Iowa Paternity Law
Section 252A

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252A.3A ESTABLISHING PATERNITY BY AFFIDAVIT.

1. The paternity of a child born out of wedlock may be legally established by the completion, filing, and registration by the state registrar of an affidavit of paternity only as provided by this section.

2. When paternity has not been legally established, paternity may be established by affidavit under this section for the following children:

a. The child of a woman who was unmarried at the time of conception, birth, and at any time during the period between conception and birth of the child.

b. The child of a woman who is married at the time of conception, birth, or at any time during the period between conception and birth of the child if a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the individual to whom the mother was married at that time is not the father of the child.

3. a. Prior to or at the time of completion of an affidavit of paternity, written and oral information about paternity establishment, developed by the child support recovery unit created in section 252B.2, shall be provided to the mother and putative father. Video or audio equipment may be used to provide oral information.

b. The information provided shall include a description of parental rights and responsibilities, including the duty to provide financial support for the child, the benefits of establishing paternity, and the alternatives to and legal consequences of signing an affidavit of paternity, including the rights available if a parent is a minor.

c. Copies of the written information shall be made available by the child support recovery unit or the Iowa department of public health to those entities where an affidavit of paternity may be obtained as provided under subsection 4.

4. a. The affidavit of paternity form developed and used by the Iowa department of public health is the only affidavit of paternity form recognized for the purpose of establishing paternity under this section. It shall include the minimum requirements specified by the secretary of the United States department of health and human services pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 652(a)(7). A properly completed affidavit of paternity form developed by the Iowa department of public health and existing on or after July 1, 1993, but which is superseded by a later affidavit of paternity form developed by the Iowa department of public health, shall have the same legal effect as a paternity affidavit form used by the Iowa department of public health on or after July 1, 1997, regardless of the date of the filing and registration of the affidavit of paternity, unless otherwise required under federal law.

b. The form shall be available from the state registrar, each county registrar, the child support recovery unit, and any institution in the state.

c. The Iowa department of public health shall make copies of the form available to the entities identified in paragraph “b” for distribution.

5. A completed affidavit of paternity shall contain or have attached all of the following:

a. A statement by the mother consenting to the assertion of paternity and the identity of the father and acknowledging either of the following:

(1) That the mother was unmarried at the time of conception, birth, and at any time during the period between conception and birth of the child.

(2) That the mother was married at the time of conception, birth, or at any time during the period between conception and birth of the child, and that a court order has been entered ruling that the individual to whom the mother was married at that time is not the father of the child.

b. If paragraph “a”, subparagraph (2), is applicable, a certified copy of the filed order ruling that the husband is not the father of the child.

c. A statement from the putative father that the putative father is the father of the child.

d. The name of the child at birth and the child’s birth date.

e. The signatures of the mother and putative father.

f. The social security numbers of the mother and putative father.

g. The addresses of the mother and putative father, as available.

h. The signature of a notary public attesting to the identities of the parties signing the affidavit of paternity.

i. Instructions for filing the affidavit.

6. A completed affidavit of paternity shall be filed with the state registrar. However, if the affidavit of paternity is obtained directly from the county registrar, the completed affidavit may be filed with the county registrar who shall forward the original affidavit to the state registrar. For the purposes of legal establishment of paternity under this section, paternity is legally established only upon filing of the affidavit with and registration of the affidavit by the state registrar subject to the right of any signatory to recision pursuant to subsection 12.

7. The state registrar shall make copies of affidavits of paternity and identifying information from the affidavits filed and registered pursuant to this section available to the child support recovery unit created under section 252B.2 in accordance with section 144.13, subsection 4, and any subsequent recision form which rescinds the affidavit.

8. An affidavit of paternity completed and filed with and registered by the state registrar pursuant to this section has all of the following effects:

a. Is admissible as evidence of paternity.

b. Has the same legal force and effect as a judicial determination of paternity subject to the right of any signatory to recision pursuant to subsection 12.

c. Serves as a basis for seeking child or medical support without further determination of paternity subject to the right of any signatory to recision pursuant to subsection 12.

9. All institutions in the state shall provide the following services with respect to any newborn child born out of wedlock:

a. Prior to discharge of the newborn from the institution, the institution where the birth occurs shall provide the mother and, if present, the putative father, with all of the following:

(1) Written and oral information about establishment of paternity pursuant to subsection 3. Video or audio equipment may be used to provide oral information.

(2) An affidavit of paternity form.

(3) An opportunity for consultation with the staff of the institution regarding the written information provided under subparagraph (1).

(4) An opportunity to complete an affidavit of paternity at the institution, as provided in this section.

b. The institution shall file any affidavit of paternity completed at the institution with the state registrar, pursuant tosubsection 6, accompanied by a copy of the child’s birth certificate, within ten days of the birth of the child.

10. a. An institution may be reimbursed by the child support recovery unit created in section 252B.2 for providing the services described under subsection 9, or may provide the services at no cost.

b. An institution electing reimbursement shall enter into a written agreement with the child support recovery unit for this purpose.

c. An institution entering into an agreement for reimbursement shall assist the parents of a child born out of wedlockin completing and filing an affidavit of paternity.

d. Reimbursement shall be based only on the number of affidavits completed in compliance with this section and submitted to the state registrar during the duration of the written agreement with the child support recovery unit.

e. The reimbursement rate is twenty dollars for each completed affidavit filed with the state registrar.

11. The state registrar, upon request of the mother or the putative father, shall provide the following services with respect to a child born out of wedlock:

a. Written and oral information about the establishment of paternity pursuant to subsection 3. Video or audio equipment may be used to provide oral information.

b. An affidavit of paternity form.

c. An opportunity for consultation with staff regarding the information provided under paragraph “a”.

12. a. A completed affidavit of paternity may be rescinded by registration by the state registrar of a completed and notarized recision form signed by either the mother or putative father who signed the affidavit of paternity that the putative father is not the father of the child. The completed and notarized recision form shall be filed with the state registrar for the purpose of registration prior to the earlier of the following:

(1) Sixty days after the latest notarized signature of the mother or putative father on the affidavit of paternity.

(2) Entry of a court order pursuant to a proceeding in this state to which the signatory is a party relating to the child, including a proceeding to establish a support order under this chapter, chapter 252C, 252F, 598, or 600B or other law of this state.

b. Unless the state registrar has received and registered an order as provided in section 252A.3, subsection 8, paragraph “a”, which legally establishes paternity, upon registration of a timely recision form the state registrar shall remove the father’s information from the certificate of birth, and shall send a written notice of the recision to the last known address of the signatory of the affidavit of paternity who did not sign the recision form.

c. The Iowa department of public health shall develop a recision form and an administrative process for recision. The form shall be the only recision form recognized for the purpose of rescinding a completed affidavit of paternity. A completed recision form shall include the signature of a notary public attesting to the identity of the party signing the recision form. The Iowa department of public health shall adopt rules which establish a fee, based upon the average administrative cost, to be collected for the registration of a recision.

d. If an affidavit of paternity has been rescinded under this subsection, the state registrar shall not register any subsequent affidavit of paternity signed by the same mother and putative father relating to the same child.

13. The child support recovery unit may enter into a written agreement with an entity designated by the secretary of the United States department of health and human services to offer voluntary paternity establishment services.

a. The agreement shall comply with federal requirements pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 666(a)(5)(C) including those regarding notice, materials, training, and evaluations.

b. The agreement may provide for reimbursement of the entity by the state if reimbursement is permitted by federal law.
Section History: Recent Form
93 Acts, ch 79, §13; 94 Acts, ch 1171, §13; 95 Acts, ch 52, §2; 97 Acts, ch 175, § 2; 98 Acts, ch 1170, §28–31
Referred to in § 144.13, 144.40, 252A.3, 252A.6A, 252C.4, 252K.201, 598.21E, 600B.41A

Required Probability of Paternity for Iowa Courts: 95%
Required Paternity Index: None
 

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