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What is Oregon’s process for establishing paternity?

Even though you may know who your child’s biological father is, the Oregon family law courts will simply take your word for it. Instead, there is a legal process that you must go through before he is recognized. According to the Oregon Department of Justice’s Oregon Child Support Program, if you were not married to the father at the time of your child’s birth, you and he will have to take certain steps.

The father may want to be a part of your child’s life, whether or not he has a relationship with you. In either case, he will need to fill out the form that voluntarily acknowledges paternity. You both sign it, and then you must have it notarized and file it with Oregon Vital Records.

If the father is not willing to establish paternity, you will have to take a different route. The document you need is known as the “Affidavit in Support of Establishing Paternity” form. You may fill this out at the child support office near you or at the Department of Human Services. After you make this claim, the father will probably have to undergo genetic testing for verification.

In Oregon, paternity provides your child with access to his or her family medical history on the father’s side. When the father dies, your child will have rights to inheritance, and to Social Security or Veterans’ benefits if applicable. You may also expect financial support from the father while your child is a minor. This is general information, and should not replace the advice of an attorney.

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