Menu Help & How To Video Simulation Game Document & Resources Training Link Tag Search clock thumbs-up angle-up

Uniform Parentage Act (UPA): Four Types of Fathers

The Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) is a comprehensive scheme for establishing paternity through voluntary acknowledgement, sets standards and rules for genetic testing, and is a process of establishing  paternity through adjudication. It is a mechanism for establishing the parent-child relationship for mothers and fathers.

Establishing the legal Mother-Child Relationship

The mother-child relationship is established by giving birth to the child or by adoption. Oklahoma’s current UPA does not include the article on Gestational  Agreements, which sets out the method of establishing the mother-child relationship in cases where a surrogate or gestational mother is involved.

Establishing the legal Father-Child Relationship

Under Oklahoma’s UPA, the father-child relationship is established in one of several ways: a presumption that becomes final by the passage of time or adjudication; the execution of an Acknowledgment of Paternity; adoption; and adjudication (10 O.S. § 7700-201).

According to the UPA, There are 4 types of  fathers: Presumed, Acknowledged, Adjudicated, and Alleged. Each of these types is defined below.

Presumed Father

Under Oklahoma’s UPA, the presumption of paternity attaches if a child was born during a marriage, if the parents married after the child’s birth (provided the father took some affirmative step to assert his paternity), or if the father resided with the child and held the child out as his own for the first two years of the child’s life (10 O.S. § 7700-607). No additional action is necessary to establish the father-child relationship, as the presumption can only be rebutted within the first two years of the child’s life (10 O.S. § 7700-204).

Acknowledged Father

The father-child relationship is also established when both parents execute an Acknowledgment of Paternity form (also known as a 209). The Acknowledgment of Paternity may be signed before the child’s birth, at any time throughout the child’s minority, or even for an adult child if the child signs a consent form(10 O.S. § 7700-304). An Acknowledgment of Paternity cannot be used to establish the father-child relationship if the child has a presumed father, unless the presumed father signs a Denial of Paternity form within the first two years of the child’s life or has successfully rebutted the presumption in a court adjudication (10 O.S. § 7700-303). Under Oklahoma’s UPA, minors may execute an Acknowledgment of Paternity (10 O.S. § 7700-305).

An Acknowledgment of Paternity is equivalent to an adjudication of paternity after the rescission time period has passed (10 O.S. § 7700-305). An Acknowledgment of Paternity may be rescinded by either parent within sixty days of its execution. A Denial of Paternity is also subject to rescission. The sixty-day rescission period does not begin for minors until the minor reaches the age of eighteen (10 O.S. § 7700-307). After the sixty-day rescission period for all signatories, the Acknowledgment of Paternity may only be challenged on the basis of fraud, duress, and material mistake of fact, and only within two years of the execution (10 O.S. § 7700-308).

Forms are available at all local DHS offices and at many hospitals as well.

Adjudicated Father

The UPA clarifies that parentage proceedings are governed by the Code of Civil Procedure (10 O.S. § 7700-601).  Article 6 of the UPA governs venue, personal jurisdiction, parties to the action, and joinder.

Alleged Father

An Alleged father means a man who alleges himself to be, or is alleged to be, the genetic father or a possible genetic father of a child, but whose paternity has not been determined.

The UPA contains provisions for genetic testing, including when it is appropriate for a judge to order genetic testing, and defining the results of a genetic test in supporting or denying a claim of genetic paternity.