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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9749
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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Can paternity be adjudicated if child is 15 years old, and

Customer Question

can paternity be adjudicated if child is 15 years old, and father listed on birth certificate wants to cede rights as named father. Biological father deceased in 2010, but his DNA is in the CODIS system. Will the courts accept DNA from CODIS or will they accept DNA from biological grandmother? Biological father was only child. I think there is case law on this in NYC as a result of 911 wherein the father's body was never found, and the DNA from his mother was used to establish paternity. Note: father that is listed on birth certificate admits that he knows child is not his, and should be able to terminate his parental rights.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your patience; it will be a few more minutes for me to write my response.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Thank you; the paternity of a child may be adjudicated according to the following statute of limitation: (up until 3 years after the child reaches the age of majority)

36-2-306. Statute of limitations.

An action to establish the parentage of a child may be instituted before or after the birth of the child and until three (3) years beyond the child's age of majority. The provisions of this chapter shall not affect the relationship of parent and child as established in § 31-2-105.

The mother may bring an action to establish paternity:

36-2-305. Agreement to establish parentage Complaint to establish parentage Parties When action may be brought Order of protection.

(a) The court may enter an order of parentage upon the agreement of the mother and father unless the court on its own motion orders genetic testing. In any such agreement, the mother and father must affirmatively acknowledge their parentage of the child. Any agreement under this part shall comply with the requirements of § 36-2-311.

(b) Absent an agreement or an acknowledgement of parentage as prescribed by §§ 68-3-203(g), 68-3-302, or 68-3-305(b), a complaint to establish parentage may be filed. Except as hereinafter provided, Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure shall govern all actions under this subsection (b).

(1) A complaint to establish parentage of a child may be filed by:

(A) The child, if the child has reached the age of majority, or if the child is a minor, the child through a guardian or next friend;

(B) The child's mother, or if the mother is a minor, the mother's personal representative, parent, or guardian;

(C) A man claiming to be the child's father, or if the man is a minor, the man's parent, guardian, or personal representative;

(D) The department of human services or its contractor.

(2) One (1) man or several men may be named as the father. The naming of one (1) man as father does not preclude a later suit against another man if the court finds that the first man is not the father of the child.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

If the bio father is deceased, the court may consider other evidence such as pre death medical treatment/testing, posthumous DNA (typically only kept for a few years though), and DNA testing from family relatives such as siblings, parents, etc.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will they accept the biological father's DNA that is stored in the CODIS system?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

I cannot find case authority in TN specifically allowing CODIS; however, since the judge does have the discretion to consider any reliable sources of paternity, I would presume that most judges would rule in favor of CODIS evidence; the concern with at home paternity tests, for example, is their reliability; thus these aren't admissible in court. That concern is not applicable with CODIS evidence.

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