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New York State Paternity Laws

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 3:09 PM
Friday, July 24, 2009


The below information is a general guide to New York State Paternity Laws. Please conduct further research on your state laws for current or updated information or contact a family attorney for professional legal advice. For information on state collection locations, click here.

Link: NY Division of Child Support Enforcement – Establishing Paternity

Link: Establishing Paternity – City Of New York Office of Child Support

Link: Establishing Paternity – What you Should Know

Link: New York Family Court Self Help – Forms

Required Probability of Paternity for New York Courts: 95%

Required Paternity Index: None at this time

Current New York Paternity Law: Section 4135

§  4135-b.  Voluntary  acknowledgments of paternity; child born out of wedlock.

1. (a) Immediately preceding or following the in-hospital birth of a child to an unmarried woman, the person in charge of such  hospital or  his  or  her  designated representative shall provide to the child’s mother and putative father, if such father is readily  identifiable  and available,  the  documents  and  written instructions necessary for such mother and putative father to complete an  acknowledgment  of  paternity witnessed   by   two   persons   not  related  to  the  signatory.  Such acknowledgment, if signed by both parties, at  any  time  following  the birth  of a child, shall be filed with the registrar at the same time at which the certificate of live birth is filed, if  possible,  or  anytime thereafter.  Nothing  herein  shall  be  deemed to require the person in charge of such hospital or his or her designee to seek out or  otherwise locate  a  putative father who is not readily identifiable or available.  The  acknowledgment  shall  be  executed  on  a  form  provided  by  the commissioner developed in consultation with the appropriate commissioner of  the  department of family assistance, which shall include the social security number of the mother and of the putative father and provide  in plain language

(i)  a  statement  by  the  mother  consenting  to  the acknowledgment of paternity and a statement that the putative father  is the  only  possible father,

(ii) a statement by the putative father that he is the biological father of the child, and

(iii) a statement that the signing of the acknowledgment of paternity by both  parties  shall  have the same force and effect as an order of filiation entered after a court hearing by a court of competent jurisdiction, including an obligation to provide  support  for  the  child  except  that,  only if filed with the registrar of the district in which the birth certificate has been filed, will the acknowledgment have such  force  and  effect  with  respect  to inheritance  rights.  Prior  to  the  execution  of an acknowledgment of paternity, the mother and the putative father shall be provided  orally, which may be through the use of audio or video equipment, and in writin with  such information  as  is  required  pursuant to this section with respect to their rights and the  consequences  of  signing  a  voluntary acknowledgment  of  paternity  including,  but  not limited to, that the signing of the acknowledgment of paternity shall establish the paternity of the child and shall have the same force and effect  as  an  order  of paternity  or  filiation  issued  by  a  court of competent jurisdiction establishing the duty of both parties to provide support for the  child; that  if  such an acknowledgment is not made, the putative father can be held liable for support only if the family court, after a hearing, makes an order declaring that the putative father is the father of  the  child whereupon  the  court  may  make  an  order  of  support  which  may  be retroactive to the birth of the child; that if made a  respondent  in  a proceeding  to  establish  paternity  the putative father has a right to free legal representation if indigent; that the putative  father  has  a right  to a genetic marker test or to a DNA test when available; that by executing the acknowledgment, the putative father waives his right to  a hearing,  to  which  he  would  otherwise  be  entitled, on the issue of paternity; that a copy of the acknowledgment of paternity shall be filed with the putative father registry  pursuant  to  section  three  hundred seventy-two-c  of  the  social  services  law,  and that such filing may establish the child’s right to  inheritance  from  the  putative  fatherpursuant  to  clause (B) of subparagraph two of paragraph (a) of section 4-1.2  of  the  estates,  powers  and  trusts   law;   that,   if   such acknowledgment  is filed with the registrar of the district in which the birth certificate has been filed,  such  acknowledgment  will  establish inheritance  rights  from  the putative father pursuant to clause (A) of subparagraph two of paragraph (a)  of  section  4-1.2  of  the  estates, powers  and  trusts  law;  that  no  further  judicial or administrative proceedings are required to  ratio  an unchallenged  acknowledgment  of paternity  provided,  however,  that  both  the  putative father and the
mother  of the child have the right to rescind the acknowledgment within the earlier of sixty days from the date of signing the acknowledgment or the date of an administrative or  a  judicial  proceeding  (including  a proceeding  to establish a support order) relating to the child in which either signatory is a party; that the “date of an  administrative  or  a judicial  proceeding”  shall  be  the  date  by  which the respondent is required to answer the petition; that after the expiration of sixty days of the execution of the acknowledgment, either signatory  may  challenge the  acknowledgment  of  paternity  in court only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden  of  proof  on  the party  challenging  the  voluntary acknowledgment; that they may wish to consult with an attorney before executing the acknowledgment;  and  that they have the right to seek legal representation and supportive services including   counseling   regarding   such   acknowledgment;   that   the
acknowledgment of paternity may be the basis  for  the  putative  father establishing  custody  and  visitation  rights  to  the  child;  if  the acknowledgment is signed, it may be the basis for requiring the putative father’s consent prior to an adoption proceeding; the  mother’s  refusal
to sign the acknowledgment shall not be deemed a failure to cooperate in establishing paternity  for  the child; and the child may bear the last name of either parent, which name shall not affect the legal  status  of the child. In addition, the governing body of such hospital shall insure that  appropriate staff shall provide to the child’s mother and putative father,  prior  to  the  mother’s  discharge  from  the  hospital,   the opportunity   to   speak   with  hospital  staff  to  obtain  clarifying information   and   answers   to   their   questions   about   paternity establishment,  and shall also provide the telephone number of the local support collection unit.

(b) Within ten days after receiving  the  certificate  of  birth,  the registrar shall furnish without charge to each parent or guardian of the child  or  to  the  mother  at  the  address  designated by her for that purpose,  a  certified  copy  of  the  certificate  of  birth  and,   if applicable, a certified copy of the written acknowledgment of paternity. If  the  mother  is  in  receipt  of  child support enforcement services pursuant to title six-A of article three of the social services law, the registrar also shall furnish without charge  a  certified  copy  of  the certificate of birth and, if applicable, a certified copy of the written acknowledgment  of  paternity  to  the  social  services district of the county within which the mother resides.

2. (a) When a child’s paternity is acknowledged  voluntarily  pursuant to  section  one hundred eleven-k of the social services law, the social services official  shall  file  the  executed  acknowledgment  with  the registrar  of  the district in which the birth occurred and in which the birth certificate  has been filed.

(b) Where a child’s paternity has not  been  acknowledged  voluntarily pursuant  to  paragraph

(a)  of  subdivision  one  of  this  section or paragraph (a) of this subdivision, the child’s mother and  the  putative father  may voluntarily acknowledge a child’s paternity pursuant to this paragraph by signing the acknowledgment of paternity provided,  however, that both the putative father and the mother of the child have the right to  rescind the acknowledgment within the earlier of sixty days from the date of signing the acknowledgment or the date of an administrative or a judicial proceeding (including  a  proceeding  to  establish  a  support order)  relating to the child in which either signatory is a party; that for purposes of this section,  the  “date  of  an  administrative  or  a judicial  proceeding”  shall  be  the  date  by  which the respondent is required to answer the petition; that after the expiration of sixty days
of the execution of the acknowledgment, either  signator  may  challenge the acknowledgment  of  paternity  in court only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden  of  proof  on  the party challenging the voluntary acknowledgment. The acknowledgment shall have full force and effect once so signed. The original or a copy of the
acknowledgement  shall  be  filed  with the registrar of the district in which the birth certificate has been filed.

3. (a) An acknowledgment of  paternity  executed  by  the  mother  and father of a child born out of wedlock shall establish the paternity of a child  and shall have the same force and effect as an order of paternity or  filiation  issued  by  a  court  of  competent  jurisdiction.   Such
acknowledgement shall thereafter be filed with the registrar pursuant to subdivision one or two of this section.

(b)  A  registrar  with  whom  an acknowledgment of paternity has been filed pursuant to subdivision one or two of this section shall file  the acknowledgment  with  the  state  department  of health and the putative father registry.
4. A new certificate of birth shall be issued if  the  certificate  of birth  of  a  child  born  out of wedlock as defined in paragraph (b) of subdivision one of section four thousand one hundred thirty-five of this article has been filed without entry of the name of the father, and  the commissioner thereafter receives a notarized acknowledgment of paternity accompanied  by the written consent of the putative father and mother to the entry of the name of such father, which consent may  also  be  to  a change in the surname of the child.

Link: New York Statues

This information is a general guide. Research your state laws for current information or contact a family attorney.

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22 Responses to “New York State Paternity Laws”

  1. Issac Maez says:

    Great information! Thanks!

  2. K mommy says:

    I would like to know what happens to a father who requests a DNA test and refuses to go in and take the test and not respond to any letters sent to him. A man knows hes the father, came to the hospitcal for the birth, but refuses to care for a child that is his… what happens to him? I filed for paternity establishment a year ago since he didn’t come back to sign the birth certificate. I haven’t heard a word in 6 months.. can someone explain? will there be a warant issued?

  3. admin says:

    Hello K Mommy,

    Unfortunately every situation is different. You would need to check with a legal professional in your area to see exactly what consequences he will face if any. The answer might depend on if the Court Ordered the DNA Test or if he asked for it on a voluntary basis. I would also suggest that you check on the status of the paternity establishment to see if the man has been established as the father you might have legal recourse to child support.

    Again please contact a Family Attorney in your area to make sure you know all your rights.


  4. Hopeful Dad says:

    What happens if you signed the Acknowledgement at the hospital but now, 2 years later past infidelity has arose and you now want a DNA test before a Child Support Order is made. I hope the child is mine but I have to know before this goes forward.


  5. admin says:


    What happens depends on the Judge and the state laws. Some states have a time limit on challenging paternity. You should check with a local family attorney to see what your options are. We can diffidently provide you with a DNA test to show whether the child is yours or not. We have many locations in New York were we can have your DNA collected and can follow all the state laws and guidelines to provide you with a document that can be used in court. For more information please call us at toll free 888-362-4339.

    Thank you,

  6. ebsnstein says:

    Your post has been more than helpful. Thanks Dave

  7. Dri says:

    if you signed the acknowledgement of paternity at the hospital and are on the birth certificate and already placed on child support, and went to court and was denied a paternity test, is there a way to fight that and have another hearing and get the test done? What if you ordered a home dna kit but the mother wont let you take the child and do the swab? How do you find out then? Please help

  8. admin says:

    Hello Dri,

    If the court will not honor your request for a DNA test and the mother is not willing to participate, you should contact an attorney. Start by asking for a free consultation and tell them what your situation is. In many states there is a statute of limitations for rescinding (revoke/cancel/change) a birth certificate. You will need to ask the attorney what the law is for your state. In some cases, if this date has passed, you cannot be removed as the father of a child even if you are not the biological father. (We agree, it isn’t fair and the laws must be changed…) Good luck to you.

  9. William Cripp says:

    What happens if a man hires a prostitute & the prostitute becomes pregnant? Is the father liable for support payments?

  10. admin says:

    Hello William,

    We are not legal professionals in New York and do not know all the laws. Our best understanding is that the father might still be liable for support of the child. In this situation it would be best to have a DNA test proving that he really was the father. We strongly recommend that you consider contacting a Family attorney so that you can understand what all your options are in this type of situation.

    Please let us know if we can be of any more assistance.

    Best Wishes,
    The Staff at DNA Identifiers

  11. El Helmi says:

    I believe I have signed a defective AOP and I am challenging it in court. The reasons I believe it is defective is 4135-B and Social Service law 111-K was not heard too. The following apples in my case AOP was never certified, wrong from from 8/98 instead of 7/02 I signed it on 11/02. No audio or video recording explaing to me my rights and responsiblities. The form itself was incompleted only two pages have been certified instead of the required four. My brithdate is listed wrong and no witness signature at the time i signed it. I am also within 60 days as i filled a petition before the certification came back.

  12. admin says:

    From what you have said it does seem that you might have a reasonable case, however this situation is something that you should speak to your attorney about.

    Many men sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity, or AOP, without having proof of paternity with the child and then later struggle to rescind that declaration if they have doubts. If you are questioning your biological relationship with a child, then you will need to get a court order or a prescription from a doctor in order to get a DNA test within the Sate of New York. Again, please speak to your attorney for more information regarding the proper steps you’ll need to take since you have already signed the AOP.

    Should you be granted a DNA test by the judge, please do not hesitate to contact us for full a quote. We offer tests for around $325, plus collection fees (sometimes prescription fees apply, as well) and a 2-business day turn around at the lab. We also guarantee our results to be 0% or 99.9+ without mother or 99.99+% with the mother included in the test

    Best Wishes
    DNA Identifiers Staff

  13. seximommy says:

    Hello my baby Father has asked for a dna and I have told him I would do it but now he has told me he is not gonna go I have written evidence from him stating that my child is his and that he knows she’s his can this in anyway help me in the court? Any help would be greatly and highly appreciated thank you

  14. admin says:


    I am sorry but you will need to contact a family attorney to assist you. Our understanding is that they only way to make the possible father participate in a DNA test is by getting a court order. An attorney would be able to help you get that order or be able to answer your question about the written evidence.

    Best Wishes,
    The DNA Identifiers Staff

  15. Need Help says:

    I don’t know what to do. On Friday evening, when getting home from work, I recieved a letter from New York City Family Court and a paternity suit. It is obviously the wrong person that was served. I’ve never heard of the women in the suit. I was in High School 8 hrs away when the conception occured. However, despite getting this on Friday night, the hearing is in 2 days in the other side of the state. This is either a scam or a mistaken idenity. What do I do? I can’t afford missing work and driving 8 hrs to attend this hearing. No phone number is listed.

  16. admin says:

    Hello Need Help,

    I am sorry but we are not able to advise you. You need to immediately contact a family attorney in your state.

    Best of Luck,
    The Staff at DNA Identifers

  17. jenna says:

    Hi, I just received a letter in the mail stating that the alleged father was found not to be the father of my son because of DNA. The problem I am having is that my son and I took our DNA test the same day we had court while the alleged father did not take his until a month later in a different county where he lives 4 hours away. Am I able to challenge because I know he is my son’s father?

  18. admin says:

    Hello Jenna,

    This is a question for a family attorney. I know that with our company we often do DNA collections at different location and at different times. In order to insure that the correct people participate in the DNA test we take photos and check the government issued ID for everyone involved. You might check with the lab that did your test to see if they followed any of those practices. I hope this helps answer your question.

    The Staff at DNA Identifiers

  19. BeNtLeYs MoM says:

    I got pregnant by one of my former friends with benefits. i told them both i was pregnant but then we stopped talking. i had my son and he just turned 1. looking at my son i can tell who is his dad is and ive told him hes possibly the dad. no one signed the birth certificate and i didnt know the paternity so i didnt fill out a paternity form.. he was born out of wedlock.this guy doesnt want anything to do with my son but wants to remain friends with me. i am looking to move out of state and i am afraid he will seek a paternity test and try to stop me. i am ok with being a single mom and i dont want my son to have anything to do with this man, but i dont want him to try and be his dad now. can he seek a paternity test and can i refuse to give him one. im confused and i only want whats best for bentley.

  20. admin says:

    Hello BeNtLeYs MoM,

    What you should know is that the father can force you to get a paternity test by court order only, unless you are on state support or welfare, in which case, they can cut off your support if you do not comply. However, these are questions best answered by a family law attorney in your state. Each state differs and a family law attorney who know the law for your state will be able to answer those questions for you. However, please keep in mind that the only way

    The Staff at DNA Identifiers

  21. Ray says:

    In New York city, what is the time limit for challenging paternity and the statute of limitations for changing birth certificate? My name was put on certificate without my knowledge.

  22. admin says:

    Hello Ray,

    I am very sorry but we don’t know how long you have to challenge paternity. We would recommend you contact a family law attorney in your area for that information. We do know that under normal situations you have 60 days to modify the birth certificate with out needed to go through the court system.

    Best of Luck,
    The Staff at DNA Identifiers

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