Effective 10/01/80, a child or father also acquires the status of child or parent
if the parents intermarry. Further, “parent” means either a natural parent of a legitimate
child, or the natural parent of an illegitimate child. A child born to a woman married
at the time of its conception or birth is presumed to be the legitimate child of her
husband. If this presumption is legally rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence
and no contrary determination is made, then the man to whom the mother is married
at the time of the child's birth is presumed to be the father. In general, any presumption
here may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.
The father of an illegitimate child may affirmatively assert paternity by:
1. causing his name to be affixed to the birth certificate of the child: or
2. paying medical or hospital bills associated with the birth of the child; or
3. paying support for the child; or
4. asserting paternity in writing.
Court proceedings to establish paternity may not be initiated for any child younger
than 5 years of age, unless paternity has been acknowledged by the father in writing
or by furnishing support. For claims filed on or after 11/27/98, or pending on that
date, an SSA adjudicator may make a paternity determination by a preponderance of
the evidence without regard to the above-mentioned minimum age requirement of the
child. An affirmative assertion of paternity as described above constitutes evidence
that goes toward establishing a preponderance of the evidence.
Blood grouping tests may be received as evidence in the case of a paternity dispute.
There are no specific requirements or standards for acceptability, authenticity, or
accuracy of blood evidence, so these factors must be assessed reasonably. The SSA
fact finder should evaluate the authenticity, accuracy, acceptability, and persuasiveness
of the blood evidence in the manner a “reasonable person” would. Submit questionable
cases to OGC under GN 01010.815 ff.