How may I legally establish parentage?

There are four ways to establish parentage.

(1) Marriage. If the mother and biological father decide to marry before the child is born, the marriage may create what is called a presumption of parentage. Unless a parent or some other interested party later challenges that presumption, the man will be considered the legal father of the child.

(2) Registered Domestic Partnership. If the mother was in a registered domestic partnership during the pregnancy, the registered domestic partnership may create what is called a presumption of parentage. Unless a parent or some other interested party later challenges that presumption, the registered domestic partner is the legal parent of the child.

(3) Paternity Acknowledgment. The Paternity Acknowledgment is a legal form. The man who signs the form will be considered the legal father after the form is signed, notarized, and filed at the Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics (DOH/CHS).

(4) Court Order. The court may determine if a person is the legal parent of a child. The court may require a genetic test of the mother, child, and a man alleged to be the biological father.