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Missouri Paternity Law

This page about Missouri paternity laws is provided as general information only. Journey Genetic Testing does not provide legal advice or representation. We encourage you to research your state laws for the most current information, or contact a family law attorney.

Missouri Paternity Law: Missouri Revised Statutes – Chapter 193 & 210

Section 210.822 Child Protection and Reformation

Presumption of paternity–rebuttal of presumption, standard of proof.

210.822. 1. A man shall be presumed to be the natural father of a child if:

(1) He and the child’s natural mother are or have been married to each other and the child is born during the marriage, or within three hundred days after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or dissolution, or after a decree of separation is entered by a court; or

(2) Before the child’s birth, he and the child’s natural mother have attempted to marry each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with the law, although the attempted marriage is or may be declared invalid, and:

(a) If the attempted marriage may be declared invalid only by a court, the child is born during the attempted marriage or within three hundred days after its termination by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity or dissolution; or

(b) If the marriage is invalid without a court order, the child is born within three hundred days after the termination of cohabitation; or

(3) After the child’s birth, he and the child’s natural mother have married or attempted to marry each other by a marriage solemnized in apparent compliance with law, although the marriage is or may be declared invalid, and:

(a) He has acknowledged his paternity of the child in writing filed with the bureau; or

(b) With his consent, he is named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate; or

(c) He is obligated to support the child pursuant to a written voluntary promise or by court order; or

(4) An expert concludes that the blood tests show that the alleged parent is not excluded and that the probability of paternity is ninety-eight percent or higher, using a prior probability of 0.5.

  1. A presumption pursuant to this section may be rebutted in an appropriate action only by clear and convincing evidence, except that a presumption under subsection 1 of this section that arises from a blood test or the filing of an acknowledgment of paternity in a state or territory in which the blood test or the filing creates a conclusive presumption by law also has conclusive effect in Missouri. If two or more presumptions arise which conflict with each other, the presumption which on the facts is founded on the weightier considerations of policy and logic controls. The presumption is rebutted by a court decree establishing the paternity of the child by another man.
    (L. 1987 S.B. 328 § 4, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134 merged with S.B. 508, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)

Vital Statistics Section 193.215
Amendment of certificates and reports–acknowledgment of paternity affidavit, notice to be given parents–rescission of acknowledgment, filing–paternity establishment services offered by department.

193.215. 1. A certificate or report registered pursuant to sections 193.005 to 193.325 may be amended only pursuant to the provisions of sections 193.005 to 193.325, and regulations adopted by the department.

  1. A certificate or report that is amended pursuant to this section shall be marked “Amended” except as otherwise provided in this section. The date of amendment and a summary description of the evidence submitted in support of the amendment shall be endorsed on or made part of the record.
  2. Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction changing the name of a person born in this state and upon request of such person or such person’s parents, guardian, or legal representative, the state registrar shall amend the certificate of birth to show the new name. The court order shall include such facts as are necessary to locate and identify the certificate of birth of the person whose name is being changed.
  3. When an applicant does not submit the minimum documentation required in the regulations for amending a vital record or when the state registrar has reasonable cause to question the validity or adequacy of the applicant’s sworn statements or the documentary evidence, and if the deficiencies are not corrected, the state registrar shall not amend the vital record and shall advise the applicant of the reason for this action and the applicant’s right of appeal to a court of competent jurisdiction.
  4. When a certificate or report is amended pursuant to this section, the state registrar shall report the amendment to any other custodians of the vital record and their record shall be amended accordingly.
  5. Upon written request of both parents and receipt of a sworn acknowledgment of paternity notarized and signed by both parents of a child born out of wedlock, the state registrar shall amend the certificate of birth to show such paternity. The acknowledgment affidavit form shall be developed by the state registrar and shall include the minimum requirements prescribed by the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section 652(a)(7). The acknowledgment form shall include provisions to allow the parents to change the surname of the child and such surname shall be changed on the birth record if the parents elect to change the child’s surname. The signature of the parents shall be notarized or the signature shall be witnessed by at least two disinterested adults whose signatures and addresses shall be plainly written thereon. The form shall be accompanied by oral notice, which may be provided through the use of video or audio equipment, and written notice to the mother and putative father of:

(1) The alternatives to, the legal consequences of, and the rights and responsibilities that arise from signing the acknowledgment;

(2) The benefits of having the child’s paternity established; and

(3) The availability of paternity establishment and child support enforcement services.

A rescission of acknowledgment form shall be filed with the bureau of vital records pursuant to section 210.823, RSMo, to vacate the legal finding of paternity. The bureau shall file all rescissions and forward a copy of each to the division of child support enforcement. The birth record shall only be changed pursuant to this subsection upon an order of the court or the division of child support enforcement.

  1. The department shall offer voluntary paternity establishment services.
  2. Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction changing the name of a person born in this state and upon request of such person or such person’s parents, guardian or legal representative, the state registrar shall amend the certificate of birth to show the new name.
  3. Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction indicating the sex of an individual born in this state has been changed by surgical procedure and that such individual’s name has been changed, the certificate of birth of such individual shall be amended.
    (L. 1984 S.B. 574, A.L. 1994 H.B. 1491 & 1134 merged with H.B. 1547 & 961 merged with S.B. 508, A.L. 1997 S.B. 361, A.L. 1998 S.B. 910)

Required Probability of Paternity for Missouri Courts: 98%
Required Paternity Index: .05

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