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Establishing and challenging paternity

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Parents’ rights and obligations towards the child are based on the child’s origin from them. This fact is certified by the State civil registration body in accordance with the procedure established by the Family Code of Ukraine.

Proof of the child’s origin is a marriage certificate, so it is sufficient to recognize paternity in such cases:

· The child is conceived and born in marriage;

· The child is conceived before marriage, but born in marriage;

· The child is conceived in marriage, but born within 10 months of divorce.

Spouses, as well as a woman and a man whose marriage is terminated, in the event of the birth of a child before the expiry of 10 months after the termination of their marriage, have the right to submit to the State civil registry body a joint application on non-recognition of the spouse (former spouse) by the father of the child. This requirement can only be satisfied if a declaration of paternity is made by another person and the mother of the child. If the child was born before the expiry of 10 months from the date of termination of the marriage due to the death of the husband, the origin of the child from the father may be determined by a joint application of the mother and the man who considers himself the father.

The origin of the child from the father is determined by the application of a woman and a man who are not married to each other. Such an application may be submitted both before and after the birth of the child to the State civil registry office. If an application for recognition as the father of a child is submitted by a minor, the State civil registry body notifies the parents, guardian and guardian of the minor that the child has been recorded by his or her father. If it is not possible to notify the parents, guardian or guardian of a minor, the State civil registration authority must notify the tutorship and guardianship agency of the child’s father’s registration of the minor.

The grounds for recognition of paternity through court are any information confirming the origin of the child from a particular person, collected in accordance with the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine.

A claim for recognition of paternity may be filed by:

  • Mother of the child;
  • The guardian of the child;
  • The guardian of the child;
  • A person who considers himself the father of a child;
  • The child himself or herself who has reached the age of majority;
  • The person who maintains and raises the child.

Paternity can be determined by DNA examination.

An application for recognition of paternity may be filed at any time, as the statute of limitations for this category of cases is not established by the current legislation of Ukraine.

The claim for recognition of paternity shall be accepted by the court under the following conditions:

  • There is no general declaration by the parents;
  • The child is born to a mother who is not married;
  • The recording of the father of the child is made by the mother’s surname;
  • The name and middle name of the child is recorded from the words of the mother;
  • There is no statement by the father or court decision.

The procedure of contesting paternity is carried out in court on the basis of a statement of claim. According to article 136 of the Family Code of Ukraine, a person registered by the father of a child has the right to challenge his paternity by bringing a claim for the exclusion of a record of him as a father from the certificate of the birth of a child. If there is no blood relationship between the person recorded by the father and the child, the court decides to exclude the information about the person as the father of the child from the certificate of his birth. It is possible to challenge paternity only after the birth of the child and until the child reaches the age of majority. There is no right to challenge paternity of a person recorded by the father of a child if, at the time of registration of himself as the father of the child, he knew that he was not her father, as well as a person who gave consent to the use of assisted reproductive technologies.

The possibility of challenging paternity after the death of a person recorded by the father of a child is provided for in the Family Code of Ukraine. Thus, according to article 137 of the Family Code of Ukraine, if the person who is recorded by the father of the child died before the birth of the child, his or her paternity is entitled to challenge his or her heirs, provided that he or she submits to a notary a declaration of non-recognition of his or her paternity during his or her life. If the person who is recorded by the father of the child died after they filed a lawsuit to exclude their name as the father from the birth certificate of the child, the claim can be supported in court by his heirs. If for good reasons the person did not know that the child recorded by the father, and died, his heirs: wife, parents and children can challenge paternity.

Article 138 of the Family Code of Ukraine provides for the right to challenge the paternity of her husband by filing a lawsuit with the court to exclude the record of him as the father of the child from the certificate of the birth of the child. The mother’s requirement to exclude her husband as the father of the child from the birth certificate could only be met if another person submitted a statement of paternity. At the request of the mother to amend the certificate of birth of the child, the age of claim is set at one year, which begins from the date of registration of the birth of the child.