Unnatural Voluntary Parentage Acknowledgments Under the 2017 Uniform Parentage Act
Parness, Jeffrey A.
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The 2017 Uniform Parentage Act expands the opportunities for formal parentage establishments via voluntary acknowledgements (VAPs) by intended parents with no natural ties to their acknowledged children. This constitutes a significant departure from earlier UPAs which limited VAPs to acknowledging parents with actual or alleged natural ties, which were in line with the approach to VAPs under the federal Social Security Act since the mid-1990s and with most American state statutes on VAPs. This article urges that the UPA continue to recognize VAPs only where acknowledgements by non-birth mothers include pronouncements of actual or alleged natural ties. It agrees VAPs should be available to both men and women. It further proposes that the 2017 UPA be amended to recognize parentage declarations by either men or women with no natural ties that would aid the courts in resolving issues under the UPA of either presumed “hold out” or “de facto” parentage, avenues to parenthood under the 2017 UPA that are distinct from VAPs.
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