The Rights of Unmarried Parents - South Dakota

Date: June 2022


Citation: Ann. Laws § 25-5A-1

The term 'parents' means the birth parent and other parent, if living, of a child.

The term 'putative father' means any person who claims to be, or is named as, the biological other parent or a possible biological other parent of a child and whose parentage of the child has not been judicially determined.

Use of Parentage Registries

Citation: Ann. Laws § 25-8-50; 25-8-63

Upon the birth of a child to an unmarried birth parent, and prior to discharge, any hospital, physician, health-care provider, midwife, or nurse who assists in the birth of the child shall do the following:

  • Provide an opportunity for the child's birth parent and alleged other parent to sign under oath an affidavit of parentage
  • Provide to the birth parent and to the alleged other parent any necessary information furnished by the Department of Social Services that describes, among other things, the following:
    • The rights and responsibilities of parentage
    • The benefits of having the child's parentage established
    • The alleged other parent's legal rights and responsibilities, including their right to request genetic testing
    • The child's right to receive child support
    • That a signed affidavit of parentage creates a rebuttable presumption of parentage
    • That a signed affidavit of parentage allows the establishment of a support obligation without requiring further proceedings to establish parentage
    • That completion of the affidavit of parentage is voluntary and is not required of either the birth parent or the alleged other parent

If obtained, the fully completed, signed, and notarized original affidavit of parentage shall be forwarded to the Department of Health within 7 days following the birth of the child. Every affidavit or adjudication of parentage shall be filed with the Department of Health for comparison with information contained within the State case registry.

Alternate Means to Establish Parentage

Citation: Ann. Laws §§ 25-8-7; 25-8-7.1

An action to determine parentage is a civil action governed by the Rules of Civil Procedure. They are not exclusive of other proceedings that may be available on principles of law or equity.

Upon determining parentage of a child, the court shall give judgment declaring the parentage of the other parent to the child. The court may award a money judgment to the appropriate party for the recovery of the reasonable expenses of the birth parent's pregnancy and confinement; for the education, support, or funeral expenses for the child; or for any other expenses with respect to the child as the court deems reasonable.

In any action or proceeding in which the parentage of a child is at issue, including disestablishment proceedings pursuant to § 25-8-64, upon motion of the court or the department or any of the interested parties, the court shall, for good cause shown, order the birth parent, the child, or any alleged genetic parent to submit to an examination of blood, tissue, or other bodily substances for the purpose of testing any genetic systems that are generally accepted within the scientific community for the conclusive determination of parentage probability. The results of the tests, together with the opinions and conclusions of the testing laboratory, shall be filed with the court.

Required Information

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Revocation of Claim to Parentage

Citation: Ann. Laws § 25-8-59

Any action contesting a rebuttable presumption of parentage shall be commenced in circuit court either 60 days after the creation of the presumption of parentage or the date of any administrative or judicial proceedings relating to the child, including proceedings to establish a support obligation, whichever occurs earlier, except in cases where there are allegations of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.

In cases involving allegations of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, any action contesting a rebuttable presumption of parentage shall be commenced within 3 years after the creation of any presumption. The burden of proof shall be upon the moving party, and the payment of child support or any other legal responsibilities of the parties may not be suspended during the pendency of the proceedings, except upon a showing of good cause by the moving party.

Access to Information

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.