Establish Parentage

When and where is this service offered?

This service is available throughout the year during regular business hours except during scheduled holidays.


No. Parentage (a legal determination of who the parents are) must be established before child support can be ordered. Parentage gives your child many rights, including child support, access to medical records, government benefits and more. However, you can get CalWORKS without defined parentage.

You may start the paperwork to establish parentage when you are pregnant. The Local Child Support Agency (LCSA) can only open and pursue the case after the child is born. If the person you believe is the other parent denies that they are, a genetic test can be ordered after your baby is born. (Some labs will only perform genetic tests after a child is six (6) months of age or older). Genetic tests can be scheduled through the LCSA.

Yes. The Local Child Support Agency will ask for a genetic test from the court in the other state. Also, a parent can sign a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage (VDOP) declaring they are the child's parent even if they live in another state.

If you don’t establish parentage, your child will not be able to get child support or health insurance even after the alleged parent gets a job. Proving parentage as soon as possible makes collecting child support easier later on.

The local court may use information they have to decide parentage without them. If parentage is established without the alleged parent’s cooperation, the Court may order them to pay child support no matter where they live, even if they are out of California.

You can request the Voluntary Declaration of Parentage form by sending your mailing address to [email protected].

The Voluntary Declaration of Parentage form is also available at:

  • A local child support agency.
  • Local Registrars of Births and Deaths
  • County Family Law Facilitators Offices at all superior courts in California
  • County Departments of Social Services
  • Licensed birthing units at public and private hospitals