Program Operations Manual System (POMS)
TN 27 (12-00)
GN 00306.590 Northern Mariana Islands Intestacy Laws
A person born out of wedlock is a child of the mother.
A person born out of wedlock is also the child of the father if:
the natural parents participated in a marriage ceremony before or after the birth of the child, even though the attempted marriage was void; or
paternity is established by an adjudication before the death of the father by a preponderance of evidence; or
paternity is established after the death of the father by clear and convincing proof; however paternity is ineffective to qualify the father to inherit through the child unless the father openly held out the child as his own and did not refuse to provide support.
Effective 04/01/85, the parent-child relationship extends equally to every child and every parent, regardless of the marital status of the parents. A judgment or order of a court determining the existence or non-existence of the parent-child relationship is determinative for all purposes. For claims filed on or after 11/27/98, SSA may make the paternity determination, using a preponderance of evidence standard of proof before the alleged father's death, or using a clear and convincing standard of proof after the father's death, unless otherwise specified below.
The parent-child relationship may be established as follows:
Between a child and the natural mother:
by proof of her having given birth to the child; or
under the methods outlined in 2. below;
Between a child and the natural father (or mother, if applicable), under the methods outlined below.
A man is presumed to be the natural father of a child if:
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 the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce, or after a decree of separation is entered by a court; or
before the child's birth, he and the child's natural mother have attempted to marry each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and:
if the attempted marriage could be declared invalid only by a court, the child is born during the attempted marriage, or within 300 days after its termination by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity or divorce; or
if the attempted marriage is invalid without a court order, the child is born within 300 days after the termination of cohabitation;
after the child's birth, he and the child's natural mother have married, or attempted to marry, each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and:
he has acknowledged his paternity of the child in a writing filed with the Commonwealth Clerk of Court Office; or
with his consent, he is named as the child's father on the child's birth certificate; or
he is obligated to support the child under a written voluntary promise or by court order; or
while the child is under the age of majority, he receives the child into his home and openly holds out the child as his natural child;
he acknowledges his paternity of the child in a writing filed with the Commonwealth Clerk of Court Office, which shall promptly inform the mother of the child of the acknowledgment, and she does not dispute the acknowledgment within a reasonable time after being informed thereof, in a writing filed with the Commonwealth Clerk of Court Office. If another man is presumed to be the child's father, acknowledgment may be effected only with a written consent of the presumed father or after the presumption has been rebutted by clear and convincing evidence.
Any of the above presumptions may be rebutted only by clear and convincing evidence. If two or more presumptions arise which conflict with each other, the presumption which on the facts is founded on the weightier considerations of policy and logic controls. A presumption is rebutted by a court decree establishing paternity of the child by another man. As stated above, a judgment or order of a court determining the existence or non-existence of the parent-child relationship is determinative for all purposes.
In evaluating evidence of paternity or rebuttal of paternity, SSA may consider:
evidence of sexual intercourse between the mother and the alleged father at any possible time of conception, but not at any other time unless this evidence is offered by the mother;
an expert's opinion concerning the statistical probability of the alleged father's paternity based upon the duration of the mother's pregnancy;
genetic and blood test results, including the Human Leukocyte Antigen tests, to be weighted in accordance with other evidence, if available, of the statistical probability of the alleged father's paternity*;
medical or anthropological evidence relating to the alleged father's paternity of the child based on tests performed by experts; and
all other evidence relevant to the issue of paternity of the child; importantly, testimony of a physician concerning the medical circumstances of pregnancy and the characteristics of the child upon birth is not privileged and may be relied upon by SSA.
*To be valid as evidence, blood tests must:
be performed by an expert qualified as an examiner of blood types;
establish a probability of parentage of 95% or higher. This creates a presumption that may itself be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence.
In the special case of artificial insemination, the donor of semen is treated in law as if he were not the natural father of the child. The husband is treated in law as if he were the natural father of a child conceived thereby. The husband's consent must be in writing and signed by both him and his wife. The physician shall certify their signatures and the date of the insemination, and file the consent with the Department of Public Health and Environment Services, where it shall be kept in a confidential, sealed file. A court may order inspection of such a file. The father-child relationship is not affected by a physician's failure to comply with these rules. Importantly, the testimony of a physician concerning the medical circumstances of the pregnancy and the characteristics of the child upon birth is not privileged.
If law prior to 02/15/84 is material, submit the case to the RCC per GN 01010.815 ff.