The Rights of Unmarried Parents - West Virginia

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Definitions

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 48-22-105; 109; 110; 113; 114

The term 'birth father' means the biological other parent of the child.

The term 'determined father' means, before adoption, a person to whom any of the following apply:

  • In whom parentage has been established pursuant to the provisions of article 24-101, et seq., whether by adjudication or acknowledgment
  • Who has been otherwise judicially determined to be the biological other parent of the child entitled to parental rights
  • Who has asserted their parentage of the child in an action commenced pursuant to the provisions of article 24-101, et seq., that is pending at the time of the filing of the adoption petition

The term 'legal father' means, before adoption, the person having the legal relationship of parent to a child, as follows:

  • Who is married to the child's birth parent at the time of conception
  • Who is married to the child's birth parent at the time of the birth of the child
  • Who is the biological other parent of the child and who marries the child's birth parent before the child's adoption

The term 'outsider father' means the biological other parent of a child born to or conceived by the birth parent while they are married to another person who is not the biological other parent of the child.

The term 'putative father' means, before adoption, any person named by the birth parent as a possible biological other parent of the child, pursuant to the provisions of § 48-22-502, who is not a legal or determined father.

Use of Parentage Registries

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Alternate Means to Establish Parentage

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 48-24-101; 48-24-103; 48-24-106

A civil action to establish the parentage of a child may be instituted, by verified complaint, in the family court of the county where the child resides. A 'parentage proceeding' is a summary proceeding wherein a family court upon the petition of the State or another proper party may intervene to determine and protect the respective personal rights of a child for whom parentage has not been lawfully established. A decree or order made and entered by a court in a parentage proceeding shall include a determination of the filial relationship, if any, that exists between a child and his or her putative other parent.

The court may, on its own motion or shall upon the motion of any party, order the birth parent, the child, and the possible other parent to submit to genetic tests to aid in proving or disproving parentage. If the request is made by a party alleging parentage, the statement shall set forth facts establishing a reasonable possibility or requisite sexual contact between the parties. If the request is made by a party denying parentage, the statement may set forth facts establishing a reasonable possibility of the nonexistence of sexual contact between the parties. The results shall be considered as follows:

  • Test results that exclude the person as the genetic parent shall be clear and convincing evidence of nonparentage.
  • Test results that show a statistical probability of parentage of less than 98 percent are admissible and shall be weighed along with other evidence of the respondent's parentage.
  • Undisputed test results that show a statistical probability of parentage of more than 98 percent shall legally establish the person as the child's genetic parent for all purposes.

A written, notarized acknowledgment executed pursuant to law legally establishes the person as the child's other parent for all purposes.

Required Information

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Revocation of Claim to Parentage

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Access to Information

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.