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North Carolina State Paternity Laws

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 2:32 PM
Friday, July 24, 2009

north-carolina

The below information is a general guide to North Carolina 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: North Carolina Affidavit of Paternity

Link: North Carolina Division of Social Services – Help

Link: North Carolina Division of Social Services – Child Support

Required Probability of Paternity for North Carolina Courts: 97% - If the court finds that the conclusion of all the experts, as disclosed by the evidence based upon the test, is that the probability of the alleged parent’s parentage is less than eighty‑five percent (85%), the alleged parent is presumed not to be the parent and the evidence shall be admitted.  This presumption may be rebutted only by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence (8‑50.1. See Below)

Required Paternity Index: None at this time

Current North Carolina Paternity Law: Chapter 49 – Bastardy

Article 2.

Legitimation of Illegitimate Children.

§ 49‑10.  Legitimation.

The putative father of any child born out of wedlock, whether such father resides in North Carolina or not, may apply by a verified written petition, filed in a special proceeding in the superior court of the county in which the putative father resides or in the superior court of the county in which the child resides, praying that such child be declared legitimate. The mother, if living, and the child shall be necessary parties to the proceeding, and the full names of the father, mother and the child shall be set out in the petition. A certified copy of a certificate of birth of the child shall be attached to the petition. If it appears to the court that the petitioner is the father of the child, the court may thereupon declare and pronounce the child legitimated; and the full names of the father, mother and the child shall be set out in the court order decreeing legitimation of the child. The clerk of the court shall record the order in the record of orders and decrees and it shall be cross‑ indexed under the name of the father as plaintiff or petitioner on the plaintiff’s side of the cross‑index, and under the name of the mother, and the child as defendants or respondents on the defendants’ side of the cross‑index. (Code, s. 39; Rev., s. 263; C.S., s. 277; 1947, c. 663, s. 1; 1971, c. 154; 1977, c. 83, s. 1.)

§ 49‑11.  Effects of legitimation.

The effect of legitimation under G.S. 49‑10 shall be to impose upon the father and mother all of the lawful parental privileges and rights, as well as all of the obligations which parents owe to their lawful issue, and to the same extent as if said child had been born in wedlock, and to entitle such child by succession, inheritance or distribution, to take real and personal property by, through, and from his or her father and mother as if such child had been born in lawful wedlock. In case of death and intestacy, the real and personal estate of such child shall descend and be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act as if he had been born in lawful wedlock. (Code, s. 40; Rev., s. 264; C.S., s. 278; 1955, c. 540, s. 2; 1959, c. 879, s. 10; 1963, c. 1131.)

§ 49‑12.  Legitimation by subsequent marriage.

When the mother of any child born out of wedlock and the reputed father of such child shall intermarry or shall have intermarried at any time after the birth of such child, the child shall, in all respects after such intermarriage be deemed and held to be legitimate and the child shall be entitled, by succession, inheritance or distribution, to real and personal property by, through, and from his father and mother as if such child had been born in lawful wedlock. In case of death and intestacy, the real and personal estate of such child shall descend and be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act as if he had been born in lawful wedlock. (1917, c. 219, s. 1; C.S., s. 279; 1947, c. 663, s. 2; 1955, c. 540, s. 3; 1959, c. 879, s. 11.)

§ 49‑12.1.   Legitimation when mother married.

(a)       The putative father of a child born to a mother who is married to another man may file a special proceeding to legitimate the child. The procedures shall be the same as those specified by G.S. 49‑10, except that the spouse of the mother of the child shall be a necessary party to the proceeding and shall be properly served. A guardian ad litem shall be appointed to represent the child if the child is a minor.

(b)       The presumption of legitimacy can be overcome by clear and convincing evidence.

(c)       The parties may enter a consent order with the approval of the clerk of superior court. The order entered by the clerk shall find the facts and declare the proper person the father of the child and may change the surname of the child.

(d)       The effect of legitimation under this section shall be the same as provided by G.S. 49‑11.

(e)       A certified copy of the order of legitimation under this section shall be sent by the clerk of superior court under his official seal to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics who shall make a new birth certificate bearing the full name of the father of the child and, if ordered by the clerk, changing the surname of the child.  (1991, c. 667, s. 2; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1030, s. 15; 1997‑433, s. 4.9; 1998‑17, s. 1.)

§ 49‑13.  New birth certificate on legitimation.

A certified copy of the order of legitimation when issued under the provisions of G.S. 49‑10 shall be sent by the clerk of the superior court under his official seal to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics who shall then make the new birth certificate bearing the full name of the father, and change the surname of the child so that it will be the same as the surname of the father.

When a child is legitimated under the provisions of G.S. 49‑12, the State Registrar of Vital Statistics shall make a new birth certificate bearing the full name of the father upon presentation of a certified copy of the certificate of marriage of the father and mother and change the surname of the child so that it will be the same as the surname of the father. (1947, c. 663, s. 3; 1955, c. 951, s. 2.)

§ 49‑13.1: Repealed by Session Laws 2004‑203, s. 3, effective August 17, 2004.

Article 3.

Civil Actions Regarding Illegitimate Children.

§ 49‑14.  Civil action to establish paternity.

(a)       The paternity of a child born out of wedlock may be established by civil action at any time prior to such child’s eighteenth birthday. A copy of a certificate of birth of the child shall be attached to the complaint. The establishment of paternity shall not have the effect of legitimation. The social security numbers, if known, of the minor child’s parents shall be placed in the record of the proceeding.

(b)       Proof of paternity pursuant to this section shall be by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence.

(c)       No such action shall be commenced nor judgment entered after the death of the putative father, unless the action is commenced either:

(1)       Prior to the death of the putative father;

(2)       Within one year after the date of death of the putative father, if a proceeding for administration of the estate of the putative father has not been commenced within one year of his death; or

(3)       Within the period specified in G.S. 28A‑19‑3(a) for presentation of claims against an estate, if a proceeding for administration of the estate of the putative father has been commenced within one year of his death.

Any judgment under this subsection establishing a decedent to be the father of a child shall be entered nunc pro tunc to the day preceding the date of death of the father.

(d)       If the action to establish paternity is brought more than three years after birth of a child or is brought after the death of the putative father, paternity shall not be established in a contested case without evidence from a blood or genetic marker test.

(e)       Either party to an action to establish paternity may request that the case be tried at the first session of the court after the case is docketed, but the presiding judge, in his discretion, may first try any pending case in which the rights of the parties or the public demand it.

(f)        When a determination of paternity is pending in a IV‑D case, the court shall enter a temporary order for child support upon motion and showing of clear, cogent, and convincing evidence of paternity. For purposes of this subsection, the results of blood or genetic tests shall constitute clear, cogent, and convincing evidence of paternity if the tests show that the probability of the alleged parent’s parentage is ninety‑seven percent (97%) or higher. If paternity is not thereafter established, then the putative father shall be reimbursed the full amount of temporary support paid under the order.

(g)       Invoices for services rendered for pregnancy, childbirth, and blood or genetic testing are admissible as evidence without requiring third party foundation testimony and shall constitute prima facie evidence of the amounts incurred for the services or for testing on behalf of the child. (1967, c. 993, s. 1; 1973, c. 1062, s. 3; 1977, c. 83, s. 2; 1981, c. 599, s. 14; 1985, c. 208, ss. 1, 2; 1993, c. 333, s. 3; 1995, c. 424, ss. 1, 2; 1997‑154, s. 1; 1997‑433, ss. 4.2, 4.10; 1998‑17, s. 1; 2005‑389, s. 3.)

Chapter 8 – Evidence

Article 7.

Competency of Witnesses.

§ 8‑50.  Parties competent as witnesses.

(a)       On the trial of any issue, or of any matter or question, or on any inquiry arising in any action, suit or other proceeding in court, or before any judge, justice, jury or other person having, by law, authority to hear and examine evidence, the parties themselves and the person in whose behalf any suit or other proceeding may be brought or defended, shall, except as otherwise provided, be competent and compellable to give evidence, either viva voce or by deposition, according to the practice of the court, in behalf of either or any of the parties to said action, suit or other proceeding. Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to any action or other proceeding in any court instituted in consequence of adultery, or to any action for criminal conversation.

(b), (c). Repealed by Session Laws 1967, c. 954, s. 4. (1866, c. 43, ss. 2, 3; Code, s. 1351; Rev., s. 1630; C.S., s. 1793; 1953, c. 885, s. 1; 1967, c. 954, s. 4.)

§ 8‑50.1.  Competency of blood tests; jury charge; taxing of expenses as costs.

(a)       In the trial of any criminal action or proceeding in any court in which the question of parentage arises, regardless of any presumptions with respect to parentage, the court before whom the matter may be brought, upon motion of the State or the defendant, shall order that the alleged‑parent defendant, the known natural parent, and the child submit to any blood tests and comparisons which have been developed and adapted for purposes of establishing or disproving parentage and which are reasonably accessible to the alleged‑parent defendant, the known natural parent, and the child. The results of those blood tests and comparisons, including the statistical likelihood of the alleged parent’s parentage, if available, shall be admitted in evidence when offered by a duly qualified, licensed practicing physician, duly qualified immunologist, duly qualified geneticist, or other duly qualified person. Upon receipt of a motion and the entry of an order under the provisions of this subsection, the court shall proceed as follows:

(1)       Where the issue of parentage is to be decided by a jury, where the results of those blood tests and comparisons are not shown to be inconsistent with the results of any other blood tests and comparisons, and where the results of those blood tests and comparisons indicate that the alleged‑parent defendant cannot be the natural parent of the child, the jury shall be instructed that if they believe that the witness presenting the results testified truthfully as to those results, and if they believe that the tests and comparisons were conducted properly, then it will be their duty to decide that the alleged‑parent is not the natural parent; whereupon, the court shall enter the special verdict of not guilty; and

(2)       By requiring the State or defendant, as the case may be, requesting the blood tests and comparisons pursuant to this subsection to initially be responsible for any of the expenses thereof and upon the entry of a special verdict incorporating a finding of parentage or nonparentage, by taxing the expenses for blood tests and comparisons, in addition to any fees for expert witnesses allowed per G.S. 7A‑314 whose testimonies supported the admissibility thereof, as costs in accordance with G.S. 7A‑304; G.S. Chapter 6, Article 7; or G.S. 7A‑315, as applicable.

(b)       Repealed by Session Laws 1993, c. 333, s. 2.

(b1)     In the trial of any civil action in which the question of parentage arises, the court shall, on motion of a party, order the mother, the child, and the alleged father‑defendant to submit to one or more blood or genetic marker tests, to be performed by a duly certified physician or other expert. The court shall require the person requesting the blood or genetic marker tests to pay the costs of the tests. The court may, in its discretion, tax as part of costs the expenses for blood or genetic marker tests and comparisons. Verified documentary evidence of the chain of custody of the blood specimens obtained pursuant to this subsection shall be competent evidence to establish the chain of custody.  Any party objecting to or contesting the procedures or results of the blood or genetic marker tests shall file with the court written objections setting forth the basis for the objections and shall serve copies thereof upon all other parties not less than 10 days prior to any hearing at which the results may be introduced into evidence.  The person contesting the results of the blood or genetic marker tests has the right to subpoena the testing expert pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure.  If no objections are filed within the time and manner prescribed, the test results are admissible as evidence of paternity without the need for foundation testimony or other proof of authenticity or accuracy.  The results of the blood or genetic marker tests shall have the following effect:

(1)       If the court finds that the conclusion of all the experts, as disclosed by the evidence based upon the test, is that the probability of the alleged parent’s parentage is less than eighty‑five percent (85%), the alleged parent is presumed not to be the parent and the evidence shall be admitted.  This presumption may be rebutted only by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence;

(2)       If the experts disagree in their findings or conclusions, the question of paternity shall be submitted upon all the evidence;

(3)       If the tests show that the alleged parent is not excluded and that the probability of the alleged parent’s parentage is between eighty‑five percent (85%) and ninety‑seven percent (97%), this evidence shall be admitted by the court and shall be weighed with other competent evidence;

(4)       If the experts conclude that the genetic tests show that the alleged parent is not excluded and that the probability of the alleged parent’s parentage is ninety‑seven percent (97%) or higher, the alleged parent is presumed to be the parent and this evidence shall be admitted.  This presumption may be rebutted only by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence. (1949, c. 51; 1965, c. 618; 1975, c. 449, ss. 1, 2; 1979, c. 576, s. 1; 1993, c. 333, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 733, s. 1.)

Link: North Carolina Chapter 49

Link: North Carolina Chapter 8

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

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2 Responses to “North Carolina State Paternity Laws”

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