Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–909.01. Establishment of paternity by voluntary acknowledgment and based on genetic test results.

(a) Paternity may be established by:

(1) A written statement of the father and mother signed under oath (which may include signature in the presence of a notary) that acknowledges paternity; provided, that before the parents sign the acknowledgment, both have been given written and oral notice of the alternatives to, legal consequences of, and the rights and responsibilities that arise from signing the acknowledgment. (Oral notice may be given through videotape or audiotape.) The acknowledgment shall include the full name, the social security number, and date of birth of the mother, father, and child, the addresses of the mother and father, the birthplace of the child, an explanation of the legal consequences of the affidavit, a statement indicating that both parents understand their rights, responsibilities, and the alternatives and consequences of signing the affidavit, the place the affidavit was completed, signature lines for the parents, and any other data elements required by federal law. Nothing in this paragraph shall affect the validity of a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity executed before December 23, 1997, or preclude the submission of an acknowledgment of paternity that does not comply with the requirements of this paragraph as evidence of paternity in a judicial or administrative proceeding; or

(2) 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, that affirms at least a 99% probability that the putative father is the father of the child.

(a-1) A signatory to a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity pursuant to subsection (a)(1) of this section may rescind the acknowledgment within the earlier of 60 days or the date of an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child in which the signatory is a party.

(b) When a child has no presumed parent under § 16-909(a)(1) through (4) or § 16-909(a-1)(2), an acknowledgment in accordance with subsection (a)(1) of this section, which has not been rescinded pursuant to subsection (a-1) of this section, or a genetic test and affidavit that meet the requirements of subsection (a)(2) of this section shall legally establish the parent-child relationship between the father and the child for all rights, privileges, duties, and obligations under the laws of the District of Columbia. The acknowledgment or genetic test and affidavit shall be admissible as evidence of paternity.

(c) A public or private agency or institution that operates in the District of Columbia shall accept as adequate proof of paternity a birth certificate issued by the District of Columbia after the effective date of the District of Columbia Paternity Establishment Temporary Act of 1991 [June 18, 1991] or other evidence that the requirements of subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section have occurred.

(d) If a child has a presumed parent, in the absence of an acknowledgment, or if the probability of paternity shown by a genetic test is less than 99%, paternity may be established as otherwise provided in this chapter.


(June 18, 1991, D.C. Law 9-5, § 2(d), 38 DCR 2717; Aug. 17, 1991, D.C. Law 9-39, § 2(d), 38 DCR 4970; Mar. 16, 1995, D.C. Law 10-223, § 2(c), 41 DCR 8051; Apr. 18, 1996, D.C. Law 11-110, § 24(a), 43 DCR 530; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-255, § 18(c), 44 DCR 1271; Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-269,§ 106(d), 48 DCR 1270; July 18, 2008, D.C. Law 18-33, § 3(e), 56 DCR 4269.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 16-909.1.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-909, § 16-2342.01, § 16-2343, § 16-2345, and § 46-304.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-269 rewrote subsec. (a) which formerly read: “(a) Paternity may be established by:”; added subsec. (a-1); in subsec. (b), struck “ section 16-909.1(a)(1)” and inserted “subsection (a)(1) of this section, which has not been rescinded pursuant to subsection (a-1) of this section,”, struck “ section 16-909.1(a)(2)” and inserted “subsection (a)(2) of this section”; and, in subsec. (c), struck “ section 16-909.1(a)(1) or (a) (2)” and inserted “subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section”.

D.C. Law 18-33, in subsec. (b), substituted “When a child has no presumed parent under § 16-909(a)(1) through (4) or § 16-909(a-1)(2), an acknowledgment” for “An acknowledgment”; and, in subsec. (d), substituted “If a child has a presumed parent, in the absence” for “In the absence”.

Cross References

Tests to establish parentage, see § 16-2343.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section 16-909.1 1981 Ed., see § 5(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-222, December 23, 1997, 44 DCR 114), § 5(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-309, March 20, 1998, 45 DCR 1923), § 5(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110), § 5(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-503, October 27, 1998, 45 DCR 8495), and § 5(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-600, January 20, 1999, 46 DCR 1239).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-103, see § 13 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 105(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-210, see § 113 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-177, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9678).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 105(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-241, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 581).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 105(d) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-446, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9213).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 106(d) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-5, February 13, 2001, 48 DCR 2440).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(d) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-103, May 8, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 3254).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 5(d) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-210, April 13, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 3832).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(d) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-57, March 7, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 1979).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 105(d) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-207, March 31, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3238).

Editor's Notes

Mayor authorized to issue rules: See note to § 16-909.02.

Section 28(b)(1) of D.C. Law 15-354 provided that the section designation of § 16-901.1 of the District of Columbia Official Code is redesignated as § 16-901.01.