In the United States, a child born outside a legal marriage relationship will lose child support and inheritance rights if the fatherhood of the child is not legally established. The father may voluntarily acknowledge paternity in a legal document filed with a court or may agree to have his name listed as the father on the child's birth certificate. If the man disputes fatherhood, the mother or the state government may initiate a legal proceeding, known as a paternity action, to adjudicate fatherhood.
The common law also established the "marital paternity presumption," which holds that a child born during a marriage is the offspring of the husband. Therefore, a child born as a result of the wife's adulterous affair is recognized as a legitimate child of the marriage. This rule recognized that illegitimacy brought social stigma as well as severe economic penalties to a child, including the inability to inherit from the husband of the child's mother. By establishing a presumption of paternity and therefore legitimacy, the rule promoted family stability and integrity.
In late 2011, Washington State passed a marriage equality bill by popular vote of the people. This cleared the pathway from domestic partnership to full state marriage rights for same-sex couples. As same-sex couple cannot biologically procreate, many same-sex couples turn to medical intervention. These interventions range in complexity, but the nature of the intended relationships remains the same: two adults in a committed intimate relationship wishing to be parents together. The statute is clear that all rights and responsibilities of the previously defined marriage of one man and one woman are now bestowed upon all otherwise eligible persons wishing to enter into marriage, including childrearing. This creates a conundrum for the “paternity” presumption.
The Washington State Department of Health, an administrative agency, manages the records of all births in the state. Consider the following:
You may wish to look at www.regulations.gov for examples of final administrative rulings at the federal level.
A well-written ruling should be no longer than 3 to 5 pages.
In addition to fulfilling the specifics of the Assignment, a successful Assignment must also meet the following criteria: