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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
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This question addresses California state law governing the

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This question addresses California state law governing the authority of its birth certificates.

Background:

A youngman, while being married with three children, fathers a child out of wedlock in 1960. One of the three children of his marriage, alleges that the signature on the birth certificate of the out-of-wedlock child, is not her father's signature and is a forgery making the birth certificate of the out-of-wedlock child invalid. The father of the children in question died in 1992, never having contested the birth certificates of any of the four children in question. The out-of-wedlock child was approximately 30 years old at the time of his father's death and has carried the family name from his birth and has never questioned the identity of his father.

Question, in the state of California, 1) when can the authenticity/legality of one's birth certificate, officially provided the Los Angeles County Hospital (USC Medical Center) and recorded with the county and State of California be challenged, and 2) under what conditions would such a challenge to such a birth certificate be successful?
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Q: when can the authenticity/legality of one's birth certificate, officially provided the Los Angeles County Hospital (USC Medical Center) and recorded with the county and State of California be challenged
A: It can be challenged when there is a reason for the challenge, such as for inheritance purposes. For example, a provision in the father's will could state that certain property should be divided equally between all living children. In that scenario, one of the three children born in the marriage may wish to dispute the validity of the birth certificate.

Q: under what conditions would such a challenge to such a birth certificate be successful?
A: The conditions would have to be sufficient evidence to convince a judge that the signature is not authentic. In other words, the signature is presumed valid until proved otherwise ... not the other way around. The illegitimate child would not have to prove that the signature is authentic. So, the child who challenges the signature would need to either hire an expert to testify that the signature is forged, or that it was impossible for some reason, etc.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

For the sake of clarity, the father left no will contesting the birthright of the out-of-wedlock child. While the inheritance of land is part of the discussion, no other individual or group is contesting the birth certificate in any way. In other words there appears to be no valid reason for the birth certificate being challenged. If you can invision another reason (or reasons) please do so at this point, given this is critical. Thank you.

Hi again.

Inheritances are the primary reason to challenge a birth certificate. Other reasons are so few, it is difficult to even invent such a reason. Even child support would not suffice as a reason because once a person is dead (as in this case), it is too late to demand child support or to challenge an order for child support.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. Your assistance has been very helpful. I will rate you highly, particularly in regards XXXXX XXXXX clarity.

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