Job & Family Services Office of Child Support
Office of Child Support - Administrative Paternity Establishment


Paternity establishment refers to the legal determination of being named as the father of a child(ren). The administrative paternity establishment process can be completed at any time up to and including the child's 23rd birthday. Paternity can be established even if one of the parties resides in another county, state or foreign country.

Paternity can be established in the following ways:
Voluntary Acknowledgement refers to the completion of the JFS 07038, also known as the "Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit."

This form can be completed at the hospital when your child is born. The voluntary acknowledgment can also be completed at your local heath department or county child support enforcement agency (CSEA). By signing the affidavit, both parties agree they are the biological parents of the child and choose to be named as the legal parents of the child.

Genetic Testing can be requested by the mother, alleged father(s) or the child or child's guardian. Genetic testing may be conducted provided there is not a final determination of paternity, there is uncertainty as to the parentage of the child or if paternity is contested. The CSEA will order all parties to submit to genetic testing and will issue an administrative paternity order based on the results of the genetic test. For paternity to be established through genetic testing, the results must show at least a 99% probability of parentage.

A Court Order of paternity may also be issued through Juvenile Court or Domestic Relations Court.

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Administrative Paternity Establishment Links & Resources  

To find the CSEA in your county, call 1-800-686-1556 or visit:https://jfs.ohio.gov/County/County_Directory.pdf. Each of the state's 88 counties has a CSEA, staffed by people who are well-versed in Ohio laws, practices and who can answer your questions and explain your rights.

Application for establishing paternity and/or child support: If you are not now receiving any Ohio public assistance, you need to complete and submit a form called "Application for Child Support Services, Non-Public Assistance Applicant (JFS 07076)." This form is also available from your county's Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA). We may already have you on file, depending upon whether you are already registered for certain services.

If you are receiving services or payments through Ohio Works First (OWF), IV-E Foster Care Maintenance , or Medicaid , you are already registered with us. Simply go to your county's CSEA and let them know you wish to begin child support services.

You may access the paternity enhancement brochure at:Paternity Enhancement Brochure.

You may access the Vital Statistics Registrar website at:Vital Statistics Registrar.

You may access the Ohio Central Paternity Registry (CPR) website at:Central Paternity Registry.

You may access the Ohio paternity related frequently asked questions and answers at:https://jfs.ohio.gov/Ocs/OCSFAQs.stm.

You may access additional information regarding establishing paternity via acknowledgment of paternity affidavit or genetic testing at:https://www.oh-paternity.com/faq.html.

The Ohio Administrative Code rules related to paternity establishment can be found at:http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/5101%3A12-40.

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Last Updated 03/18/2015