SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL NO. 1548
C 055 L 89
State of Washington 51st Legislature 1989 Regular Session
By House Committee on Judiciary (originally sponsored by Representatives H. Myers, Appelwick, Moyer, Brough and Sprenkle; by request of Department of Social and Health Services)
Read first time 3/1/89.
AN ACT Relating to paternity; amending RCW 74.20A.020, 70.58.080, and 26.26.040; and adding new sections to chapter 74.20A RCW.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. Section 2, chapter 164, Laws of 1971 ex. sess. as last amended by section 4, chapter 276, Laws of 1985 and RCW 74.20A.020 are each amended to read as follows:
Unless a different meaning is plainly required by the context, the following words and phrases as hereinafter used in this chapter and chapter 74.20 RCW shall have the following meanings:
(1) "Department" means the state department of social and health services.
(2) "Secretary" means the secretary of the department of social and health services, his designee or authorized representative.
(3) "Dependent child" means any person:
the age of ((
twenty-one who is not otherwise emancipated,)) eighteen
who is not self-supporting, married, or a member of the armed forces of the
United States; or
(b) Over the age of eighteen for whom a court order for support exists.
(4) "Support obligation" means the obligation to provide for the necessary care, support, and maintenance, including medical expenses, of a dependent child or other person as required by statutes and the common law of this or another state.
(5) "Superior court order" means any judgment, decree, or order of the superior court of the state of Washington, or a court of comparable jurisdiction of another state, establishing the existence of a support obligation and ordering payment of a set or determinable amount of support moneys to satisfy the support obligation. For purposes of RCW 74.20A.055, orders for support which were entered under the uniform reciprocal enforcement of support act by a state where the responsible parent no longer resides shall not preclude the department from establishing an amount to be paid as current and future support.
(6) "Administrative order" means any determination, finding, decree, or order for support issued by the department pursuant to RCW 74.20A.055, or by an agency of another state pursuant to a substantially similar administrative process, establishing the existence of a support obligation and ordering the payment of a set or determinable amount of support moneys to satisfy the support obligation.
(7) "Responsible parent" means a natural parent, adoptive parent, or stepparent of a dependent child or a person who has signed an affidavit acknowledging paternity which has been filed with the state office of vital statistics.
(8) "Stepparent" means the present spouse of the person who is either the mother, father, or adoptive parent of a dependent child, and such status shall exist and continue as provided for in RCW 26.16.205 until the relationship is terminated by death or dissolution of marriage.
(9) "Support moneys" means any moneys or in-kind providings paid to satisfy a support obligation whether denominated as child support, spouse support, alimony, maintenance, or any other such moneys intended to satisfy an obligation for support of any person or satisfaction in whole or in part of arrears or delinquency on such an obligation.
(10) "Support debt" means any delinquent amount of support moneys which is due, owing, and unpaid under a superior court order or an administrative order, a debt for the payment of expenses for the reasonable or necessary care, support, and maintenance, including medical expenses, of a dependent child or other person for whom a support obligation is owed; or a debt under RCW 74.20A.100 or 74.20A.270. Support debt also includes any accrued interest, fees, or penalties charged on a support debt, and attorneys fees and other costs of litigation awarded in an action to establish and enforce a support obligation or debt.
(11) "State" means any state or political subdivision, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Sec. 2. Section 12, chapter 83, Laws of 1907 as last amended by section 8, chapter 5, Laws of 1961 ex. sess. and RCW 70.58.080 are each amended to read as follows:
Within ten days after the birth of any child, the attending physician ((
midwife, or his or her agent shall (( file)):
out a certificate of birth, ((
properly and completely filled out,))
giving all of the particulars required, including: (i) The mother's name
and date of birth, and (ii) if the mother and father are married at the time of
birth or the father has signed an acknowledgement of paternity, the father's
name and date of birth; and
the certificate of birth together with the mother's and father's social
security numbers with the local registrar of the district in which the
, within ten days after the birth)).
(2) The local registrar shall forward the birth certificate, any signed affidavit acknowledging paternity, and the mother's and father's social security numbers to the state office of vital statistics pursuant to RCW 70.58.030.
(3) The state office of vital statistics shall make available to the office of support enforcement the birth certificates, the mother's and father's social security numbers and paternity affidavits.
(4) Upon the birth of a child to an unmarried woman, the attending physician, midwife, or his or her agent shall:
(a) Provide an opportunity for the child's mother and natural father to complete an affidavit acknowledging paternity. The completed affidavit shall be filed with the local registrar. The affidavit shall contain or have attached:
(i) A sworn statement by the mother consenting to the assertion of paternity and stating that this is the only possible father;
(ii) A statement by the father that he is the natural father of the child;
(iii) Written information, furnished by the department of social and health services, explaining the implications of signing, including parental rights and responsibilities; and
(iv) The social security numbers of both parents.
(b) Provide written information, furnished by the department of social and health services, to the mother regarding the benefits of having her child's paternity established and of the availability of paternity establishment services, including a request for support enforcement services.
(5) The physician or midwife is entitled to reimbursement for reasonable costs, which the department shall establish by rule, when an affidavit acknowledging paternity is filed with the state office of vital statistics.
(6) If there is no attending physician or midwife, the father or mother of the child, householder or owner of the premises, manager or superintendent of the public or private institution in which the birth occurred, shall notify the local registrar, within ten days after the birth, of the fact of the birth, and the local registrar shall secure the necessary information and signature to make a proper certificate of birth.
(7) When an infant is found for whom no certificate of birth is known to be on file, a birth certificate shall be filed within the time and in the form prescribed by the state board of health.
(8) When no putative father is named on a birth certificate of a child born to an unwed mother the mother may give any surname she so desires to her child but shall designate in space provided for father's name on the birth certificate "None Named".
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. A new section is added to chapter 74.20A RCW to read as follows:
(1) If an alleged father has signed an affidavit acknowledging paternity which has been filed with the state office of vital statistics, the office of support enforcement may serve a notice and finding of parental responsibility on him. Service of the notice shall be in the same manner as a summons in a civil action or by certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice shall have attached to it a copy of the affidavit and shall state that:
(a) The alleged father may file an application for an adjudicative proceeding at which he will be required to appear and show cause why the amount stated in the finding of financial responsibility as to support is incorrect and should not be ordered;
(b) An alleged father may request that a blood test be administered to determine whether such test would exclude him from being a natural parent and, if not excluded, may subsequently request that the office of support enforcement initiate an action in superior court to determine the existence of the parent-child relationship; and
(c) If the alleged father does not request that a blood test be administered or file an application for an adjudicative proceeding, the amount of support stated in the notice and finding of parental responsibility shall become final, subject only to a subsequent determination under RCW 26.26.060 that the parent-child relationship does not exist.
(2) An alleged father who objects to the amount of support requested in the notice may file an application for an adjudicative proceeding up to twenty days after the date the notice was served. An application for an adjudicative proceeding may be filed within one year of service of the notice and finding of parental responsibility without the necessity for a showing of good cause or upon a showing of good cause thereafter. An adjudicative proceeding under this section shall be pursuant to RCW 74.20A.055. The only issues shall be the amount of the accrued debt, the amount of the current and future support obligation, and the reimbursement of the costs of blood tests if advanced by the department.
(3) If the application for an adjudicative proceeding is filed within twenty days of service of the notice, collection action shall be stayed pending a final decision by the department. If no application is filed within twenty days:
(a) The amounts in the notice shall become final and the debt created therein shall be subject to collection action; and
(b) Any amounts so collected shall neither be refunded nor returned if the parent is later found not to be the father.
(4) An alleged father who denies being a responsible parent may request that a blood test be administered at any time. The request for testing shall be in writing and served on the office of support enforcement personally or by registered or certified mail. If a request for testing is made, the department shall arrange for the test and, pursuant to rules adopted by the department, may advance the cost of such testing. The department shall mail a copy of the test results by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the alleged father's last known address.
(5) If the test excludes the alleged father from being a natural parent, the office of support enforcement shall file a copy of the results with the state office of vital statistics and shall dismiss any pending administrative collection proceedings based upon the affidavit in issue. The state office of vital statistics shall remove the alleged father's name from the birth certificate.
(6) The alleged father may, within twenty days after the date of receipt of the test results, request the office of support enforcement to initiate an action under RCW 26.26.060 to determine the existence of the parent-child relationship. If the office of support enforcement initiates a superior court action at the request of the alleged father and the decision of the court is that the alleged father is a natural parent, the alleged father shall be liable for court costs incurred.
(7) If the alleged father does not request the office of support enforcement to initiate a superior court action, or if the alleged father fails to appear and cooperate with blood testing, the notice of parental responsibility shall become final for all intents and purposes and may be overturned only by a subsequent superior court order entered under RCW 26.26.060.
Sec. 4. Section 5, chapter 42, Laws of 1975-'76 2nd ex. sess. and RCW 26.26.040 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) A man is presumed to be the natural father of a child for all intents and purposes if:
(a) He and the child's natural mother are or have been married to each
other and the child is born during the marriage, or within three hundred days
after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of
invalidity, divorce, or dissolution, or after a decree of separation is entered
by a court; or
(b) Before the child's birth, he and the child's natural mother have
attempted to marry each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance
with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and
the child is born within three hundred days after the termination of cohabitation;
(c) After the child's birth, he and the child's natural mother have
married, or attempted to marry, each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent
compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared
(i) He has acknowledged his paternity of the child in writing filed with
the registrar of vital statistics,
(ii) With his consent, he is named as the child's father on the child's
birth certificate, or
(iii) He is obligated to support the child under a written voluntary
promise or by court order;
(d) While the child is under the age of majority, he receives the child
into his home and openly holds out the child as his child; or
(e) He acknowledges his paternity of the child pursuant to section 2
of this act or in a writing filed with the (( registrar)) state
office of vital statistics, (( who)) which shall promptly
inform the mother of the filing of the acknowledgment, (( and)) if
she does not dispute the acknowledgment within a reasonable time after being
informed thereof, in a writing filed with the registrar of vital statistics.
(( If another man is presumed under subsections (1), (2), (3), or (4) of this
section to be the child's father, such acknowledgment shall give rise to the
presumption of paternity only with the written consent of the otherwise
presumed father or after such other presumption has been rebutted.)) In
order to enforce rights of residential time, custody, and visitation, a man
presumed to be the father as a result of filing a written acknowledgement must
seek appropriate judicial orders under this title.
(2) A presumption under this section may be rebutted in an appropriate action only by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence. If two or more presumptions arise which conflict with each other, the presumption which on the facts is founded on the weightier considerations of policy and logic controls. The presumption is rebutted by a court decree establishing paternity of the child by another man.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. A new section is added to chapter 74.20A RCW to read as follows:
If an adjudicative proceeding is requested by an alleged father under section 3 of this act, the department shall mail a copy of the notice of hearing to the mother at her last known address. If the mother appears for the proceeding, she shall be allowed to participate in it. Participation includes giving testimony, and being present for or listening to other testimony offered in the proceeding. Nothing in this section shall preclude the administrative law judge from limiting participation to preserve the confidentiality of information protected by law.