2010 Pennsylvania Code
Chapter 51 - General Provisions
5103 - Acknowledgment and claim of paternity.

     § 5103.  Acknowledgment and claim of paternity.
        (a)  Acknowledgment of paternity.--The father of a child born
     to an unmarried woman may file with the Department of Public
     Welfare, on forms prescribed by the department, an
     acknowledgment of paternity of the child which shall include the
     consent of the mother of the child, supported by her witnessed
     statement subject to 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904 (relating to unsworn
     falsification to authorities). In such case, the father shall
     have all the rights and duties as to the child which he would
     have had if he had been married to the mother at the time of the
     birth of the child, and the child shall have all the rights and
     duties as to the father which the child would have had if the
     father had been married to the mother at the time of birth. The
     hospital or other person accepting an acknowledgment of
     paternity shall provide written and oral notice, which may be
     through the use of video or audio equipment, to the birth mother
     and birth father of the alternatives to, the legal consequences
     of and the rights and responsibilities that arise from, signing
     the acknowledgment.
        (b)  Claim of paternity.--If the mother of the child fails or
     refuses to join in the acknowledgment of paternity provided for
     in subsection (a), the Department of Public Welfare shall index
     it as a claim of paternity. The filing and indexing of a claim
     of paternity shall not confer upon the putative father any
     rights as to the child except that the putative father shall be
     entitled to notice of any proceeding brought to terminate any
     parental rights as to the child.
        (c)  Duty of hospital or birthing center.--Upon the birth of
     a child to an unmarried woman, an agent of the hospital or
     birthing center where the birth occurred shall:
            (1)  Provide the newborn's birth parents with an
        opportunity to complete an acknowledgment of paternity. The
        completed, signed and witnessed acknowledgment shall be sent
        to the Department of Public Welfare. A copy shall be given to
        each of the birth parents. This acknowledgment shall contain:
                (i)  A signed, witnessed statement subject to 18
            Pa.C.S. § 4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to
            authorities) by the birth mother consenting to the
            acknowledgment of paternity.
                (ii)  A signed, witnessed statement subject to 18
            Pa.C.S. § 4904 by the birth father acknowledging his
                (iii)  A written explanation of the parental duties
            and parental rights which arise from signing such a
                (iv)  The Social Security numbers and addresses of
            both birth parents.
            (2)  Provide written information, furnished by the
        department to the birth mother and birth father, which
        explains the benefits of having the child's paternity
        established, the availability of paternity establishment
        services and the availability of child support enforcement
        (d)  Conclusive evidence.--Notwithstanding any other
     provision of law, an acknowledgment of paternity shall
     constitute conclusive evidence of paternity without further
     judicial ratification in any action to establish support. The
     court shall give full faith and credit to an acknowledgment of
     paternity signed in another state according to its procedures.
        (e)  Transfer.--The Department of Health shall transfer to
     the Department of Public Welfare all acknowledgments or claims
     of paternity filed with the Department of Health under prior
        (f)  Certifications.--The Department of Public Welfare shall
     provide necessary certifications under Part III (relating to
     adoption) as to whether any acknowledgment or claim of paternity
     has been filed in regard to any child who is a prospective
     adoptive child.
        (g)  Rescission.--
            (1)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a
        signed, voluntary, witnessed acknowledgment of paternity
        subject to 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904 shall be considered a legal
        finding of paternity, subject to the right of any signatory
        to rescind the acknowledgment within the earlier of the
                (i)  sixty days; or
                (ii)  the date of an administrative or judicial
            proceeding relating to the child, including, but not
            limited to, a domestic relations section conference or a
            proceeding to establish a support order in which the
            signatory is a party.
            (2)  After the expiration of the 60 days, an
        acknowledgment of paternity may be challenged in court only
        on the basis of fraud, duress or material mistake of fact,
        which must be established by the challenger through clear and
        convincing evidence. An order for support shall not be
        suspended during the period of challenge except for good
        cause shown.
        (h)  Penalties for noncompliance.--The department may impose
     a civil penalty not to exceed $500 per day upon a hospital or
     birthing center which is not in compliance with the provisions
     of this section. A penalty under this subsection is subject to 2
     Pa.C.S. Ch. 5 Subch. A (relating to practice and procedure of
     Commonwealth agencies) and Ch. 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial
     review of Commonwealth agency action).
        (i)  Status of father.--The name of the father shall be
     included on the record of birth of the child of unmarried
     parents only if one of the following applies:
            (1)  The father and mother have signed a voluntary
        acknowledgment of paternity.
            (2)  A court or administrative agency of competent
        jurisdiction has issued an adjudication of paternity.
     (July 2, 1993, P.L.431, No.62, eff. 90 days; Dec. 16, 1994,
     P.L.1286, No.150, eff. imd.; Dec. 16, 1997, P.L.549, No.58, eff.
     Jan. 1, 1998; Dec. 15, 1998, P.L.963, No.127, eff. imd.)

        1998 Amendment.  Act 127 amended subsec. (a).
        1997 Amendment.  Act 58 amended subsecs. (a), (c) and (d) and
     added subsecs. (g), (h) and (i).
        1994 Amendment.  Act 150 amended subsecs. (a) and (b) and
     added subsecs. (d), (e) and (f). Section 5 of Act 150 provided
     that the amendment of section 5103 shall apply to all actions
     pending on the effective date of Act 150.
        Cross References.  Section 5103 is referred to in sections
     2503, 2504, 2513, 7201 of this title.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Pennsylvania may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.