District of Columbia Code Division II. Judiciary and Judicial Procedure § 16-909. Proof of child's relationship to parents.

(a) A father-child relationship is established by an adjudication of a man's parentage, by operation of subsection (e) of this section, or by an unrebutted presumption under this subsection.  There shall be a presumption that a man is the father of a child:

(1) if he and the child's mother are or have been married, or in a domestic partnership, at the time of either conception or birth, or between conception and birth, and the child is born during the marriage or domestic partnership, or within 300 days after the termination of marital cohabitation by reason of death, annulment, divorce, or separation ordered by a court, or within 300 days after the termination of the domestic partnership pursuant to § 32-702(d) or § 16-904(e) ;  or

(2) if, prior to the child's birth, he and the child's mother have attempted to marry, and some form of marriage has been performed in apparent compliance with law, though such attempted marriage is or might be declared void for any reason, and the child is born during such attempted marriage, or within 300 days after the termination of such attempted marital cohabitation by reason of death, annulment, divorce, or separation ordered by a court; or

(3) if, after the child's birth, he and the child's mother marry or attempt to marry, (with the attempt involving some form of marriage ceremony that has been performed in apparent compliance with law), though such attempted marriage is or might be declared void for any reason, and he has acknowledged the child to be his; or

(4) if the putative father has acknowledged paternity in writing.

(a-1)(1) A mother-child relationship is established by a woman having given birth to a child, by an adjudication of a woman's parentage, by operation of subsection (e) of this section, or by an unrebutted presumption under paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(2) There shall be a presumption that a woman is the mother of a child if she and the child's mother are or have been married, or in a domestic partnership, at the time of either conception or birth, or between conception or birth, and the child is born during the marriage or domestic partnership, or within 300 days after the termination of marital cohabitation by reason of death, annulment, divorce, or separation ordered by a court, or within 300 days after the termination of the domestic partnership pursuant to § 32-702(d) or § 16-904(e) .

(b)(1) A presumption created by subsection (a)(1) through (4) of this section may be overcome upon proof by clear and convincing evidence, in a proceeding instituted within the time provided in § 16-2342(c) or (d) , that the presumed parent is not the child's genetic parent.  The Court shall try the question of parentage, and may determine that the presumed parent is the child's parent, notwithstanding evidence that the presumed parent is not the child's genetic parent, after giving due consideration to:

(A) Whether the conduct of the mother or the presumed parent should preclude that party from denying parentage;

(B) The child's interests;  and

(C) The duration and stability of the relationship between the child, the presumed parent, and the genetic parent.

(2) If questioned, the presumption created by subsection (a-1)(2) that a child born to the mother is the child of the mother's female domestic partner or spouse may be overcome pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection or upon proof by clear and convincing evidence that the presumed parent did not hold herself out as a parent of the child.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision in this title, when a child has both a presumed parent and a parent established by a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, pursuant to § 16-909.01(a)(1) , the Court shall determine parentage after giving due consideration to the child's interests and the duration and stability of the relationship between the child, the presumed parent, and the acknowledged parent.

(b-1) When a child has no presumed parent under subsection (a)(1) through (4) of this section or under subsection (a-1)(2) of this section, a conclusive presumption of parentage shall be created:

(1) Upon a result and an affidavit from a laboratory of a genetic test of a type generally acknowledged as reliable by accreditation bodies designated by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that is performed by a laboratory approved by such a body indicating a 99% probability that the person is the genetic parent of the child; or

(2) If the father has acknowledged paternity in writing as provided in section 16-909.01(a)(1) .

(b-2)(1) Subject to the requirements of this section, the court may issue a judgment adjudicating the parentage of a child born to parents who reside outside of the District of Columbia in a proceeding to determine parentage, pursuant to § 16-2342 , if:

(A) The child was born in the District of Columbia;

(B) Both individuals seeking a judgment adjudicating parentage have a legal relationship with the child through a presumption of parentage under this section or meet the requirements of parentage in subsection (e) of this section;  and

(C) Both parents submit to the jurisdiction of the District by consent in a record, by entering a general appearance, or by filing a responsive document having the effect of waiving any contest to personal jurisdiction.

(2) Upon the determination of parentage under this subsection, the court shall issue a judgment adjudicating the parentage of the child.

(3) This subsection shall apply retroactively to all children born in the District of Columbia on or after July 18, 2009.

(c) The parent-child relationship shall be conclusively established:

(1) Upon a determination of the parentage of a child by the following:

(A) The Superior Court of the District of Columbia under the provisions of subchapter II of Chapter 23 of this title or subsection (b) of this section;

(B) Any other court of competent jurisdiction;

(C) The IV-D agency of another state, in compliance with jurisdictional and procedural requirements of that state; or

(D) Any entity of another state authorized to determine parentage, in compliance with jurisdictional and procedural requirements of that state;

(2) When a child has no presumed parent under subsection (a)(1) through (4) of this section or under subsection (a-1)(2) of this section, by a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity pursuant to section 16-909.01(a)(1) , unless either signatory rescinds the acknowledgment pursuant to section 16-909.01(a-1) ; or

(3) By a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity in another state pursuant to the laws and procedures of that state, unless either signatory rescinds the acknowledgment pursuant to the laws and procedures of that state.

(c-1) A parent-child relationship that has been established pursuant to subsection (b-1)(1)of this section may be challenged upon the same grounds and through the same procedures as are applicable to a final judgment of the Superior Court. A parent-child relationship that has been established pursuant to subsection (b-1)(2) of this section or section 16-909.01(a)(1) may be challenged in the Superior Court after the rescission period provided by section 16-909.01(a-1) through the same procedures as are applicable to a final judgment of the Superior Court, but only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof upon the challenging party. The legal responsibilities (including child support obligations) of any signatory arising from the acknowledgment of parentage may not be suspended during the challenge, except for good cause shown.

(d) The parent-child relationship between an adoptive parent and a child may be established conclusively by proof of adoption.

(e)(1) A person who consents to the artificial insemination of a woman as provided in subparagraph (A) or (B) of this paragraph with the intent to be the parent of her child, is conclusively established as a parent of the resulting child.

(A) Consent by a woman, and a person who intends to be a parent of a child born to the woman by artificial insemination, shall be in writing signed by the woman and the intended parent.

(B) Failure of a person to sign a consent required by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, before or after the birth of the child, shall not preclude a finding of intent to be a parent of the child if the woman and the person resided together in the same household with the child and openly held the child out as their own.

(2) A donor of semen to a person for artificial insemination, other than the donor's spouse or domestic partner, is not a parent of a child thereby conceived unless the donor and the person agree in writing that said donor shall be a parent.  Notwithstanding any other provision in this title, genetic test results shall not establish parentage of a semen donor unless:

(A) The donor of semen is the spouse or domestic partner of the child's mother;  or

(B) The donor and the child's mother agree in writing that said donor shall be a parent.

(f) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Domestic partner” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(3) , but shall exclude a domestic partner who is the parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, niece, nephew, aunt, or uncle of a woman who gives birth to a child.

(2) “Domestic partnership” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(4) , but shall exclude a domestic partnership where a domestic partner is the parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, niece, nephew, aunt, or uncle of a woman who gives birth to a child.


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