Paternity of a child can be established by the following:

  • Paternity by presumption: A man is presumed to be the father of a child if he is married to the mother near the time of the child’s birth. This presumption of paternity can be rebutted by the following:
    • A court order;
    • Valid denial of paternity established by the mother and the biological
      father signing a paternity affidavit and no signature to the paternity
      affidavit provided by the presumed father; or
    • Another man is legally determined by a court to be the father.
  • Paternity by affidavit: A man and the mother sign an acknowledgment of paternity after July 1, 1997.
  • Paternity by adoption: A man adopts a child.
  • Paternity by court order: A man determined to be the father by court order in a paternity case.
  • Paternity in certain surrogate parenting or assisted reproduction circumstances.

In order for a mother to initiate a paternity action, the mother must name the presumed father in a non-parental custody petition and properly serve the presumed father with a non-parental custody petition. For a man to establish paternity of a child, he must properly serve the mother with a Petition for Establishment of Parentage.

The Seattle law firm of Eagle Law Offices, P.S. is experienced in paternity actions representing both mothers and fathers attempting to prove paternity of children. If you wish to establish paternity of your child, please contact Eagle Law Offices, P.S. to discuss the steps necessary to proceed.
If paternity is not established, and you do not believe you are the father of the child, you must determine the father’s identity and properly serve the possible father(s) with a Petition for Parentage. If the child’s mother is unwilling to assist you and the non-parental custody case is filed, you may be able to use court services or discovery procedures to identify possible fathers.

If you are named in a Petition for Parentage, Eagle Law Offices, P.S. can help you defend against the action. Contact Eagle Law Offices, P.S. for more information and assistance in this matter.