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FAMILY CODE SECTION 7570-7577

7570. The Legislature hereby finds and declares as follows:
(a) There is a compelling state interest in establishing paternity
for all children. Establishing paternity is the first step toward a
child support award, which, in turn, provides children with equal
rights and access to benefits, including, but not limited to, social
security, health insurance, survivors’ benefits, military benefits,
and inheritance rights. Knowledge of family medical history is often
necessary for correct medical diagnosis and treatment. Additionally,
knowing one’s father is important to a child’s development.
(b) A simple system allowing for establishment of voluntary
paternity will result in a significant increase in the ease of
establishing paternity, a significant increase in paternity
establishment, an increase in the number of children who have greater
access to child support and other benefits, and a significant
decrease in the time and money required to establish paternity due to
the removal of the need for a lengthy and expensive court process to
determine and establish paternity and is in the public interest.

7571. (a) On and after January 1, 1995, upon the event of a live
birth, prior to an unmarried mother leaving any hospital, the person
responsible for registering live births under Section 102405 of the
Health and Safety Code shall provide to the natural mother and shall
attempt to provide, at the place of birth, to the man identified by
the natural mother as the natural father, a voluntary declaration of
paternity together with the written materials described in Section
7572. Staff in the hospital shall witness the signatures of parents
signing a voluntary declaration of paternity and shall forward the
signed declaration to the Department of Child Support Services within
20 days of the date the declaration was signed. A copy of the
declaration shall be made available to each of the attesting parents.
(b) No health care provider shall be subject to any civil,
criminal, or administrative liability for any negligent act or
omission relative to the accuracy of the information provided, or for
filing the declaration with the appropriate state or local agencies.
(c) The local child support agency shall pay the sum of ten
dollars ($10) to birthing hospitals and other entities that provide
prenatal services for each completed declaration of paternity that is
filed with the Department of Child Support Services, provided that
the local child support agency and the hospital or other entity
providing prenatal services has entered into a written agreement that
specifies the terms and conditions for the payment as required by
federal law.
(d) If the declaration is not registered by the person responsible
for registering live births at the hospital, it may be completed by
the attesting parents, notarized, and mailed to the Department of
Child Support Services at any time after the child’s birth.
(e) Prenatal clinics shall offer prospective parents the
opportunity to sign a voluntary declaration of paternity. In order to
be paid for their services as provided in subdivision (c), prenatal
clinics must ensure that the form is witnessed and forwarded to the
Department of Child Support Services within 20 days of the date the
declaration was signed.
(f) Declarations shall be made available without charge at all
local child support agency offices, offices of local registrars of
births and deaths, courts, and county welfare departments within this
state. Staff in these offices shall witness the signatures of
parents wishing to sign a voluntary declaration of paternity and
shall be responsible for forwarding the signed declaration to the
Department of Child Support Services within 20 days of the date the
declaration was signed.
(g) The Department of Child Support Services, at its option, may
pay the sum of ten dollars ($10) to local registrars of births and
deaths, county welfare departments, or courts for each completed
declaration of paternity that is witnessed by staff in these offices
and filed with the Department of Child Support Services. In order to
receive payment, the Department of Child Support Services and the
entity shall enter into a written agreement that specifies the terms
and conditions for payment as required by federal law. The Department
of Child Support Services shall study the effect of the ten dollar
($10) payment on obtaining completed voluntary declaration of
paternity forms.
(h) The Department of Child Support Services and local child
support agencies shall publicize the availability of the
declarations. The local child support agency shall make the
declaration, together with the written materials described in
subdivision (a) of Section 7572, available upon request to any parent
and any agency or organization that is required to offer parents the
opportunity to sign a voluntary declaration of paternity. The local
child support agency shall also provide qualified staff to answer
parents’ questions regarding the declaration and the process of
establishing paternity.
(i) Copies of the declaration and any rescissions filed with the
Department of Child Support Services shall be made available only to
the parents, the child, the local child support agency, the county
welfare department, the county counsel, the State Department of
Health Services, and the courts.
(j) Publicly funded or licensed health clinics, pediatric offices,
Head Start programs, child care centers, social services providers,
prisons, and schools may offer parents the opportunity to sign a
voluntary declaration of paternity. In order to be paid for their
services as provided in subdivision (c), publicly funded or licensed
health clinics, pediatric offices, Head Start programs, child care
centers, social services providers, prisons, and schools shall ensure
that the form is witnessed and forwarded to the Department of Child
Support Services.
(k) Any agency or organization required to offer parents the
opportunity to sign a voluntary declaration of paternity shall also
identify parents who are willing to sign, but were unavailable when
the child was born. The organization shall then contact these parents
within 10 days and again offer the parent the opportunity to sign a
voluntary declaration of paternity.

7572. (a) The Department of Child Support Services, in consultation
with the State Department of Health Care Services, the California
Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, and other affected
health provider organizations, shall work cooperatively to develop
written materials to assist providers and parents in complying with
this chapter. This written material shall be updated periodically by
the Department of Child Support Services to reflect changes in law,
procedures, or public need.
(b) The written materials for parents which shall be attached to
the form specified in Section 7574 and provided to unmarried parents
shall contain the following information:
(1) A signed voluntary declaration of paternity that is filed with
the Department of Child Support Services legally establishes
paternity.
(2) The legal rights and obligations of both parents and the child
that result from the establishment of paternity.
(3) An alleged father’s constitutional rights to have the issue of
paternity decided by a court; to notice of any hearing on the issue
of paternity; to have an opportunity to present his case to the
court, including his right to present and cross-examine witnesses; to
have an attorney represent him; and to have an attorney appointed to
represent him if he cannot afford one in a paternity action filed by
a local child support agency.
(4) That by signing the voluntary declaration of paternity, the
father is voluntarily waiving his constitutional rights.
(c) Parents shall also be given oral notice of the rights and
responsibilities specified in subdivision (b). Oral notice may be
accomplished through the use of audio or video recorded programs
developed by the Department of Child Support Services to the extent
permitted by federal law.
(d) The Department of Child Support Services shall, free of
charge, make available to hospitals, clinics, and other places of
birth any and all informational and training materials for the
program under this chapter, as well as the paternity declaration
form. The Department of Child Support Services shall make training
available to every participating hospital, clinic, local registrar of
births and deaths, and other place of birth no later than June 30,
1999.
(e) The Department of Child Support Services may adopt
regulations, including emergency regulations, necessary to implement
this chapter.

7573. Except as provided in Sections 7575, 7576, 7577, and 7612, a
completed voluntary declaration of paternity, as described in Section
7574, that has been filed with the Department of Child Support
Services shall establish the paternity of a child and shall have the
same force and effect as a judgment for paternity issued by a court
of competent jurisdiction. The voluntary declaration of paternity
shall be recognized as a basis for the establishment of an order for
child custody, visitation, or child support.

7574. (a) The voluntary declaration of paternity shall be executed
on a form developed by the Department of Child Support Services in
consultation with the State Department of Health Services, the
California Family Support Council, and child support advocacy groups.
(b) The form described in subdivision (a) shall contain, at a
minimum, the following:
(1) The name and the signature of the mother.
(2) The name and the signature of the father.
(3) The name of the child.
(4) The date of birth of the child.
(5) A statement by the mother that she has read and understands
the written materials described in Section 7572, that the man who has
signed the voluntary declaration of paternity is the only possible
father, and that she consents to the establishment of paternity by
signing the voluntary declaration of paternity.
(6) A statement by the father that he has read and understands the
written materials described in Section 7572, that he understands
that by signing the voluntary declaration of paternity he is waiving
his rights as described in the written materials, that he is the
biological father of the child, and that he consents to the
establishment of paternity by signing the voluntary declaration of
paternity.
(7) The name and the signature of the person who witnesses the
signing of the declaration by the mother and the father.

7575. (a) Either parent may rescind the voluntary declaration of
paternity by filing a rescission form with the Department of Child
Support Services within 60 days of the date of execution of the
declaration by the attesting father or attesting mother, whichever
signature is later, unless a court order for custody, visitation, or
child support has been entered in an action in which the signatory
seeking to rescind was a party. The Department of Child Support
Services shall develop a form to be used by parents to rescind the
declaration of paternity and instruction on how to complete and file
the rescission with the Department of Child Support Services. The
form shall include a declaration under penalty of perjury completed
by the person filing the rescission form that certifies that a copy
of the rescission form was sent by any form of mail requiring a
return receipt to the other person who signed the voluntary
declaration of paternity. A copy of the return receipt shall be
attached to the rescission form when filed with the Department of
Child Support Services. The form and instructions shall be written in
simple, easy to understand language and shall be made available at
the local family support office and the office of local registrar of
births and deaths. The department shall, upon written request,
provide to a court or commissioner a copy of any rescission form
filed with the department that is relevant to proceedings before the
court or commissioner.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding Section 7573, if the court finds that the
conclusions of all of the experts based upon the results of the
genetic tests performed pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with
Section 7550) are that the man who signed the voluntary declaration
is not the father of the child, the court may set aside the voluntary
declaration of paternity unless the court determines that denial of
the action to set aside the voluntary declaration of paternity is in
the best interest of the child, after consideration of all of the
following factors:
(A) The age of the child.
(B) The length of time since the execution of the voluntary
declaration of paternity by the man who signed the voluntary
declaration.
(C) The nature, duration, and quality of any relationship between
the man who signed the voluntary declaration and the child, including
the duration and frequency of any time periods during which the
child and the man who signed the voluntary declaration resided in the
same household or enjoyed a parent-child relationship.
(D) The request of the man who signed the voluntary declaration
that the parent-child relationship continue.
(E) Notice by the biological father of the child that he does not
oppose preservation of the relationship between the man who signed
the voluntary declaration and the child.
(F) The benefit or detriment to the child in establishing the
biological parentage of the child.
(G) Whether the conduct of the man who signed the voluntary
declaration has impaired the ability to ascertain the identity of, or
get support from, the biological father.
(H) Additional factors deemed by the court to be relevant to its
determination of the best interest of the child.
(2) If the court denies the action, the court shall state on the
record the basis for the denial of the action and any supporting
facts.
(3) (A) The notice of motion for genetic tests under this section
may be filed not later than two years from the date of the child’s
birth by a local child support agency, the mother, the man who signed
the voluntary declaration as the child’s father, or in an action to
determine the existence or nonexistence of the father and child
relationship pursuant to Section 7630 or in any action to establish
an order for child custody, visitation, or child support based upon
the voluntary declaration of paternity.
(B) The local child support agency’s authority under this
subdivision is limited to those circumstances where there is a
conflict between a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity and a
judgment of paternity or a conflict between two or more voluntary
acknowledgments of paternity.
(4) The notice of motion for genetic tests pursuant to this
section shall be supported by a declaration under oath submitted by
the moving party stating the factual basis for putting the issue of
paternity before the court.
(c) (1) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prejudice or
bar the rights of either parent to file an action or motion to set
aside the voluntary declaration of paternity on any of the grounds
described in, and within the time limits specified in, Section 473 of
the Code of Civil Procedure. If the action or motion to set aside a
judgment is required to be filed within a specified time period under
Section 473 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the period within which
the action or motion to set aside the voluntary declaration of
paternity must be filed shall commence on the date that the court
makes an initial order for custody, visitation, or child support
based upon a voluntary declaration of paternity.
(2) The parent or local child support agency seeking to set aside
the voluntary declaration of paternity shall have the burden of
proof.
(3) Any order for custody, visitation, or child support shall
remain in effect until the court determines that the voluntary
declaration of paternity should be set aside, subject to the court’s
power to modify the orders as otherwise provided by law.
(4) Nothing in this section is intended to restrict a court from
acting as a court of equity.
(5) If the voluntary declaration of paternity is set aside
pursuant to paragraph (1), the court shall order that the mother,
child, and alleged father submit to genetic tests pursuant to Chapter
2 (commencing with Section 7550). If the court finds that the
conclusions of all the experts, as disclosed by the evidence based
upon the genetic tests, are that the person who executed the
voluntary declaration of paternity is not the father of the child,
the question of paternity shall be resolved accordingly. If the
person who executed the declaration as the father of the child is not
excluded as a possible father, the question of paternity shall be
resolved as otherwise provided by law. If the person who executed the
declaration of paternity is ultimately determined to be the father
of the child, any child support that accrued under an order based
upon the voluntary declaration of paternity shall remain due and
owing.
(6) The Judicial Council shall develop the forms and procedures
necessary to effectuate this subdivision.

7576. The following provisions shall apply for voluntary
declarations signed on or before December 31, 1996.
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (d), the child of a woman
and a man executing a declaration of paternity under this chapter is
conclusively presumed to be the man’s child. The presumption under
this section has the same force and effect as the presumption under
Section 7540.
(b) A voluntary declaration of paternity shall be recognized as
the basis for the establishment of an order for child custody or
support.
(c) In any action to rebut the presumption created by this
section, a voluntary declaration of paternity shall be admissible as
evidence to determine paternity of the child named in the voluntary
declaration of paternity.
(d) The presumption established by this chapter may be rebutted by
any person by requesting blood or genetic tests pursuant to Chapter
2 (commencing with Section 7550). The notice of motion for blood or
genetic tests pursuant to this section shall be supported by a
declaration under oath submitted by the moving party stating the
factual basis for placing the issue of paternity before the court.
The notice of motion for blood tests shall be made within three years
from the date of execution of the declaration by the attesting
father, or by the attesting mother, whichever signature is later. The
two-year statute of limitations specified in subdivision (b) of
Section 7541 is inapplicable for purposes of this section.
(e) A presumption under this chapter shall override all statutory
presumptions of paternity except a presumption arising under Section
7540 or 7555, or as provided in Section 7612.

7577. (a) Notwithstanding Section 7573, a voluntary declaration of
paternity that is signed by a minor parent or minor parents shall not
establish paternity until 60 days after both parents have reached
the age of 18 years or are emancipated, whichever first occurs.
(b) A parent who signs a voluntary declaration of paternity when
he or she is a minor may rescind the voluntary declaration of
paternity at any time up to 60 days after the parent reaches the age
of 18 or becomes emancipated whichever first occurs.
(c) A voluntary declaration of paternity signed by a minor creates
a rebuttable presumption of paternity until the date that it
establishes paternity as specified in subdivision (a).
(d) A voluntary declaration of paternity signed by a minor shall
be admissible as evidence in any civil action to establish paternity
of the minor named in the voluntary declaration.
(e) A voluntary declaration of paternity that is signed by a minor
shall not be admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution for
violation of Section 261.5 of the Penal Code.