Program Operations Manual System (POMS)
TN 27 (12-00)
A child or father acquires the status of child or father if:
father publicly acknowledges child as his own, receives it as such into his family
(with wife's consent if he is married) and otherwise treats it as his legitimate child;
if alleged father is alive*: effective 07/01/69, a court finds that an individual is the father of a child and
makes an order of filiation declaring paternity. For claims filed on or after 11/27/98,
or pending on that date, a court order of filiation is not required; SSA may make
a determination of paternity by a preponderance of the evidence.
In addition, a child acquires the status of child if:
(I) before 07/01/72, father acknowledges child in writing signed in the presence of
a competent witness; or
if alleged father is deceased: on or after 07/01/71, paternity is established by a court order before the death of
the alleged father or is established after the alleged father's death by clear and
effective 07/01/71, the alleged father and mother marry before or after the birth
of the child, even though the attempted marriage is void.
A father also acquires the status of father if paternity is established by court order
before the father's death, or is established after death by clear and convincing proof,
and the father in either case has openly treated the child as his and has not refused
to support the child. For claims filed on or after 11/27/98, or pending on that date,
a court order is not required; SSA may make a determination of paternity before the
death of alleged father using a preponderance of the evidence standard of proof, or
after his death by clear and convincing proof.
Evidence relating to paternity, whether given to a court or SSA, may include, but
is not limited to:
evidence of sexual intercourse between the mother and alleged father at any possible
time of conception;
an expert's opinion concerning the statistical probability of the alleged father's
paternity based upon the duration of the mother's pregnancy;
the statistical probability of the alleged father's paternity based upon genetic tests**;
medical, scientific or genetic evidence relating to the alleged father's paternity
based on tests performed by experts; or
a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity executed jointly by the father and mother.
A voluntary acknowledgment executed after 07/01/94 shall be admissible as evidence
of paternity and shall create a rebuttable presumption of paternity. A voluntary acknowledgment
of paternity executed after 07/01/96 shall be admissible as evidence of paternity
and shall constitute a legal finding of paternity subject to the right of rescission.
*For claims filed on or after 11/27/98, or pending on that date, in cases where the
alleged father died from 07/01/69 through 06/30/71, SSA may make the determination
of paternity. Submit the case per GN 01010.815 ff. to the RCC for an opinion on the standard of proof SSA should use (in the absence
of a precedent opinion on this issue).
**A genetic test result with a probability of paternity of at least 98% shall create
a rebuttable presumption of paternity.