The Rights of Unmarried Parents - North Dakota

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Definitions

Citation: Cent. Code §§ 14-20-02; 14-20-10

An 'acknowledged father' is a person who has established a parent-child relationship under §§ 14-20-11 through 14-20-24. An 'adjudicated father' is a person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to be the other parent of a child.

An 'alleged father' is a person who alleges themself to be, or is alleged to be, the genetic parent or a possible genetic parent of a child but whose parentage has not been determined. The term does not include a presumed other parent or a person whose parental rights have been terminated or declared not to exist.

A 'presumed father' is a person who, by operation of law under § 14-20-10, is recognized as the other parent of a child until that status is rebutted or confirmed in a judicial proceeding. A person is presumed to be the other parent of a child if any of the following apply:

  • The child's parents are married to each other and the child is born during the marriage.
  • The child's parents were married to each other and the child is born within 300 days after the marriage is terminated.
  • Before the birth of the child, the child's parents married each other, even if the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after its termination.
  • After the birth of the child, the child's parents married each other, whether the marriage is or could be declared invalid, and they voluntarily asserted parentage of the child, and the following apply:
    • The assertion is in a record filed with the Department of Health and Human Services.
    • They agreed to be named as the child's parent on the child's birth certificate.
    • They promised in a record to support the child as their own.
  • For the first 2 years of the child's life, they resided in the same household with the child and openly held out the child as their own.

Use of Parentage Registries

Citation: Cent. Code § 14-19-12

At any time after an unmarried person is determined to be pregnant, a voluntary parentage establishment entity may do the following:

  • Provide to the following to the birth parent and the alleged other parent if the alleged other parent is present:
    • Written materials about parentage establishment
    • The forms necessary to voluntarily acknowledge parentage
    • A written and oral description of the rights, responsibilities, and legal consequences of establishing parentage
    • The opportunity to speak, either by telephone or in person, with staff who are trained to clarify information and answer questions about parentage establishment
  • Provide the birth parent and the alleged other parent, if the alleged other parent is present, the opportunity to voluntarily acknowledge parentage

Before accepting a voluntary acknowledgment of parentage, a voluntary parentage establishment service entity shall afford due process safeguards by informing, in writing, the birth parent and the alleged other parent, if the alleged other parent is present, of the manner in which a relationship of parent and child established under this chapter may be vacated or rescinded.

A voluntary parentage establishment service entity shall forward completed acknowledgments to the department.

Alternate Means to Establish Parentage

Citation: Cent. Code §§ 14-20-11; 14-20-12; 14-20-50

The birth parent of a child and a person claiming to be the genetic parent of the child may sign an acknowledgment of parentage with intent to establish the person's parentage. A presumed other parent may sign or otherwise authenticate an acknowledgment of parentage.

A respondent in a proceeding to adjudicate parentage may admit to the parentage of a child by filing a pleading to that effect or by admitting parentage under penalty of perjury when making an appearance or during a hearing.

If the court finds that the admission of parentage satisfies the requirements of this section and finds that there is no reason to question the admission, the court shall issue an order adjudicating the child to be the child of the person admitting parentage.

Required Information

Citation: Cent. Code § 14-20-12

An acknowledgment of parentage must meet the following requirements:

  • Be in a record
  • Be signed, or otherwise authenticated, under penalty of perjury by the birth parent and by the person seeking to establish their parentage
  • State that the following applies to the child whose parentage is being acknowledged:
    • They do not have a presumed other parent or has a presumed other parent whose full name is stated.
    • They do not have another acknowledged or adjudicated other parent.
  • State whether there has been genetic testing and, if so, that the acknowledging person's claim of parentage is consistent with the results of the testing
  • State that the signatories understand that the acknowledgment is the equivalent of a judicial adjudication of parentage of the child and that a challenge to the acknowledgment is permitted only under limited circumstances and is barred after 2 years

Revocation of Claim to Parentage

Citation: Cent. Code §§ 14-20-17; 14-20-18

A signatory may rescind an acknowledgment of parentage by commencing a proceeding to rescind before the earlier of either of the following:

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

After the period for rescission has expired, a signatory of an acknowledgment of parentage may commence a proceeding to challenge the acknowledgment only as follows:

  • Based on evidence of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact
  • Within 2 years after the acknowledgment is filed with the department

A party challenging an acknowledgment of parentage has the burden of proof.

Access to Information

Citation: Cent. Code § 14-20-23

The department may release information relating to the acknowledgment of parentage to any of the following:

  • A signatory of the acknowledgment
  • Courts
  • Appropriate State or Federal agencies of this or another State