Parentage is the legal relationship between a child and a parent of a child.
The Connecticut Parentage Act (CPA) ensures that all Connecticut Children, regardless of the circumstances of their birth or the marital status, gender, or sexual orientation of their parents, will have equal access to the security of a legal parent-child relationship.
The CPA is available to the public on the Internet by accessing the link: Public Act 21-15
Establishing parentage gives a child a legal parent. It also gives parents rights and responsibilities related to providing care for their child. Making the relationship legal provides a greater opportunity for a healthy relationship and insures a parent’s right to a relationship with their child. Legal parents have rights and responsibilities including the right to seek custody and visitation.
Acknowledgment of Parentage
The Acknowledgment of Parentage form is a sworn statement voluntarily completed by the parents of a child.
The acknowledgment affirms that the other person is a parent of the child and has the same force and effect as a court ordered judgment of parentage.
The form can be completed at:
- Hospital at the time the child is born
- Department of Public Health (see link to DPH webpage Parentage (ct.gov))
- Department of Social Services (please use link below to contact your local office for an appointment)
If a birth parent and a genetic parent do not want to sign an Acknowledgment of Parentage, or the parents disagree about the identity of the genetic parent, a court can resolve the dispute and establish parentage. Your local Department of Social Services, Office of Child Support Services can help you with this process. Local Child Support Offices
Links to Acknowledgment of Parentage documents are listed below for your assistance.
Acknowledge Parentage for Your Child...And for You! Q & A for Parents - English
Acknowledge Parentage for Your Child...And for You! Q & A for Parents - Spanish
The Department of Social Services (DSS), Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) can help schedule a DNA test with or without going to court. Samples taken from the mother, the child, and the possible father are sent to a lab for testing. A form of positive identification is required, and the test may be free of charge. Please contact your local DSS office to request more information.
When a Non-Custodial Parent Resides Outside of Connecticut
When a non-custodial parent lives in a different state, CT DSS may not have jurisdiction over him/her. However, it is our responsibility to establish parentage, establish child support, and enforce child support orders. We do this by processing referrals to other states based on your scenario.
If there is already an established child support order, we may be able to collect child support by sending an income withholding order (IWO) to the non-custodial parent’s employer. If help is needed from the other state’s child support agency to establish parentage, establish a court order, or enforce the payment of support, CT DSS may ask for the other state’s assistance under a law called the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). This law establishes cooperation between states in these matters, and each state uses the same law to process these cases.
Under UIFSA, information is sent to the other state’s Central Registry where it is reviewed and forwarded to the appropriate local child support agency within that state. The local child support agency in the other state will communicate with the assigned child support investigator from CT DSS regarding the status of your case and will follow-up if additional paperwork or information is required. You may contact your assigned child support investigator to find out information and the status of your case during the process.
Below is a link to U.S. states and territories where you may get further information regarding program profiles. Your case, however, will be handled by your CT DSS Investigator. You will not need to contact anyone from the other state.
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/irg-state-map Opens in a new window