TN 27 (12-00)

GN 00306.450 District of Columbia Intestacy Laws

A child born any time, in wedlock or out of wedlock, is the legitimate child of its father and mother. Children born out of wedlock inherit in the same manner as children born in wedlock if parenthood has been established. D.C. Code Ann. section 19-316 (1996).

  1. A parent-child relationship may be established between:

    1. a child and the natural mother, by proof of her having given birth to the child. D.C. Code Ann. section 16-909(a) (1996); or

    2. a child and the natural father, by proof by a preponderance of the evidence that he is the father. D.C. Ann. section 16-909(a) (1996).

    In establishing preponderance of the evidence under this part, (D.C. Code Ann. section 16 909(a)), a number of factors may be considered in making a paternity determination including:

    • public documents (e.g., birth certificates); and

    • testimony of putative father's relatives.

  2. A parent-child relationship is conclusively established if the Superior Court or any other court of competent jurisdiction has entered a final judgment determining the parentage of the child. D.C. code Ann. section 16-909(c) (1996).

  3. A man is presumed to be the natural father of a child if:

    1. he and the child's natural mother are or have been married to each other and the child is born during the marriage, or within 300 days after marital cohabitation is terminated by death, annulment, divorce, or separation ordered by a court. D.C. Code Ann. section 16-909(a)(1) (1996); or

    2. before the child's birth, he and the child's natural mother have attempted to marry each other by a marriage in apparent compliance with the law, although their attempted marriage is or could be declared void and:

      1. the child is born during the attempted marriage; or

      2. within 300 days after termination of attempted marital cohabitation by death, annulment, divorce or separation ordered by a court. D.C. Code Ann. section 16-909(a)(2) (1996); or

    3. after the child's birth, he and the child's natural mother have married, or attempted to marry, each other by a marriage ceremony in apparent compliance with the law, although the attempted marriage is or might be declared void, and he has acknowledged the child to be his. D.C. Code Ann. section 16-909(a)(3) (1996); or

    4. the putative father has acknowledged paternity in writing. D.C. code Ann. section 16-909 (a)(4) (1996).

    Effective 06/18/91, the presumptions created in 3.a. through 3.d. above may be overcome by clear and convincing evidence that the presumed father is not the child's father. D. C. Code Ann. section 16-909 (b) (1996).

  1. Effective 03/16/95, a "conclusive presumption" of paternity is created when:

    1. genetic testing results and an affidavit, certified by the American Association of Blood Banks, indicate a 99% probability that the putative father is the father of the child. D. C. code Ann. section 16-909(b-1)(1); or

    2. the father acknowledges paternity in writing. D.C. Code Ann. section 16-909 (b-1)(2). For purposes of this provision, an acknowledgment in writing is a written statement of the father and mother made under oath that acknowledges paternity, which may include a written statement made at a hospital within 60 days of the birth of a child on a form provided by the mayor that sets forth the rights and responsibilities attendant to acknowledging paternity.

    3. In order for genetic testing results and a properly certified affidavit to be valid under section 4.a., above, certified documentation of the chain of custody of the test specimens must be provided. D.C. Code § 16-2343.01(a), (e) (effective July 18, 2009).


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GN 00306.450 - District of Columbia Intestacy Laws - 03/20/2014
Batch run: 03/20/2014
Rev:03/20/2014