time prior to such child's 18th birthday. The establishment of parentage shall not have the effect of legitimation. Proof of parentage pursuant to this section shall be by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence.

If the action to establish parentage is brought more than 3 years after the birth of a child or is brought after the death of the putative other parent, parentage shall not be established in a contested case without evidence from a blood or genetic marker test. For the purposes of this subsection, the results of blood or genetic tests shall constitute clear, cogent, and convincing evidence of parentage if the tests show that the probability of the alleged parent's parentage is 97 percent or higher.

Required Information

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 130A-101

When the birth parent is married, the affidavit acknowledging parentage shall contain all the following:

  • A sworn statement by the birth parent consenting to the assertion of parentage by the putative other parent and declaring that the putative other parent is the child's natural parent
  • A sworn statement by the putative other parent declaring that they believe they are the genetic parent of the child
  • A sworn statement by the birth parent's spouse consenting to the assertion of parentage by the putative other parent
  • Information explaining in plain language the effect of signing the affidavit, including a statement of parental rights and responsibilities and an acknowledgment of the receipt of the information
  • The Social Security numbers of the putative other parent, birth parent, and birth parent's spouse
  • The results of a DNA test that has confirmed the parentage of the putative other parent

When the birth parent is not married, the affidavit acknowledging parentage shall contain the following:

  • A sworn statement by the birth parent consenting to the assertion of parentage by the other parent and declaring that the person is the child's natural other parent and that the birth parent was unmarried at all times from the date of conception through the date of birth
  • A sworn statement by the other parent declaring that they believe they are the natural other parent of the child
  • Information explaining in plain language the effect of signing the affidavit, including a statement of parental rights and responsibilities and an acknowledgment of the receipt of the information
  • The Social Security numbers of both parents

Revocation of Claim to Parentage

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 49-14

An order of parentage may be set aside by a trial court if each of the following applies:

  • The parentage order was entered as the result of fraud, duress, mutual mistake, or excusable neglect.
  • Genetic tests establish the putative other parent is not the genetic parent of the child.

The burden of proof in any motion to set aside an order of parentage shall be on the moving party. Upon proper motion alleging fraud, duress, mutual mistake, or excusable neglect, the court shall order the child's birth parent, the child whose parentage is at issue, and the putative other parent to submit to genetic parentage testing pursuant to § 8-50.1(b1). If the court determines from the results of genetic testing that the putative other parent is not the genetic parent of the child and the order of parentage was entered as a result of fraud, duress, mutual mistake, or excusable neglect, the court may set aside the order of parentage. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to affect the presumption of legitimacy where a child is born to a birth parent and the putative other parent during their marriage.

Access to Information

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.