Establishing Paternity

Establishing Paternity is very easy and there are many benefits for the child such as

  • The child knows both parents
  • The child will share in both parents lives
  • Both parents share in the financial responsibility of raising the child
  • The child would be entitled to any inheritance
  • The child will have access to vital medical history of both parents

Application and Process

If you need to establish paternity and or a child support order and you are not required to do so by law (Ohio Revised Code Section 3111.04 (D)), you can contact the CSEA for assistance. Your call will be directed to a Specialized Case Manager who will send you an intake packet to complete. You will be asked a variety of questions and all the information must be filled out in order for the process to get started. All conversations and information remain confidential.

The information is forwarded on to our legal division and the parties will be scheduled for genetic testing. You will receive a letter in the mail indicating the date and time of this appointment. All parties will need to come to the meeting including the child. You will need to bring a picture I.D with you as this document will be notarized.

Who can ask for paternity to be established?

  • Birth mother
  • The man who is presumed to be the father if the mother was not married when the child was born
  • The Child Support Enforcement Agency on behalf of the legal guardian
  • Child over the age of 18 and under the age of 23

Genetic Testing

Genetic Testing is done by a method called “Buccal Swab”. This is a painless procedure and uses a large “Q-tip” like swab. Tissue samples are obtained from all parties as well as pictures and fingerprints. You will also sign a form stating that the test was administered to you. If you are a minor (under 18) you must have a legal guardian with you.

Are there other Alternatives to Genetic Testing?

Yes. Both parties can sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity in the presence of a CSEA notary.

What Happens Next ...

Once the tests are received by the CSEA and based on the results, a court order will be prepared establishing paternity or excluding the presumed father. Parties will be notified by mail regarding the test results. If you do not agree with the outcome of the test, you may object to the findings and file a complaint with the Court within thirty (30) days. If you do not agree and fail to notify the CSEA or the Court, the results will stay.