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University of Michigan Law School

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Children

2014

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Fighting The Establishment: The Need For Procedural Reform Of Our Paternity Laws, Caroline Rogus Jan 2014

Fighting The Establishment: The Need For Procedural Reform Of Our Paternity Laws, Caroline Rogus

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Every state and the District of Columbia use voluntary acknowledgments of paternity. Created pursuant to federal law, the acknowledgment is signed by the purported biological parents and establishes paternity without requiring court involvement. Intended to be a “simple civil process” to establish paternity where the parents are unmarried, the acknowledgment is used by state governments to expedite child support litigation. But federal policy and state laws governing the acknowledgments do not sufficiently protect the interests of those men who have signed acknowledgments and who subsequently discover that they lack genetic ties to the children in question. A signatory who learns ...