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How do I establish the legal paternity of my child?


Procedures to establish paternity and to compel child support by the father can be found in Iowa Code Chapters 252F and 600B.  We suggest a person contemplating this type of legal action consult with an attorney. Also, the Child Support Recovery Unit or the county attorney may assist a person in establishing paternity.


Is a blood test required?


In a case to establish paternity, the court may on its own motion or shall at the request of a party, require the child, mother, and alleged father to submit to blood or genetic tests. A motion, in writing, must filed with the clerk of court and copies provided to the opposing parties. The judge will then consider the request.


Is a blood or genetic test conclusive?


If an expert concludes that the test results show that the alleged father is not excluded and that the probability of the alleged father’s paternity is ninety-five percent or higher, there is a rebuttable presumption that the alleged father is the father. This presumption can be rebutted only by clear and convincing evidence. 


What if I want to challenge paternity that was previously established?


Iowa law provides that under certain circumstances paternity that was previously established may be overcome if subsequent blood or genetic testing indicates that the established father of a child is not the child’s biological father. 


Form (Rule of Civil Procedure 1.1901- Form 11) for “de establishment of paternity”

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