Alaska Statutes Title 25. Marital and Domestic Relations § 25.20.050. Legitimation by subsequent marriage, acknowledgment in writing, or adjudication

(a) A child born out of wedlock is legitimated and considered the heir of the putative parent when (1) the putative parent subsequently marries the undisputed parent of the child;  (2) for acknowledgments made before July 1, 1997, the putative parent acknowledges, in writing, being a parent of the child;  (3) for acknowledgments made on or after July 1, 1997, the putative father and the mother both sign a form for acknowledging paternity under AS 18.50.165 ;  or (4) the putative parent is determined by a superior court without jury or by another tribunal, upon sufficient evidence, to be a parent of the child.  Acceptable evidence includes evidence that the putative parent's conduct and bearing toward the child, either by word or act, indicates that the child is the child of the putative parent.  That conduct may be construed by the tribunal to constitute evidence of parentage.  When indefinite, ambiguous, or uncertain terms are used, the tribunal may use extrinsic evidence to show the putative parent's intent.

(b) The Bureau of Vital Statistics, as custodian of the original certificates of birth of all persons born in the state, is designated as the depository for such acknowledgment and adjudication.  The acknowledgment or adjudication shall be forwarded to the bureau in accordance with appropriate regulations of the bureau, and shall be noted on and filed with the corresponding original certificate of birth.

(c) In case of the birth in this state of a child out of wedlock and the legitimation of the child in accordance with this section, at the written request of the parents, or either of them or of the legal guardian, or of the person when of legal age, the Bureau of Vital Statistics shall prepare and place on file a substitute birth certificate, in accordance with the laws and regulations of the bureau pertaining to new certificates of this type.

(d) The results of a genetic test that is of a type generally acknowledged as reliable by an accreditation body designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and performed by a laboratory approved by such an accreditation body shall be admitted and weighed in conjunction with other evidence in determining the statistical probability that the putative parent is a legal parent of the child in question.  However, a genetic test described in this subsection that establishes a probability of parentage at 95 percent or higher creates a presumption of parentage that may be rebutted only by clear and convincing evidence.

(e) Except as provided in (i) of this section, in proceedings in which paternity is contested, the tribunal shall order the parties, including the child, to submit to testing as described in (d) of this section upon request of

(1) the child support services agency created in AS 25.27.010 or the child support enforcement agency of another state;  or

(2) a party, including a sworn statement

(A) alleging the paternity of an individual and setting out facts that show a reasonable possibility that the mother and that individual had sexual contact that could have resulted in the conception of the child;  or

(B) denying the paternity of an individual and setting out facts that show a reasonable possibility that the mother and that individual did not have sexual contact that could have resulted in the conception of the child.

(f) The child support enforcement agency or child support services agency, as appropriate, may recover the costs of testing ordered under (e) of this section from the alleged father unless the testing establishes that the individual is not the father, except that costs may not be recovered from a person who is a recipient of cash assistance or self-sufficiency services under AS 47.27 (Alaska temporary assistance program).  For purposes of this subsection, a person who receives a diversion payment and self-sufficiency services under AS 47.27.026 is not considered to be a recipient of cash assistance or self-sufficiency services under AS 47.27.

(g) A default judgment shall be entered against the defendant in an action where paternity is contested upon

(1) a showing that process was served on the defendant as required under applicable state law and court rules;

(2) a showing that the defendant has failed to appear at a hearing in the action or has failed to respond within a reasonable period of time as specified in court rules;  and

(3) any additional showing determined necessary by the court.

(h) The tribunal in a paternity action shall give full faith and credit to a determination of paternity made by another state, whether established through voluntary acknowledgment or through administrative or judicial procedures.

(i) If a tribunal finds that good cause exists not to order genetic testing after considering the best interests of the child, the tribunal may not order testing under (e) of this section.

(j) Invoices, bills, or other standard documents showing charges for medical and related costs of pregnancy, childbirth, or genetic testing are admissible in an action to establish paternity without testimony or other evidence from the medical or other provider or third-party payor to provide the foundation for admissibility of the documents.  The documents shall constitute prima facie evidence of the amounts incurred for such charges.

(k) Upon the motion of the child support enforcement agency or child support services agency, as appropriate, or another party in the action to establish paternity, the tribunal shall issue a temporary order for support of the child whose paternity is being determined.  The order may require periodic payments of support, health care coverage, or both.  The order shall be effective until the tribunal issues a final order on paternity and a permanent order for support is issued or the tribunal dismisses the action.  The temporary order may only be issued if the tribunal finds clear and convincing evidence of the paternity of the putative father on the basis of the results of the genetic tests and other evidence admitted in the proceeding.

(l) The tribunal shall consider a completed and signed form for acknowledging paternity that meets the requirements of AS 18.50.165(a) as a legal finding of paternity for a child born out of wedlock.  For an acknowledgment signed on or after July 1, 1997, the acknowledgment may only be withdrawn by the earlier of the following dates:  (1) 60 days after the date that the person signed it, or (2) the date on which judicial or administrative procedures are initiated to establish child support in the form of periodic payments or health care coverage for, or to determine paternity of, the child who is the subject of the acknowledgement.  After this time period has passed, the acknowledgment may only be contested in superior court on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake.  The parent wishing to contest the acknowledgment carries the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence.  Unless good cause is shown, the court may not stay child support or other legal responsibilities while the action to contest the acknowledgment is pending.

(m) If a parent signs an acknowledgment of paternity under (a) of this section and does not successfully challenge the acknowledgment under (l) of this section, the child born out of wedlock is considered legitimated and the heir of the parent without further action of the tribunal to ratify the acknowledgment of paternity.

(n) Each paternity order or acknowledgment made under this section must include in the records relating to the matter the social security numbers, if ascertainable, of the following persons:

(1) the father;

(2) the mother;

(3) the child.

(o) In this section, unless the context requires otherwise, “tribunal” means a court, administrative agency, or quasi-judicial entity authorized by state law to determine parentage.


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