The Rights of Unmarried Parents - Utah

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Definitions

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-15-102; 78B-15-201; 78B-15-204

The terms used in this chapter are defined as follows:

  • 'Adjudicated father' means a person who has been adjudicated to be the child's other parent.
  • 'Alleged father' means a person who alleges to be, or is alleged to be, the child's genetic parent or possible genetic parent, but whose parentage has not been determined.
  • 'Declarant father' means a person who, along with the birth parent, claims to be the genetic parent of a child and signs a voluntary declaration of parentage to establish their parentage.
  • 'Determination of parentage' means the establishment of the parent-child relationship by the signing of a valid voluntary declaration of parentage or adjudication by a tribunal.

The other parent-child relationship is established by any of the following:

  • An unrebutted presumption of the person's parentage of the child
  • A declaration of parentage by the person
  • An adjudication of the person's parentage

A person is presumed to be the child's other parent 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 ends.
  • Before the child's birth, the child's parents married each other in apparent compliance with law, even if the attempted marriage could be invalid, and the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after its end.
  • After the child's birth, the child's parents married each other in apparent compliance with the law, even if the marriage could be invalid, the person voluntarily asserted parentage of the child, and any of the following apply:
    • The assertion is in a record filed with the Office of Vital Records.
    • The person agreed to be named as the child's other parent on the child's birth certificate.
    • The person promised in a record to support the child as their own.

Use of Parentage Registries

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-15-401; 78B-15-402

The Office of Vital Records shall register the following records that are filed with the office:

  • All declarations of parentage
  • All judicial and administrative determinations of parentage
  • All notices of proceedings to establish parentage that are filed pursuant to §§ 78-30-4.13 and 78-30-4.14

A notice of initiation of parentage proceedings may not be accepted into the registry unless accompanied by a copy of the pleading that has been filed with the court to establish parentage. A notice of initiation of parentage proceedings may not be filed if another person is the adjudicated or declarant other parent.

An unmarried biological other parent who desires to be notified of a proceeding for adoption of a child must file a notice of the initiation of parentage proceedings as required by §§ 78B-6-110, 78B-6-120, 78B-6-121, and 78B-6-122.

A registrant shall promptly notify the registry in writing of any change in the information registered. The Office of Vital Records shall incorporate all new information received into its records but need not affirmatively seek to obtain current information for incorporation in the registry.

Alternate Means to Establish Parentage

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-15-301; 78B-15-302; 78B-15-502; 78B-15-505; 78B-15-601; 78B-15-622

The child's birth parent and a person claiming to be the child's genetic other parent may sign a declaration of parentage to establish the parentage of the child. The declaration of parentage shall be in a form prescribed by the Office of Vital Records and shall be accompanied with a written and verbal notice of the alternatives to, the legal consequences of, and the rights and responsibilities that arise from signing the declaration.

Upon the motion of any party to the action, the court shall order the child and other designated individuals to submit to genetic testing, if the request for testing is supported by the sworn statement of a party to the proceeding, as follows:

  • Alleging parentage and stating facts establishing a reasonable probability of the requisite sexual contact between the individuals
  • Denying parentage and stating facts establishing a possibility that sexual contact between the individuals, if any, did not result in the conception of the child

A person is presumed to be identified as the child's genetic parent if the genetic testing complies with this part and the results disclose that the person has at least a 99-percent probability of genetic parentage. A person identified as the child's other parent may rebut the genetic testing results only by other genetic testing satisfying the requirements of this part that excludes the person as a genetic parent of the child or identifies another person as the possible genetic parent of the child. If a presumption of parentage is not rebutted by a second test, the court shall issue an order establishing parentage.

The parentage of a child also may be determined at an adjudicative proceeding. The tribunal shall issue an order adjudicating whether a person alleged or claiming to be the child's other parent is the other parent of the child.

Required Information

Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-15-302

A declaration of parentage must include the following:

  • Be in a record
  • Be signed by the birth parent and declarant other parent in the presence of two witnesses who are not related by blood or marriage
  • State that the following applies to the child whose parentage is being declared:
    • Does not have a presumed other parent or has a presumed other parent whose full name is stated
    • Does not have another declarant or adjudicated other parent
  • State whether there has been genetic testing and, if so, that the declarant other parent's claim of parentage is consistent with the results of the testing
  • State that the signatories understand that the declaration is the equivalent of a legal finding of parentage of the child

If either the birth parent or the declarant other parent is a minor, the voluntary declaration also must be signed by that minor's parent or legal guardian.

A presumed other parent may sign or otherwise authenticate an acknowledgment of parentage. The Social Security number of any person who is subject to declaration of parentage shall be placed in the records relating to the matter.

Revocation of Claim to Parentage

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-15-306; 78B-15-307

A signatory may rescind a declaration of parentage by filing a voluntary rescission document with the Office of Vital Records in a form prescribed by the office before the earlier of either of the following:

  • Sixty days after the effective date of the declaration
  • The date of notice of the first adjudicative proceeding to which the signatory is a party, before a tribunal to adjudicate an issue relating to the child, including a proceeding that establishes support

Upon receiving a voluntary rescission document from a signatory, the Office of Vital Records shall provide notice of the rescission by mail to the other signatory at the last known address of that signatory. After the period for rescission has expired, a signatory of a declaration of parentage or a support-enforcement agency may commence a proceeding to challenge the declaration based only on fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact. A party challenging a declaration of parentage or denial of parentage has the burden of proof.

A challenge brought based on fraud or duress may be commenced at any time. A challenge brought based on a material mistake of fact may be commenced within 4 years after the declaration is filed with the Office of Vital Records. Genetic test results that exclude a declarant other parent or that rebuttably identify another person as the genetic parent constitute a material mistake of fact.

Access to Information

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-15-312; 78B-15-405

The Office of Vital Records may release information relating to the declaration of parentage to a signatory of the declaration or denial and to tribunals and Federal, Tribal, and State support-enforcement agencies of this or another State.

The office shall send a copy of the filing to a person or entity set forth below who has requested a copy. The copy of the filing shall be sent to the most recent address provided by the requestor.

Information contained in records that are filed pursuant to § 78-45g-401 is confidential and only may be released on request to any of the following:

  • A tribunal or a person designated by the tribunal
  • The birth parent of the child who is the subject of the filing
  • An agency authorized by law to receive the information
  • A licensed child-placing agency
  • The Office of Recovery Services, the Office of the Attorney General, or a support-enforcement agency of another State or Tribe
  • A party or the party's attorney of record in a proceeding under this chapter, a proceeding for adoption of, or for termination of parental rights regarding, a child who is the subject of the filing
  • The registry of parentage in another State