Law:Title 5. The Parent-child Relationship And The Suit Affecting The Parent-child Relationship. Subtitle B. Suits Affecting The Parent-child Relationship from Chapter 160. Uniform Parentage Act (Texas)

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Subtitle B. Suits Affecting The Parent-child Relationship

Contents

Chapter 160. Uniform Parentage Act

Subchapter A. Application And Construction

Section  160.001.  Application And Construction.

This chapter shall be applied and construed to promote the uniformity of the law among the states that enact the Uniform Parentage Act.

Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.002.  Conflicts Between Provisions.

If a provision of this chapter conflicts with another provision of this title or another state statute or rule and the conflict cannot be reconciled, this chapter prevails.

Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Subchapter B. General Provisions

Section  160.101.  Short Title.

This chapter may be cited as the Uniform Parentage Act.

Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.102.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Adjudicated father" means a man who has been adjudicated by a court to be the father of a child.

(2)  "Assisted reproduction" means a method of causing pregnancy other than sexual intercourse. The term includes:

(A)  intrauterine insemination;

(B)  donation of eggs;

(C)  donation of embryos;

(D)  in vitro fertilization and transfer of embryos; and

(E)  intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

(3)  "Child" means an individual of any age whose parentage may be determined under this chapter.

(4)  "Commence" means to file the initial pleading seeking an adjudication of parentage in a court of this state.

(5)  "Determination of parentage" means the establishment of the parent-child relationship by the signing of a valid acknowledgment of paternity under Subchapter D or by an adjudication by a court.

(6)  "Donor" means an individual who provides eggs or sperm to a licensed physician to be used for assisted reproduction, regardless of whether the eggs or sperm are provided for consideration.  The term does not include:

(A)  a husband who provides sperm or a wife who provides eggs to be used for assisted reproduction by the wife;

(B)  a woman who gives birth to a child by means of assisted reproduction; or

(C)  an unmarried man who, with the intent to be the father of the resulting child, provides sperm to be used for assisted reproduction by an unmarried woman, as provided by Section 160.7031.

(7)  "Ethnic or racial group" means, for purposes of genetic testing, a recognized group that an individual identifies as all or part of the individual's ancestry or that is identified by other information.

(8)  "Genetic testing" means an analysis of an individual's genetic markers to exclude or identify a man as the father of a child or a woman as the mother of a child. The term includes an analysis of one or more of the following:

(A)  deoxyribonucleic acid; and

(B)  blood-group antigens, red-cell antigens, human-leukocyte antigens, serum enzymes, serum proteins, or red-cell enzymes.

(9)  "Intended parents" means individuals who enter into an agreement providing that the individuals will be the parents of a child born to a gestational mother by means of assisted reproduction, regardless of whether either individual has a genetic relationship with the child.

(10)  "Man" means a male individual of any age.

(11)  "Parent" means an individual who has established a parent-child relationship under Section 160.201.

(12)  "Paternity index" means the likelihood of paternity determined by calculating the ratio between:

(A)  the likelihood that the tested man is the father of the child, based on the genetic markers of the tested man, the mother of the child, and the child, conditioned on the hypothesis that the tested man is the father of the child; and

(B)  the likelihood that the tested man is not the father of the child, based on the genetic markers of the tested man, the mother of the child, and the child, conditioned on the hypothesis that the tested man is not the father of the child and that the father of the child is of the same ethnic or racial group as the tested man.

(13)  "Presumed father" means a man who, by operation of law under Section 160.204, is recognized as the father of a child until that status is rebutted or confirmed in a judicial proceeding.

(14)  "Probability of paternity" means the probability, with respect to the ethnic or racial group to which the alleged father belongs, that the alleged father is the father of the child, compared to a random, unrelated man of the same ethnic or racial group, expressed as a percentage incorporating the paternity index and a prior probability.

(15)  "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in a perceivable form.

(16)  "Signatory" means an individual who authenticates a record and is bound by its terms.

(17)  "Support enforcement agency" means a public official or public agency authorized to seek:

(A)  the enforcement of child support orders or laws relating to the duty of support;

(B)  the establishment or modification of child support;

(C)  the determination of parentage;

(D)  the location of child-support obligors and their income and assets; or

(E)  the conservatorship of a child or the termination of parental rights.

Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 972, Sec. 39, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  160.103.  Scope Of Chapter; Choice Of Law.

(a) Except as provided by Chapter 233, this chapter governs every determination of parentage in this state.

(b)  The court shall apply the law of this state to adjudicate the parent-child relationship. The applicable law does not depend on:

(1)  the place of birth of the child; or

(2)  the past or present residence of the child.

(c)  This chapter does not create, enlarge, or diminish parental rights or duties under another law of this state.

(d)  Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 3.

Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 767, Sec. 22, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  160.104.  Authorized Courts.

The following courts are authorized to adjudicate parentage under this chapter:

(1)  a court with jurisdiction to hear a suit affecting the parent-child relationship under this title; or

(2)  a court with jurisdiction to adjudicate parentage under another law of this state.

Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.105.  Protection Of Participants.

A proceeding under this chapter is subject to the other laws of this state governing the health, safety, privacy, and liberty of a child or any other individual who may be jeopardized by the disclosure of identifying information, including the person's address, telephone number, place of employment, and social security number and the name of the child's day-care facility and school.

Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.106.  Determination Of Maternity.

The provisions of this chapter relating to the determination of paternity apply to a determination of maternity.

Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Subchapter C. Parent-child Relationship

Section  160.201.  Establishment Of Parent-child Relationship.

(a) The mother-child relationship is established between a woman and a child by:

(1)  the woman giving birth to the child;

(2)  an adjudication of the woman's maternity; or

(3)  the adoption of the child by the woman.

(b)  The father-child relationship is established between a man and a child by:

(1)  an unrebutted presumption of the man's paternity of the child under Section 160.204;

(2)  an effective acknowledgment of paternity by the man under Subchapter D, unless the acknowledgment has been rescinded or successfully challenged;

(3)  an adjudication of the man's paternity;

(4)  the adoption of the child by the man; or

(5)  the man's consenting to assisted reproduction by his wife under Subchapter H, which resulted in the birth of the child.

Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.202.  No Discrimination Based On Marital Status.

A child born to parents who are not married to each other has the same rights under the law as a child born to parents who are married to each other.

Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.203.  Consequences Of Establishment Of Parentage.

Unless parental rights are terminated, a parent-child relationship established under this chapter applies for all purposes, except as otherwise provided by another law of this state.

Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.204.  Presumption Of Paternity.

(a) A man is presumed to be the father of a child if:

(1)  he is married to the mother of the child and the child is born during the marriage;

(2)  he is married to the mother of the child and the child is born before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;

(3)  he married the mother of the child before the birth of the child in apparent compliance with law, even if the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the invalid marriage or before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;

(4)  he married the mother of the child after the birth of the child in apparent compliance with law, regardless of whether the marriage is or could be declared invalid, he voluntarily asserted his paternity of the child, and:

(A)  the assertion is in a record filed with the bureau of vital statistics;

(B)  he is voluntarily named as the child's father on the child's birth certificate; or

(C)  he promised in a record to support the child as his own; or

(5)  during the first two years of the child's life, he continuously resided in the household in which the child resided and he represented to others that the child was his own.

(b)  A presumption of paternity established under this section may be rebutted only by:

(1)  an adjudication under Subchapter G; or

(2)  the filing of a valid denial of paternity by a presumed father in conjunction with the filing by another person of a valid acknowledgment of paternity as provided by Section 160.305.

Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 610, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1248, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Subchapter D. Voluntary Acknowledgment Of Paternity

Section  160.301.  Acknowledgment Of Paternity.

The mother of a child and a man claiming to be the biological father of the child may sign an acknowledgment of paternity with the intent to establish the man's paternity.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1248, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.302.  Execution Of Acknowledgment Of Paternity.

(a) An acknowledgment of paternity must:

(1)  be in a record;

(2)  be signed, or otherwise authenticated, under penalty of perjury by the mother and the man seeking to establish paternity;

(3)  state that the child whose paternity is being acknowledged:

(A)  does not have a presumed father or has a presumed father whose full name is stated; and

(B)  does not have another acknowledged or adjudicated father;

(4)  state whether there has been genetic testing and, if so, that the acknowledging man's claim of paternity is consistent with the results of the testing; and

(5)  state that the signatories understand that the acknowledgment is the equivalent of a judicial adjudication of the paternity of the child and that a challenge to the acknowledgment is permitted only under limited circumstances and is barred after four years.

(b)  An acknowledgment of paternity is void if it:

(1)  states that another man is a presumed father of the child, unless a denial of paternity signed or otherwise authenticated by the presumed father is filed with the bureau of vital statistics;

(2)  states that another man is an acknowledged or adjudicated father of the child; or

(3)  falsely denies the existence of a presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated father of the child.

(c)  A presumed father may sign or otherwise authenticate an acknowledgment of paternity.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.303.  Denial Of Paternity.

A presumed father of a child may sign a denial of his paternity. The denial is valid only if:

(1)  an acknowledgment of paternity signed or otherwise authenticated by another man is filed under Section 160.305;

(2)  the denial is in a record and is signed or otherwise authenticated under penalty of perjury; and

(3)  the presumed father has not previously:

(A)  acknowledged paternity of the child, unless the previous acknowledgment has been rescinded under Section 160.307 or successfully challenged under Section 160.308; or

(B)  been adjudicated to be the father of the child.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.304.  Rules For Acknowledgment And Denial Of Paternity.

(a) An acknowledgment of paternity and a denial of paternity may be contained in a single document or in different documents and may be filed separately or simultaneously. If the acknowledgment and denial are both necessary, neither document is valid until both documents are filed.

(b)  An acknowledgment of paternity or a denial of paternity may be signed before the birth of the child.

(c)  Subject to Subsection (a), an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity takes effect on the date of the birth of the child or the filing of the document with the bureau of vital statistics, whichever occurs later.

(d)  An acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity signed by a minor is valid if it otherwise complies with this chapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.305.  Effect Of Acknowledgment Or Denial Of Paternity.

(a) Except as provided by Sections 160.307 and 160.308, a valid acknowledgment of paternity filed with the bureau of vital statistics is the equivalent of an adjudication of the paternity of a child and confers on the acknowledged father all rights and duties of a parent.

(b)  Except as provided by Sections 160.307 and 160.308, a valid denial of paternity filed with the bureau of vital statistics in conjunction with a valid acknowledgment of paternity is the equivalent of an adjudication of the nonpaternity of the presumed father and discharges the presumed father from all rights and duties of a parent.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.306.  Filing Fee Not Required.

The bureau of vital statistics may not charge a fee for filing an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.307.  Proceeding For Rescission.

A signatory may rescind an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity by commencing a proceeding to rescind before the earlier of:

(1)  the 60th day after the effective date of the acknowledgment or denial, as provided by Section 160.304; or

(2)  the date of the first hearing in a proceeding to which the signatory is a party before a court to adjudicate an issue relating to the child, including a proceeding that establishes child support.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.308.  Challenge After Expiration Of Period For Rescission.

(a) After the period for rescission under Section 160.307 has expired, a signatory of an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity may commence a proceeding to challenge the acknowledgment or denial only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.  The proceeding must be commenced before the fourth anniversary of the date the acknowledgment or denial is filed with the bureau of vital statistics unless the signatory was a minor on the date the signatory executed the acknowledgment or denial. If the signatory was a minor on the date the signatory executed the acknowledgment or denial, the proceeding must be commenced before the earlier of the fourth anniversary of the date of:

(1)  the signatory's 18th birthday; or

(2)  the removal of the signatory's disabilities of minority by court order, marriage, or by other operation of law.

(b)  A party challenging an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity has the burden of proof.

(c)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a collateral attack on an acknowledgment of paternity signed under this chapter may not be maintained after the fourth anniversary of the date the acknowledgment of paternity is filed with the bureau of vital statistics unless the signatory was a minor on the date the signatory executed the acknowledgment.  If the signatory was a minor on the date the signatory executed the acknowledgment, a collateral attack on the acknowledgment of paternity may not be maintained after the earlier of the fourth anniversary of the date of:

(1)  the signatory's 18th birthday; or

(2)  the removal of the signatory's disabilities of minority by court order, marriage, or by other operation of law.

(d)  For purposes of Subsection (a), evidence that, based on genetic testing, the man who is the signatory of an acknowledgement of paternity is not rebuttably identified as the father of a child in accordance with Section 160.505 constitutes a material mistake of fact.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 478, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  160.309.  Procedure For Rescission Or Challenge.

(a) Each signatory to an acknowledgment of paternity and any related denial of paternity must be made a party to a proceeding to rescind or challenge the acknowledgment or denial of paternity.

(b)  For purposes of the rescission of or a challenge to an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity, a signatory submits to the personal jurisdiction of this state by signing the acknowledgment or denial. The jurisdiction is effective on the filing of the document with the bureau of vital statistics.

(c)  Except for good cause shown, while a proceeding is pending to rescind or challenge an acknowledgment of paternity or a denial of paternity, the court may not suspend the legal responsibilities of a signatory arising from the acknowledgment, including the duty to pay child support.

(d)  A proceeding to rescind or to challenge an acknowledgment of paternity or a denial of paternity shall be conducted in the same manner as a proceeding to adjudicate parentage under Subchapter G.

(e)  At the conclusion of a proceeding to rescind or challenge an acknowledgment of paternity or a denial of paternity, the court shall order the bureau of vital statistics to amend the birth record of the child, if appropriate.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.310.  Ratification Barred.

A court or administrative agency conducting a judicial or administrative proceeding may not ratify an unchallenged acknowledgment of paternity.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.311.  Full Faith And Credit.

A court of this state shall give full faith and credit to an acknowledgment of paternity or a denial of paternity that is effective in another state if the acknowledgment or denial has been signed and is otherwise in compliance with the law of the other state.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.312.  Forms For Acknowledgment And Denial Of Paternity.

(a) To facilitate compliance with this subchapter, the bureau of vital statistics shall prescribe forms for the acknowledgment of paternity and the denial of paternity.

(b)  A valid acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity is not affected by a later modification of the prescribed form.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.313.  Release Of Information.

The bureau of vital statistics may release information relating to the acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity to a signatory of the acknowledgment or denial and to the courts and Title IV-D agency of this or another state.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.314.  Adoption Of Rules.

The Title IV-D agency and the bureau of vital statistics may adopt rules to implement this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.315.  Memorandum Of Understanding.

(a) The Title IV-D agency and the bureau of vital statistics shall adopt a memorandum of understanding governing the collection and transfer of information for the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.

(b)  The Title IV-D agency and the bureau of vital statistics shall review the memorandum semiannually and renew or modify the memorandum as necessary.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Subchapter E. Registry Of Paternity

Section  160.401.  Establishment Of Registry.

A registry of paternity is established in the bureau of vital statistics.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.402.  Registration For Notification.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (b), a man who desires to be notified of a proceeding for the adoption of or the termination of parental rights regarding a child that he may have fathered may register with the registry of paternity:

(1)  before the birth of the child; or

(2)  not later than the 31st day after the date of the birth of the child.

(b)  A man is entitled to notice of a proceeding described by Subsection (a) regardless of whether he registers with the registry of paternity if:

(1)  a father-child relationship between the man and the child has been established under this chapter or another law; or

(2)  the man commences a proceeding to adjudicate his paternity before the court has terminated his parental rights.

(c)  A registrant shall promptly notify the registry in a record of any change in the information provided by the registrant. The bureau of vital statistics shall incorporate all new information received into its records but is not required to affirmatively seek to obtain current information for incorporation in the registry.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section 160.403.  Notice Of Proceeding.

Except as provided by Sections 161.002(b)(2), (3), and (4) and (f), notice of a proceeding to adopt or to terminate parental rights regarding a child must be given to a registrant who has timely registered with regard to that child.  Notice must be given in a manner prescribed for service of process in a civil action.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1283, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  160.404.  Termination Of Parental Rights: Failure To Register.

The parental rights of a man alleged to be the father of a child may be terminated without notice as provided by Section 161.002 if the man:

(1)  did not timely register with the bureau of vital statistics; and

(2)  is not entitled to notice under Section 160.402 or 161.002.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.411.  Required Form.

The bureau of vital statistics shall adopt a form for registering with the registry. The form must require the signature of the registrant. The form must state that:

(1)  the form is signed under penalty of perjury;

(2)  a timely registration entitles the registrant to notice of a proceeding for adoption of the child or for termination of the registrant's parental rights;

(3)  a timely registration does not commence a proceeding to establish paternity;

(4)  the information disclosed on the form may be used against the registrant to establish paternity;

(5)  services to assist in establishing paternity are available to the registrant through the support enforcement agency;

(6)  the registrant should also register in another state if the conception or birth of the child occurred in the other state;

(7)  information on registries in other states is available from the bureau of vital statistics; and

(8)  procedures exist to rescind the registration of a claim of paternity.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.412.  Furnishing Of Information; Confidentiality.

(a) The bureau of vital statistics is not required to attempt to locate the mother of a child who is the subject of a registration. The bureau of vital statistics shall send a copy of the notice of the registration to a mother who has provided an address.

(b)  Information contained in the registry is confidential and may be released on request only to:

(1)  a court or a person designated by the court;

(2)  the mother of the child who is the subject of the registration;

(3)  an agency authorized by another law to receive the information;

(4)  a licensed child-placing agency;

(5)  a support enforcement agency;

(6)  a party, or the party's attorney of record, to a proceeding under this chapter or a proceeding to adopt or to terminate parental rights regarding a child who is the subject of the registration; and

(7)  the registry of paternity in another state.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.413.  Offense: Unauthorized Release Of Information. (a)

A person commits an offense if the person intentionally releases information from the registry of paternity to another person, including an agency, that is not authorized to receive the information under Section 160.412.

(b)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.414.  Rescission Of Registration.

A registrant may rescind his registration at any time by sending to the registry a rescission in a record or another manner authenticated by him and witnessed or notarized.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section 160.415.  Untimely Registration.

If a man registers later than the 31st day after the date of the birth of the child, the bureau of vital statistics shall notify the registrant that the registration was not timely filed.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 627, Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  160.416.  Fees For Registry.

(a) A fee may not be charged for filing a registration or to rescind a registration.

(b)  Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (c), the bureau of vital statistics may charge a reasonable fee for making a search of the registry and for furnishing a certificate.

(c)  A support enforcement agency is not required to pay a fee authorized by Subsection (b).

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.421.  Search Of Appropriate Registry.

(a) If a father-child relationship has not been established under this chapter, a petitioner for the adoption of or the termination of parental rights regarding the child must obtain a certificate of the results of a search of the registry.  The petitioner may request a search of the registry on or after the 32nd day after the date of the birth of the child, and the bureau of vital statistics may not by rule impose a waiting period that must elapse before the bureau will conduct the requested search.

(b)  If the petitioner for the adoption of or the termination of parental rights regarding a child has reason to believe that the conception or birth of the child may have occurred in another state, the petitioner must obtain a certificate of the results of a search of the paternity registry, if any, in the other state.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 627, Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  160.422.  Certificate Of Search Of Registry.

(a) The bureau of vital statistics shall furnish a certificate of the results of a search of the registry on request by an individual, a court, or an agency listed in Section 160.412(b).

(b)  The certificate of the results of a search must be signed on behalf of the bureau and state that:

(1)  a search has been made of the registry; and

(2)  a registration containing the information required to identify the registrant:

(A)  has been found and is attached to the certificate; or

(B)  has not been found.

(c)  A petitioner must file the certificate of the results of a search of the registry with the court before a proceeding for the adoption of or termination of parental rights regarding a child may be concluded.

(d)  A search of the registry is not required if a parent-child relationship exists between a man and the child, as provided by Section 160.201(b), and that man:

(1)  has been served with citation of the proceeding for termination of the parent-child relationship; or

(2)  has signed a relinquishment of parental rights with regard to the child.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1283, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  160.423.  Admissibility Of Certificate.

A certificate of the results of a search of the registry in this state or of a paternity registry in another state is admissible in a proceeding for the adoption of or the termination of parental rights regarding a child and, if relevant, in other legal proceedings.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Subchapter F. Genetic Testing

Section  160.501.

  APPLICATION OF

Subchapter

. This subchapter governs genetic testing of an individual to determine parentage, regardless of whether the individual:

(1)  voluntarily submits to testing; or

(2)  is tested under an order of a court or a support enforcement agency.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.502.  Order For Testing.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter and by Subchapter G, a court shall order a child and other designated individuals to submit to genetic testing if the request is made by a party to a proceeding to determine parentage.

(b)  If a request for genetic testing of a child is made before the birth of the child, the court or support enforcement agency may not order in utero testing.

(c)  If two or more men are subject to court-ordered genetic testing, the testing may be ordered concurrently or sequentially.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.503.  Requirements For Genetic Testing.

(a) Genetic testing must be of a type reasonably relied on by experts in the field of genetic testing. The testing must be performed in a testing laboratory accredited by:

(1)  the American Association of Blood Banks, or a successor to its functions;

(2)  the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, or a successor to its functions; or

(3)  an accrediting body designated by the federal secretary of health and human services.

(b)  A specimen used in genetic testing may consist of one or more samples, or a combination of samples, of blood, buccal cells, bone, hair, or other body tissue or fluid. The specimen used in the testing is not required to be of the same kind for each individual undergoing genetic testing.

(c)  Based on the ethnic or racial group of an individual, the testing laboratory shall determine the databases from which to select frequencies for use in the calculation of the probability of paternity of the individual. If there is disagreement as to the testing laboratory's choice:

(1)  the objecting individual may require the testing laboratory, not later than the 30th day after the date of receipt of the report of the test, to recalculate the probability of paternity using an ethnic or racial group different from that used by the laboratory;

(2)  the individual objecting to the testing laboratory's initial choice shall:

(A)  if the frequencies are not available to the testing laboratory for the ethnic or racial group requested, provide the requested frequencies compiled in a manner recognized by accrediting bodies; or

(B)  engage another testing laboratory to perform the calculations; and

(3)  the testing laboratory may use its own statistical estimate if there is a question regarding which ethnic or racial group is appropriate and, if available, shall calculate the frequencies using statistics for any other ethnic or racial group requested.

(d)  If, after recalculation using a different ethnic or racial group, genetic testing does not rebuttably identify a man as the father of a child under Section 160.505, an individual who has been tested may be required to submit to additional genetic testing.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.504.  Report Of Genetic Testing.

(a) A report of the results of genetic testing must be in a record and signed under penalty of perjury by a designee of the testing laboratory. A report made under the requirements of this subchapter is self-authenticating.

(b)  Documentation from the testing laboratory is sufficient to establish a reliable chain of custody that allows the results of genetic testing to be admissible without testimony if the documentation includes:

(1)  the name and photograph of each individual whose specimens have been taken;

(2)  the name of each individual who collected the specimens;

(3)  the places in which the specimens were collected and the date of each collection;

(4)  the name of each individual who received the specimens in the testing laboratory; and

(5)  the dates the specimens were received.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.505.  Genetic Testing Results; Rebuttal.

(a) A man is rebuttably identified as the father of a child under this chapter if the genetic testing complies with this subchapter and the results disclose:

(1)  that the man has at least a 99 percent probability of paternity, using a prior probability of 0.5, as calculated by using the combined paternity index obtained in the testing; and

(2)  a combined paternity index of at least 100 to 1.

(b)  A man identified as the father of a child under Subsection (a) may rebut the genetic testing results only by producing other genetic testing satisfying the requirements of this subchapter that:

(1)  excludes the man as a genetic father of the child; or

(2)  identifies another man as the possible father of the child.

(c)  Except as otherwise provided by Section 160.510, if more than one man is identified by genetic testing as the possible father of the child, the court shall order each man to submit to further genetic testing to identify the genetic father.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.506.  Costs Of Genetic Testing.

(a) Subject to the assessment of costs under Subchapter G, the cost of initial genetic testing must be advanced:

(1)  by a support enforcement agency, if the agency is providing services in the proceeding;

(2)  by the individual who made the request;

(3)  as agreed by the parties; or

(4)  as ordered by the court.

(b)  In cases in which the cost of genetic testing is advanced by the support enforcement agency, the agency may seek reimbursement from a man who is rebuttably identified as the father.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.507.  Additional Genetic Testing.

The court or the support enforcement agency shall order additional genetic testing on the request of a party who contests the result of the original testing. If the previous genetic testing identified a man as the father of the child under Section 160.505, the court or agency may not order additional testing unless the party provides advance payment for the testing.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.508.  Genetic Testing When All Individuals Not Available.

(a) Subject to Subsection (b), if a genetic testing specimen for good cause and under circumstances the court considers to be just is not available from a man who may be the father of a child, a court may order the following individuals to submit specimens for genetic testing:

(1)  the parents of the man;

(2)  any brothers or sisters of the man;

(3)  any other children of the man and their mothers; and

(4)  other relatives of the man necessary to complete genetic testing.

(b)  A court may not render an order under this section unless the court finds that the need for genetic testing outweighs the legitimate interests of the individual sought to be tested.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.509.  Deceased Individual.

For good cause shown, the court may order genetic testing of a deceased individual.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.510.  Identical Brothers.

(a) The court may order genetic testing of a brother of a man identified as the father of a child if the man is commonly believed to have an identical brother and evidence suggests that the brother may be the genetic father of the child.

(b)  If each brother satisfies the requirements of Section 160.505 for being the identified father of the child and there is not another identical brother being identified as the father of the child, the court may rely on nongenetic evidence to adjudicate which brother is the father of the child.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.511.  Offense: Unauthorized Release Of Specimen.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally releases an identifiable specimen of another person for any purpose not relevant to the parentage proceeding and without a court order or the written permission of the person who furnished the specimen.

(b)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Subchapter G. Proceeding To Adjudicate Parentage

Section  160.601.  Proceeding Authorized; Rules Of Procedure.

(a) A civil proceeding may be maintained to adjudicate the parentage of a child.

(b)  The proceeding is governed by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, except as provided by Chapter 233.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 767, Sec. 23, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  160.602.  Standing To Maintain Proceeding.

(a) Subject to Subchapter D and Sections 160.607 and 160.609 and except as provided by Subsection (b), a proceeding to adjudicate parentage may be maintained by:

(1)  the child;

(2)  the mother of the child;

(3)  a man whose paternity of the child is to be adjudicated;

(4)  the support enforcement agency or another government agency authorized by other law;

(5)  an authorized adoption agency or licensed child-placing agency;

(6)  a representative authorized by law to act for an individual who would otherwise be entitled to maintain a proceeding but who is deceased, is incapacitated, or is a minor;

(7)  a person related within the second degree by consanguinity to the mother of the child, if the mother is deceased; or

(8)  a person who is an intended parent.

(b)  After the date a child having no presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated father becomes an adult, a proceeding to adjudicate the parentage of the adult child may only be maintained by the adult child.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1248, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.603.  Necessary Parties To Proceeding.

The following individuals must be joined as parties in a proceeding to adjudicate parentage:

(1)  the mother of the child; and

(2)  a man whose paternity of the child is to be adjudicated.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.604.  Personal Jurisdiction.

(a) An individual may not be adjudicated to be a parent unless the court has personal jurisdiction over the individual.

(b)  A court of this state having jurisdiction to adjudicate parentage may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident individual or the guardian or conservator of the individual if the conditions in Section 159.201 are satisfied.

(c)  Lack of jurisdiction over one individual does not preclude the court from making an adjudication of parentage binding on another individual over whom the court has personal jurisdiction.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.605.  Venue.

Venue for a proceeding to adjudicate parentage is in the county of this state in which:

(1)  the child resides or is found;

(2)  the respondent resides or is found if the child does not reside in this state; or

(3)  a proceeding for probate or administration of the presumed or alleged father's estate has been commenced.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.606.  No Time Limitation: Child Having No Presumed, Acknowledged, Or Adjudicated Father.

A proceeding to adjudicate the parentage of a child having no presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated father may be commenced at any time, including after the date:

(1)  the child becomes an adult; or

(2)  an earlier proceeding to adjudicate paternity has been dismissed based on the application of a statute of limitation then in effect.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.607.  Time Limitation: Child Having Presumed Father.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (b), a proceeding brought by a presumed father, the mother, or another individual to adjudicate the parentage of a child having a presumed father shall be commenced not later than the fourth anniversary of the date of the birth of the child.

(b)  A proceeding seeking to disprove the father-child relationship between a child and the child's presumed father may be maintained at any time if the court determines that:

(1)  the presumed father and the mother of the child did not live together or engage in sexual intercourse with each other during the probable time of conception; and

(2)  the presumed father never represented to others that the child was his own.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1248, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.608.  Authority To Deny Motion For Genetic Testing.

(a) In a proceeding to adjudicate parentage, a court may deny a motion for an order for the genetic testing of the mother, the child, and the presumed father if the court determines that:

(1)  the conduct of the mother or the presumed father estops that party from denying parentage; and

(2)  it would be inequitable to disprove the father-child relationship between the child and the presumed father.

(b)  In determining whether to deny a motion for an order for genetic testing under this section, the court shall consider the best interest of the child, including the following factors:

(1)  the length of time between the date of the proceeding to adjudicate parentage and the date the presumed father was placed on notice that he might not be the genetic father;

(2)  the length of time during which the presumed father has assumed the role of father of the child;

(3)  the facts surrounding the presumed father's discovery of his possible nonpaternity;

(4)  the nature of the relationship between the child and the presumed father;

(5)  the age of the child;

(6)  any harm that may result to the child if presumed paternity is successfully disproved;

(7)  the nature of the relationship between the child and the alleged father;

(8)  the extent to which the passage of time reduces the chances of establishing the paternity of another man and a child support obligation in favor of the child; and

(9)  other factors that may affect the equities arising from the disruption of the father-child relationship between the child and the presumed father or the chance of other harm to the child.

(c)  In a proceeding involving the application of this section, a child who is a minor or is incapacitated must be represented by an amicus attorney or attorney ad litem.

(d)  A denial of a motion for an order for genetic testing must be based on clear and convincing evidence.

(e)  If the court denies a motion for an order for genetic testing, the court shall issue an order adjudicating the presumed father to be the father of the child.

(f)  This section applies to a proceeding to rescind or challenge an acknowledgment of paternity or a denial of paternity as provided by Section 160.309(d).

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1248, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 172, Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  160.609.  Time Limitation: Child Having Acknowledged Or Adjudicated Father. (a)

If a child has an acknowledged father, a signatory to the acknowledgment or denial of paternity may commence a proceeding seeking to rescind the acknowledgment or denial or to challenge the paternity of the child only within the time allowed under Section 160.307 or 160.308.

(b)  If a child has an acknowledged father or an adjudicated father, an individual, other than the child, who is not a signatory to the acknowledgment or a party to the adjudication and who seeks an adjudication of paternity of the child must commence a proceeding not later than the fourth anniversary of the effective date of the acknowledgment or adjudication.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.610.  Joinder Of Proceedings.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a proceeding to adjudicate parentage may be joined with a proceeding for adoption, termination of parental rights, possession of or access to a child, child support, divorce, annulment, or probate or administration of an estate or another appropriate proceeding.

(b)  A respondent may not join a proceeding described by Subsection (a) with a proceeding to adjudicate parentage brought under Chapter 159.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.611.  Proceedings Before Birth.

(a) A proceeding to determine parentage commenced before the birth of the child may not be concluded until after the birth of the child.

(b)  In a proceeding described by Subsection (a), the following actions may be taken before the birth of the child:

(1)  service of process;

(2)  discovery; and

(3)  except as prohibited by Section 160.502, collection of specimens for genetic testing.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.612.  Child As Party; Representation.

(a) A minor child is a permissible party, but is not a necessary party to a proceeding under this subchapter.

(b)  The court shall appoint an amicus attorney or attorney ad litem to represent a child who is a minor or is incapacitated if the child is a party or the court finds that the interests of the child are not adequately represented.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 172, Sec. 18, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  160.621.  Admissibility Of Results Of Genetic Testing; Expenses.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (c), a report of a genetic testing expert is admissible as evidence of the truth of the facts asserted in the report. The admissibility of the report is not affected by whether the testing was performed:

(1)  voluntarily or under an order of the court or a support enforcement agency; or

(2)  before or after the date of commencement of the proceeding.

(b)  A party objecting to the results of genetic testing may call one or more genetic testing experts to testify in person or by telephone, videoconference, deposition, or another method approved by the court. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the party offering the testimony bears the expense for the expert testifying.

(c)  If a child has a presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated father, the results of genetic testing are inadmissible to adjudicate parentage unless performed:

(1)  with the consent of both the mother and the presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated father; or

(2)  under an order of the court under Section 160.502.

(d)  Copies of bills for genetic testing and for prenatal and postnatal health care for the mother and child that are furnished to the adverse party on or before the 10th day before the date of a hearing are admissible to establish:

(1)  the amount of the charges billed; and

(2)  that the charges were reasonable, necessary, and customary.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.622.  Consequences Of Declining Genetic Testing.

(a) An order for genetic testing is enforceable by contempt.

(b)  A court may adjudicate parentage contrary to the position of an individual whose paternity is being determined on the grounds that the individual declines to submit to genetic testing as ordered by the court.

(c)  Genetic testing of the mother of a child is not a prerequisite to testing the child and a man whose paternity is being determined. If the mother is unavailable or declines to submit to genetic testing, the court may order the testing of the child and each man whose paternity is being adjudicated.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.623.  Admission Of Paternity Authorized.

(a) A respondent in a proceeding to adjudicate parentage may admit to the paternity of a child by filing a pleading to that effect or by admitting paternity under penalty of perjury when making an appearance or during a hearing.

(b)  If the court finds that the admission of paternity satisfies the requirements of this section and that there is no reason to question the admission, the court shall render an order adjudicating the child to be the child of the man admitting paternity.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.624.  Temporary Order.

(a) In a proceeding under this subchapter, the court shall render a temporary order for child support for a child if the order is appropriate and the individual ordered to pay child support:

(1)  is a presumed father of the child;

(2)  is petitioning to have his paternity adjudicated;

(3)  is identified as the father through genetic testing under Section 160.505;

(4)  is an alleged father who has declined to submit to genetic testing;

(5)  is shown by clear and convincing evidence to be the father of the child; or

(6)  is the mother of the child.

(b)  A temporary order may include provisions for the possession of or access to the child as provided by other laws of this state.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.631.  Rules For Adjudication Of Paternity.

(a) The court shall apply the rules stated in this section to adjudicate the paternity of a child.

(b)  The paternity of a child having a presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated father may be disproved only by admissible results of genetic testing excluding that man as the father of the child or identifying another man as the father of the child.

(c)  Unless the results of genetic testing are admitted to rebut other results of genetic testing, the man identified as the father of a child under Section 160.505 shall be adjudicated as being the father of the child.

(d)  Unless the results of genetic testing are admitted to rebut other results of genetic testing, a man excluded as the father of a child by genetic testing shall be adjudicated as not being the father of the child.

(e)  If the court finds that genetic testing under Section 160.505 does not identify or exclude a man as the father of a child, the court may not dismiss the proceeding. In that event, the results of genetic testing and other evidence are admissible to adjudicate the issue of paternity.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.632.  Jury Prohibited.

The court shall adjudicate paternity of a child without a jury.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.633.  Hearings; Inspection Of Records.

(a) A proceeding under this subchapter is open to the public as in other civil cases.

(b)  Papers and records in a proceeding under this subchapter are available for public inspection.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 610, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.634.  Order On Default.

The court shall issue an order adjudicating the paternity of a man who:

(1)  after service of process, is in default; and

(2)  is found by the court to be the father of a child.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.635.  Dismissal For Want Of Prosecution.

The court may issue an order dismissing a proceeding commenced under this chapter for want of prosecution only without prejudice. An order of dismissal for want of prosecution purportedly with prejudice is void and has only the effect of a dismissal without prejudice.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.636.  Order Adjudicating Parentage; Costs.

(a) The court shall render an order adjudicating whether a man alleged or claiming to be the father is the parent of the child.

(b)  An order adjudicating parentage must identify the child by name and date of birth.

(c)  Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (d), the court may assess filing fees, reasonable attorney's fees, fees for genetic testing, other costs, and necessary travel and other reasonable expenses incurred in a proceeding under this subchapter. Attorney's fees awarded by the court may be paid directly to the attorney. An attorney who is awarded attorney's fees may enforce the order in the attorney's own name.

(d)  The court may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against the support enforcement agency of this state or another state, except as provided by other law.

(e)  On request of a party and for good cause shown, the court may order that the name of the child be changed.

(f)  If the order of the court is at variance with the child's birth certificate, the court shall order the bureau of vital statistics to issue an amended birth record.

(g)  On a finding of parentage, the court may order retroactive child support as provided by Chapter 154 and, on a proper showing, order a party to pay an equitable portion of all of the prenatal and postnatal health care expenses of the mother and the child.

(h)  In rendering an order for retroactive child support under this section, the court shall use the child support guidelines provided by Chapter 154, together with any relevant factors.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.637.  Binding Effect Of Determination Of Parentage.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (b) or Section 160.316, a determination of parentage is binding on:

(1)  all signatories to an acknowledgment or denial of paternity as provided by Subchapter D; and

(2)  all parties to an adjudication by a court acting under circumstances that satisfy the jurisdictional requirements of Section 159.201.

(b)  A child is not bound by a determination of parentage under this chapter unless:

(1)  the determination was based on an unrescinded acknowledgment of paternity and the acknowledgment is consistent with the results of genetic testing;

(2)  the adjudication of parentage was based on a finding consistent with the results of genetic testing and the consistency is declared in the determination or is otherwise shown; or

(3)  the child was a party or was represented in the proceeding determining parentage by an attorney ad litem.

(c)  In a proceeding to dissolve a marriage, the court is considered to have made an adjudication of the parentage of a child if the court acts under circumstances that satisfy the jurisdictional requirements of Section 159.201, and the final order:

(1)  expressly identifies the child as "a child of the marriage" or "issue of the marriage" or uses similar words indicating that the husband is the father of the child; or

(2)  provides for the payment of child support for the child by the husband unless paternity is specifically disclaimed in the order.

(d)  Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (b), a determination of parentage may be a defense in a subsequent proceeding seeking to adjudicate parentage by an individual who was not a party to the earlier proceeding.

(e)  A party to an adjudication of paternity may challenge the adjudication only under the laws of this state relating to appeal, the vacating of judgments, or other judicial review.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Subchapter H. Child Of Assisted Reproduction

Section  160.701. 

 SCOPE OF

Subchapter

. This subchapter applies only to a child conceived by means of assisted reproduction.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.702.  Parental Status Of Donor.

A donor is not a parent of a child conceived by means of assisted reproduction.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  160.703.  Husband's Paternity Of Child Of Assisted Reproduction.

If a husband provides sperm for or consents to assisted reproduction by his wife as provided by Section 160.704, he is the father of a resulting child.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section 160.7031.  Unmarried Man's Paternity Of Child Of Assisted Reproduction.

(a) If an unmarried man, with the intent to be the father of a resulting child, provides sperm to a licensed physician and consents to the use of that sperm for assisted reproduction by an unmarried woman, he is the father of a resulting child.

(b)  Consent by an unmarried man who intends to be the father of a resulting child in accordance with this section must be in a record signed by the man and the unmarried woman and kept by a licensed physician.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 972, Sec. 40, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  160.704.  Consent To Assisted Reproduction.

(a) Consent by a married woman to assisted reproduction must be in a record signed by the woman and her husband and kept by a licensed physician.  This requirement does not apply to the donation of eggs by a married woman for assisted reproduction by another woman.

(b)  Failure by the husband to sign a consent required by Subsection (a) before or after the birth of the child does not preclude a finding that the husband is the father of a child born to his wife if the wife and husband openly treated the child as their own.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 972, Sec. 41, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  160.705.  Limitation On Husband's Dispute Of Paternity.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (b), the husband of a wife who gives birth to a child by means of assisted reproduction may not challenge his paternity of the child unless:

(1)  before the fourth anniversary of the date of learning of the birth of the child he commences a proceeding to adjudicate his paternity; and

(2)  the court finds that he did not consent to the assisted reproduction before or after the birth of the child.

(b)  A proceeding to adjudicate paternity may be maintained at any time if the court determines that:

(1)  the husband did not provide sperm for or, before or after the birth of the child, consent to assisted reproduction by his wife;

(2)  the husband and the mother of the child have not cohabited since the probable time of assisted reproduction; and

(3)  the husband never openly treated the child as his own.

(c)  The limitations provided by this section apply to a marriage declared invalid after assisted reproduction.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section 160.706.  Effect Of Dissolution Of Marriage.

(a) If a marriage is dissolved before the placement of eggs, sperm, or embryos, the former spouse is not a parent of the resulting child unless the former spouse consented in a record kept by a licensed physician that if assisted reproduction were to occur after a divorce the former spouse would be a parent of the child.

(b)  The consent of a former spouse to assisted reproduction may be withdrawn by that individual in a record kept by a licensed physician at any time before the placement of eggs, sperm, or embryos.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 972, Sec. 42, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 160.707.  Parental Status Of Deceased Spouse.

If a spouse dies before the placement of eggs, sperm, or embryos, the deceased spouse is not a parent of the resulting child unless the deceased spouse consented in a record kept by a licensed physician that if assisted reproduction were to occur after death the deceased spouse would be a parent of the child.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 821, Sec. 1.01, eff. June 14, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 972, Sec. 43, eff. September 1, 2007.



Subchapter I. Gestational Agreements

Section  160.751.  Definition.

In this subchapter, "gestational mother" means a woman who gives birth to a child conceived under a gestational agreement.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.752. 

 SCOPE OF

Subchapter

CHOICE OF LAW. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or another law, this subchapter authorizes an agreement between a woman and the intended parents of a child in which the woman relinquishes all rights as a parent of a child conceived by means of assisted reproduction and that provides that the intended parents become the parents of the child.

(b)  This subchapter controls over any other law with respect to a child conceived under a gestational agreement under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.753.  Establishment Of Parent-child Relationship.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or another law, the mother-child relationship exists between a woman and a child by an adjudication confirming the woman as a parent of the child born to a gestational mother under a gestational agreement if the gestational agreement is validated under this subchapter or enforceable under other law, regardless of the fact that the gestational mother gave birth to the child.

(b)  The father-child relationship exists between a child and a man by an adjudication confirming the man as a parent of the child born to a gestational mother under a gestational agreement if the gestational agreement is validated under this subchapter or enforceable under other law.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.754.  Gestational Agreement Authorized.

(a) A prospective gestational mother, her husband if she is married, each donor, and each intended parent may enter into a written agreement providing that:

(1)  the prospective gestational mother agrees to pregnancy by means of assisted reproduction;

(2)  the prospective gestational mother, her husband if she is married, and each donor other than the intended parents, if applicable, relinquish all parental rights and duties with respect to a child conceived through assisted reproduction;

(3)  the intended parents will be the parents of the child; and

(4)  the gestational mother and each intended parent agree to exchange throughout the period covered by the agreement all relevant information regarding the health of the gestational mother and each intended parent.

(b)  The intended parents must be married to each other. Each intended parent must be a party to the gestational agreement.

(c)  The gestational agreement must require that the eggs used in the assisted reproduction procedure be retrieved from an intended parent or a donor. The gestational mother's eggs may not be used in the assisted reproduction procedure.

(d)  The gestational agreement must state that the physician who will perform the assisted reproduction procedure as provided by the agreement has informed the parties to the agreement of:

(1)  the rate of successful conceptions and births attributable to the procedure, including the most recent published outcome statistics of the procedure at the facility at which it will be performed;

(2)  the potential for and risks associated with the implantation of multiple embryos and consequent multiple births resulting from the procedure;

(3)  the nature of and expenses related to the procedure;

(4)  the health risks associated with, as applicable, fertility drugs used in the procedure, egg retrieval procedures, and egg or embryo transfer procedures; and

(5)  reasonably foreseeable psychological effects resulting from the procedure.

(e)  The parties to a gestational agreement must enter into the agreement before the 14th day preceding the date the transfer of eggs, sperm, or embryos to the gestational mother occurs for the purpose of conception or implantation.

(f)  A gestational agreement does not apply to the birth of a child conceived by means of sexual intercourse.

(g)  A gestational agreement may not limit the right of the gestational mother to make decisions to safeguard her health or the health of an embryo.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.755.  Petition To Validate Gestational Agreement.

(a) The intended parents and the prospective gestational mother under a gestational agreement may commence a proceeding to validate the agreement.

(b)  A person may maintain a proceeding to validate a gestational agreement only if:

(1)  the prospective gestational mother or the intended parents have resided in this state for the 90 days preceding the date the proceeding is commenced;

(2)  the prospective gestational mother's husband, if she is married, is joined as a party to the proceeding; and

(3)  a copy of the gestational agreement is attached to the petition.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.756.  Hearing To Validate Gestational Agreement.

(a) A gestational agreement must be validated as provided by this section.

(b)  The court may validate a gestational agreement as provided by Subsection (c) only if the court finds that:

(1)  the parties have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court under the jurisdictional standards of this chapter;

(2)  the medical evidence provided shows that the intended mother is unable to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth to the child or is unable to carry the pregnancy to term and give birth to the child without unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or to the health of the unborn child;

(3)  unless waived by the court, an agency or other person has conducted a home study of the intended parents and has determined that the intended parents meet the standards of fitness applicable to adoptive parents;

(4)  each party to the agreement has voluntarily entered into and understands the terms of the agreement;

(5)  the prospective gestational mother has had at least one previous pregnancy and delivery and carrying another pregnancy to term and giving birth to another child would not pose an unreasonable risk to the child's health or the physical or mental health of the prospective gestational mother; and

(6)  the parties have adequately provided for which party is responsible for all reasonable health care expenses associated with the pregnancy, including providing for who is responsible for those expenses if the agreement is terminated.

(c)  If the court finds that the requirements of Subsection (b) are satisfied, the court may render an order validating the gestational agreement and declaring that the intended parents will be the parents of a child born under the agreement.

(d)  The court may validate the gestational agreement at the court's discretion. The court's determination of whether to validate the agreement is subject to review only for abuse of discretion.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.757.  Inspection Of Records.

The proceedings, records, and identities of the parties to a gestational agreement under this subchapter are subject to inspection under the same standards of confidentiality that apply to an adoption under the laws of this state.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.758.  Continuing, Exclusive Jurisdiction.

Subject to Section 152.201, a court that conducts a proceeding under this subchapter has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction of all matters arising out of the gestational agreement until the date a child born to the gestational mother during the period covered by the agreement reaches 180 days of age.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.759.  Termination Of Gestational Agreement.

(a) Before a prospective gestational mother becomes pregnant by means of assisted reproduction, the prospective gestational mother, her husband if she is married, or either intended parent may terminate a gestational agreement validated under Section 160.756 by giving written notice of the termination to each other party to the agreement.

(b)  A person who terminates a gestational agreement under Subsection (a) shall file notice of the termination with the court. A person having the duty to notify the court who does not notify the court of the termination of the agreement is subject to appropriate sanctions.

(c)  On receipt of the notice of termination, the court shall vacate the order rendered under Section 160.756 validating the gestational agreement.

(d)  A prospective gestational mother and her husband, if she is married, may not be liable to an intended parent for terminating a gestational agreement if the termination is in accordance with this section.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.760.  Parentage Under Validated Gestational Agreement.

(a) On the birth of a child to a gestational mother under a validated gestational agreement, the intended parents shall file a notice of the birth with the court not later than the 300th day after the date assisted reproduction occurred.

(b)  After receiving notice of the birth, the court shall render an order that:

(1)  confirms that the intended parents are the child's parents;

(2)  requires the gestational mother to surrender the child to the intended parents, if necessary; and

(3)  requires the bureau of vital statistics to issue a birth certificate naming the intended parents as the child's parents.

(c)  If a person alleges that a child born to a gestational mother did not result from assisted reproduction, the court shall order that scientifically accepted parentage testing be conducted to determine the child's parentage.

(d)  If the intended parents fail to file the notice required by Subsection (a), the gestational mother or an appropriate state agency may file the notice required by that subsection.  On a showing that  an order validating the gestational agreement was rendered in accordance with Section 160.756, the court shall order that the intended parents are the child's parents and are financially responsible for the child.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 916, Sec. 22, eff. June 18, 2005.



Section  160.761.  Effect Of Gestational Mother's Marriage After Validation Of Agreement.

If a gestational mother is married after the court renders an order validating a gestational agreement under this subchapter:

(1)  the validity of the gestational agreement is not affected;

(2)  the gestational mother's husband is not required to consent to the agreement; and

(3)  the gestational mother's husband is not a presumed father of the child born under the terms of the agreement.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.762.  Effect Of Gestational Agreement That Is Not Validated.

(a) A gestational agreement that is not validated as provided by this subchapter is unenforceable, regardless of whether the agreement is in a record.

(b)  The parent-child relationship of a child born under a gestational agreement that is not validated as provided by this subchapter is determined as otherwise provided by this chapter.

(c)  A party to a gestational agreement that is not validated as provided by this subchapter who is an intended parent under the agreement may be held liable for the support of a child born under the agreement, even if the agreement is otherwise unenforceable.

(d)  The court may assess filing fees, reasonable attorney's fees, fees for genetic testing, other costs, and necessary travel and other reasonable expenses incurred in a proceeding under this section. Attorney's fees awarded by the court may be paid directly to the attorney. An attorney who is awarded attorney's fees may enforce the order in the attorney's own name.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  160.763.  Health Care Facility Reporting Requirement.

(a) The Texas Department of Health by rule shall develop and implement a confidential reporting system that requires each health care facility in this state at which assisted reproduction procedures are performed under gestational agreements to report statistics related to those procedures.

(b)  In developing the reporting system, the department shall require each health care facility described by Subsection (a) to annually report:

(1)  the number of assisted reproduction procedures under a gestational agreement performed at the facility during the preceding year; and

(2)  the number and current status of embryos created through assisted reproduction procedures described by Subdivision (1) that were not transferred for implantation.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 457, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


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