Did you know there are three ways to establish parentage?
- Children born within the marriage
- Filing a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage (VDOP) form
- Determination of of the Court
Parentage Opportunity Program (POP)
When a child is born to unmarried parents, the child does not have the same rights or access to benefits of their relationship with each parent, as a child born to married parents.
Additionally, the father does not automatically have the legal rights of a parent and will not be named on the birth certificate.
To establish a legal relationship between a child born to unmarried parents, there are two options:
- sign a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage (VDOP)
- get a court order which legally establishes parentage and pay a fee to amend the birth certificate
If paternity of the child(dren) is at issue, we provide free genetic
To obtain this free service:
- Contact DCSS immediately once you are served with the Summons and Complaint.
- Complete the Answer to Complaint or Supplemental Complaint
- Once the Answer is complete, you must file with the Superior Court Business Office.
- After you file the answer, provide a copy to DCSS so we may set up the genetic testing appointment.
Following the genetic test appointment, you will receive:
- Notice of hearing to establish paternity and support
- Results of the paternity test
If you do not dispute the genetic test results or the child support amount on the proposed judgment, call us today to ask us about a stipulated judgment (agreement).
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get a genetic test?
Please contact DCSS to speak with a child support professional.
How much does genetic testing cost?
In most instances, DCSS provides free genetic testing.
How long does it take to get the results?
Once all parties on the case have been tested, the results are received within four to six weeks.
Do I have to travel to San Diego to test if I live out-of-county or out-of-state?
No, we will schedule an appointment at the nearest available location for your convenience.
What will I need to bring to my appointment?
You will need to bring a valid California ID or valid California Driver's License.
Children must have one of the following forms of ID: Social Security card, Medi-Cal card, or birth certificate.
How is the genetic test conducted?
DCSS requires a saliva sample by buccal swab. This sample is then sent to the lab for DNA testing.
Set Aside Paternity
If paternity has previously been established by order of the court and you would like the judgment set aside, please contact the Family Law Facilitator’s Office.