Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Sequoyah Memorial Office Building, 2400 N. Lincoln Blvd. • Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-3646 • Fax (405) 521-6684 • Internet: www.okdhs.org
 
Oklahoma Child Support Services: Paternity Frequently Asked Questions
 
Paternity Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What does it mean to set up paternity? 
  2. What is the easiest way to set up paternity for a child?
  3. Where can someone get an Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) form?
  4. How much does it cost to set up paternity using the Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) form?
  5. If paternity isn’t established until later, is there a cost involved if I want to have the father's name put on the birth certificate or changed?
  6. Can parents sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) form if they are less than 18 years of age?
  7. What if the parents aren’t sure who the father is?
  8. Is DNA testing expensive? Where can it be done?
  9. Should paternity be set up if the mother and father are getting along and both are helping support the child?
  10. Will setting up paternity give the biological father visitation or custody rights?
  11. Will the father have to pay child support if the Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) is completed, signed, and witnessed?
  12. How do you test paternity?
  13. Do blood tests produce better DNA test results when establishing paternity?
  14. If paternity wasn't set up when the baby was born, how can I get paternity set up later?
  15. How long does it take to get results from DNA testing?
  16. Can DNA testing be done if one parent is dead?
  17. The father has already taken a DNA test for another child.  Does that father have to take a test for each of his other children?
  18. What if the parents live in different places or took the DNA tests on different days?
  19. Is DNA testing necessary if the parent who does not have custody of the child is the natural mother?
  20. How can I get a copy of the completed Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) form?
  21. If I need more information, where can I get it?

 

1. What does it mean to set up paternity?
Setting up or establishing paternity is the legal process used to show who is the legal father of a child.

>>Back to top

2. What is the easiest way to set up paternity for a child?
The easiest and cheapest way to set up paternity is for the mother and natural father to fill out, sign, and have the Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) form witnessed at the hospital when their child is born.

>>Back to top

3. Where can someone get an Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) form?
When a child is born to parents who are not married to each other, hospitals must give an Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) form to the parents. The hospitals must also give paperwork and tell the parents of their rights and duties when setting up paternity. The Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) form can also be found at the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Division of Vital Records (Link opens in new window), county health departments (Link opens in new window), Oklahoma Department of Human Services offices, and child support offices. An Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) form (.pdf, 2 pp, 354 KB) and an Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) Word version(.doc, 3 pp, 215 KB) are available online.

>>Back to top

4. How much does it cost to set up paternity with the Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) form?
There is no cost to the parents for setting up paternity if it is done before the mother and child leave the hospital.

>>Back to top

5. If paternity isn’t set up until later, is there a cost involved if I want to have the father's name put on the birth certificate or changed?
If paternity is set up after leaving the hospital, there will be a fee charged by the Oklahoma State Department of Health to give out a new birth certificate with the father’s name added to it.

>>Back to top

6. Can parents sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) if they are less than 18 years of age?
Yes. They do not need anyone else to co-sign with them.  Plus, they will have 60 days after they turn 18 to withdraw the Acknowledgment.

>>Backl to top

7. What can be done if the parents aren’t sure who the father is?
If either the mother or father has any doubts about who the natural father is, they should get DNA testing done instead of signing the Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) form. DO NOT sign the form unless you are SURE about who is the natural father.

>>Back to top

8. Is DNA testing expensive? Where can it be done?
Either the mother or father can go to their local child support office and open a child support case to set up paternity. There is no cost to open a case. The state will pay the up-front costs for the DNA testing. If the test is positive, the natural father may have to pay the State $33 (per person) back for the cost of the testing. This cost is much less than DNA testing done by private labs.

>>Back to top

9. Should paternity be established if the mother and father are getting along and both are helping support the child?
Yes, they should set up paternity right away. Even if the father agrees to help support the child now, he may change his mind later, may become hurt and can’t work or even die. So, even if the parents both agree to support the child now, there are other good reasons to set up paternity. The child will know their social identity and family medical history. They could also get health care coverage, Social Security and military benefits and inheritance.

>>Back to top

10. Will establishing paternity give the natural father visitation or custody rights?
No. Under Oklahoma law, the mother is presumed to have sole custody of a child born outside of marriage. The child’s mother and father can agree upon visitation, and the child’s father has a right to go to court to seek visitation.

>>Back to top

11. Will the father have to pay child support if the Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) form is completed, signed, and witnessed?
Both parents have an obligation to support their child from birth. Signing the Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) does not change that obligation.

>>Back to top

12. How do you test paternity?
The most common way is the painless Buccal Swab Specimen Collection. This way is done by rubbing the inside of the mouth with a cotton swab to collect DNA material. The swabs are labeled and then sent to a lab for DNA testing. The DNA tests used are really reliable with most results coming back at 99.9 percent. If the results are at least 99 percent, a judge will say a man is the father. In rare cases a blood specimen may be needed.

>>Back to top

13.  Do blood tests produce better DNA test results when setting up paternity?
The technology behind DNA testing has improved so that the Oklahoma Legislature passed a law allowing buccal swabs to be done in Oklahoma. Without getting detailed, there is more DNA in the mouth than in the blood. So, there is more material to do the  DNA testing when using buccal swabs than there would be in using blood samples. 

>>Back to top

14. If paternity wasn't set up when the baby was born, how can I get paternity set up now?
In many cases, the parents still set up paternity using the Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E)  form. Either parent can also open a case with child support to set up paternity. The parents will have the chance to admit paternity or do DNA testing. To ask for an application to open a case or to get more information on the setting up paternity, call the OCSS CARE Unit at (405) 522-2273 in the Oklahoma City calling area, (918) 295-3500 in the Tulsa calling area, or toll-free 1-800-522-2922.

>>Back to top

15. How long does it take to get results from DNA testing?
It can take four to six weeks for the results to be received and forwarded to you.

>>Back to top

16. Can DNA testing be done if one parent is dead?
Yes, testing can still be done if there is DNA available such as a blood or tissue sample of the late parent. Also, testing can be done if the late parent's relatives are alive and willing to submit to DNA testing. Contact your case worker and tell him or her of your special situation.

>>Back to top

17. If the father has already taken a DNA test for another child, does he have to take a test for each of his other children?
Yes. Even if a father has already had one DNA test for a child, there must be a new DNA test for any other children claimed to be his children. But, the lab may not need another DNA sample from the father if the lab still has the first sample.

>>Back to top

18. What if the parents live in different places or took the DNA tests on different days?
DNA testing can be completed even if the mother and father live in different places. The DNA testing lab will match the samples. Each parent and child does not have to be tested on the same day. The results will be reviewed by the DNA testing lab and are not affected by the day or time the testing is done.

>>Back to top

19. Is DNA testing necessary if the parent who does not have custody of the child is the mother?
Paternity does not have to be set up when the natural mother is the parent who does not have custody of the child(ren). She can still be required to pay child support.

>>Back to top

20. How can I get a copy of the completed Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) form)?
You will need to make a request in writing to the OCSS Paternity Acknowledgment Section, P.O. Box 248822, OKC, 73124. The request must include the names and Social Security numbers of the mother and father, the child's name, date of birth, place of birth, and date the form was signed. The request must be signed by the mother or father (listed on the original form) or their lawyer. Be sure to include the address where the copy of the form should be mailed.

>>Back to top

21. If I need more information, where can I get it?
For more information, call the OCSS CARE Unit at (405) 522-2273 in the Oklahoma City calling area, (918) 295-3500 in the Tulsa calling area, or toll-free 1-800-522-2922.

>>Back to top

Last Updated:  6/25/2013