Paternity Declarations - Adult

RC 2105.25 states the Probate Court has authority to establish paternity between an adult child and the father of the adult child if (1) the man alleging himself to be the father of the adult child, the adult child’s mother, and adult child appear jointly at the Court and file a declaration stating that the man is the adult child’s father; (2) the adult child’s birth certificate does not designate anyone as the adult child’s father; (3) the request for the order must be made freely and voluntarily by all parties appearing before the Court; (4) genetic testing results show the man to be the adult child’s father; and (5) the adult child must be a person born in this state who is at least twenty-three years old.

The joint declaration may be filed without the adult child’s mother appearing if the mother is deceased or has been adjudicated incompetent.

Items necessary to file a Paternity Declaration (Adult):

  1. Application for a Paternity Declaration is filed in the county where the adult child’s father resides or if the father is not a resident of the State of Ohio, where the adult child resides;
  2. Copy of Driver’s License or Government issued picture ID of all applicants and the mother of the adult child (unless she is deceased or incompetent);
  3. A certified copy of the adult child's "birth copy" birth certificate;
  4. Genetic test results establishing paternity between the adult child and the adult child’s father to a 99.0% degree of certainty;
  5. A certified copy of the death certificate of the adult child’s mother if deceased, or a waiver signed by the mother’s guardian is the mother is incompetent;
  6. The base court cost deposit is sixty-five ($65.00) dollars; and
  7. Complete the applicable Probate Forms listed to the right.

How to Obtain a New Birth Certificate

The adult child will be responsible for contacting the State of Ohio Vital Statistics to obtain a new birth certificate with the name of the father after the final hearing. 

Frequently Asked Questions

PATERNITY DECLARATION
(RC 2105.25)

What is a Declaration of Paternity?
If the birth certificate for an adult child born in Ohio who is at least 23 years of age does not list a father, the man alleging to be the father, the child’s mother, if living, and the adult child may appear together in the Probate Court and file a Joint Declaration requesting that the man be declared to be the father of the child.  This procedure is also referred to as a declaration of fatherhood of an adult child.

What if the Child’s Mother is Deceased or Incompetent?
If the mother of the child is incompetent or not living only the adult child’s father and the adult child must appear.  Satisfactory proof of the death or incompetence must be provided to the Court and the name and address of the guardian, if any, for the mother must be provided.

What documents must be provided with the Declaration of Paternity?
At the time the Joint Declaration is filed all of the following documents also must be filed: (a) the results of the genetic testing as defined in RC 3111.09 showing the man to be the child’s father with a probability at least 99.0%, (b) a current government issued photo identification for each of the parties, (c) a certified copy of the adult child’s "birth copy" birth certificate, and (d) if applicable, proof of the death or incompetence of the mother of the child.

In What County is the Declaration Filed?
The Joint Declaration of Paternity may be filed in the probate court of the county where the father resides.  If the father does not reside in Ohio, the filing may be made in any county of the state.  

What Standard does the Court Apply when Determining Whether to Approve the Joint Declaration?
Only if the Court determines that the request is in the best interest of both the requesting father and the adult child may the Court issue the requested order.

What is the Meaning of the Order?
The Court’s approval of the request means that the child is considered to be a child of the father as if born to him in wedlock, except that the declaration does not result in child support to the mother from the father for the time the child was a minor.
The Court’s order will also direct that the child’s birth certificate be changed to designate the father.  In order to obtain the new birth certificate one of the applicants will need to send a certified copy of the court order (with the fee required by the Ohio Department of Health) to:

        Bureau of Vital Statistics
        Ohio Department of Health
        PO Box 15098
        Columbus, OH 43215-0098

        Phone (614) 466-2531 or 2532

Additional information