Code Section Group

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 12. PARENT AND CHILD RELATIONSHIP [7500 - 7961]

  ( Division 12 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

PART 2. PRESUMPTION CONCERNING CHILD OF MARRIAGE AND GENETIC TESTING TO DETERMINE PARENTAGE [7540 - 7581]

  ( Heading of Part 2 amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 3. )

CHAPTER 2. Genetic Testing to Determine Parentage [7550 - 7562]
  ( Heading of Chapter 2 amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 7. )

7550.
  

This chapter shall govern both of the following:

(a) The genetic testing of a person who either voluntarily submits to genetic testing or is ordered to submit to genetic testing pursuant to an order of a court or local child support agency.

(b) The use of genetic testing in a proceeding to determine parentage.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 9. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7550.5.
  

The following definitions shall apply to this chapter:

(a) “Combined relationship index” means the product of all tested relationship indices.

(b) “Ethnic or racial group” means, for the purpose of genetic testing, a recognized group that a person identifies as the person’s ancestry, or part of the ancestry, or that is identified by other information.

(c) “Genetic testing” means any genetic testing that complies with Section 7552.

(d) “Hypothesized genetic relationship” means an asserted genetic relationship between a person and a child.

(e) “Probability of parentage” means, for the ethnic or racial group to which a person alleged to be a parent belongs, the probability that a hypothesized genetic relationship is supported, compared to the probability that a genetic relationship is supported between the child and a random person of the ethnic or racial group used in the hypothesized genetic relationship, expressed as a percentage incorporating the combined relationship index and a prior probability.

(f) “Relationship index” means a likelihood ratio that compares the probability of a genetic marker given a hypothesized genetic relationship and the probability of the genetic marker given a genetic relationship between the child and a random person of the ethnic or racial group used in the hypothesized genetic relationship.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 10. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7551.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivisions (b) and (c), in a civil action or proceeding in which parentage is a relevant fact, the court may, upon its own initiative or upon suggestion made by or on behalf of any person who is involved, and shall upon motion of any party to the action or proceeding made at a time so as not to delay the proceedings unduly, order the woman who gave birth, the child, and the alleged genetic parent to submit to genetic testing.

(b) (1) Genetic testing shall not be used for any of the following purposes:

(A) To challenge the parentage of a person who is a parent pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 7613, except to resolve a dispute whether the child was conceived through assisted reproduction.

(B) To challenge the parentage of a person who is a parent pursuant to Section 7962, except to resolve a dispute whether the gestational carrier surrogate is a genetic parent.

(C) To establish the parentage of a person who is a donor pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 7613, except to resolve a dispute whether the child was conceived through assisted reproduction.

(2) If the child has a presumed parent pursuant to Section 7540, a motion for genetic testing is governed by Section 7541.

(3) If the child has a parent whose parentage has been previously established in a judgment, a request for genetic testing shall be governed by Section 7647.7.

(4) A court shall not order genetic testing if the genetic testing would be used to establish the parentage of a person who is prohibited under this division from establishing parentage based on evidence of genetic testing.

(c) A court shall not order in utero genetic testing.

(d) In any case under this division in which genetic testing is ordered, the following shall apply:

(1) If a party refuses to submit to genetic testing, the court may resolve the question of parentage against that party or enforce its order if the rights of others and the interests of justice so require.

(2) The refusal of a party to submit to genetic testing is admissible in evidence in any proceeding to determine parentage.

(3) If two or more persons are subject to court-ordered genetic testing, the court may order that the testing be completed concurrently or sequentially.

(4) Genetic testing of a woman who gave birth to a child is not a condition precedent to the testing of the child and a person whose genetic parentage of the child is being determined. If the woman is unavailable for genetic testing, the court may order genetic testing of the child and each person whose genetic parentage of the child is at issue.

(5) An order under this division for genetic testing is enforceable by contempt.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 12. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7551.5.
  

All hospitals, local child support agencies, welfare offices, and family courts shall facilitate genetic tests for purposes of enforcement of this chapter. This may include having a health care professional available for purposes of extracting samples to be used for genetic testing.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 652, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2000.)

7552.
  

(a) Genetic testing shall be of a type reasonably relied on by experts in the field of genetic testing and performed in a testing laboratory accredited by either of the following:

(1) The AABB, formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks, or a successor organization.

(2) An accrediting body designated by the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

(b) A specimen used in genetic testing may consist of a sample or a combination of samples of blood, buccal cells, bone, hair, or other body tissue or fluid. The specimen used in the testing need not be of the same kind for each person undergoing genetic testing.

(c) Based on the ethnic or racial group of a person undergoing genetic testing, a testing laboratory shall determine the databases from which to select frequencies for use in calculating a relationship index. If a person or a local child support agency objects to the laboratory’s choice, the following rules shall apply:

(1) Not later than 30 days after receipt of the report of the test, the objecting person or local child support agency may request the court to require the laboratory to recalculate the relationship index using an ethnic or racial group different from that used by the laboratory.

(2) The person or local child support agency objecting to the choice of laboratories under this subdivision shall do either of the following:

(A) If the requested frequencies are not available to the laboratory for the ethnic or racial group requested, provide the requested frequencies compiled in a manner recognized by accrediting bodies.

(B) Engage another laboratory to perform the calculations.

(3) The laboratory may use its own statistical estimate if there is a question of which ethnic or racial group is appropriate. The laboratory shall calculate the frequencies using statistics, if available, for any other ethnic or racial group requested.

(d) If, after recalculation of the relationship index pursuant to subdivision (c) using a different ethnic or racial group, genetic testing does not identify a person as a genetic parent of the child, the court may require a person who has been tested to submit to additional genetic testing to identify a genetic parent.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 14. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7552.5.
  

(a) A copy of the results of all genetic testing performed under Section 7551 or 7558 shall be served upon all parties, by any method of service authorized under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 1010) of Title 14 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure except personal service, no later than 20 days prior to a hearing in which the genetic test results may be admitted into evidence. The genetic test results shall be accompanied by a declaration under penalty of perjury of the custodian of records or other qualified employee of the laboratory that conducted the genetic tests, stating in substance each of the following:

(1) The declarant is the duly authorized custodian of the records or other qualified employee of the laboratory, and has authority to certify the records.

(2) A statement that establishes in detail the chain of custody of all genetic samples collected, including the date on which the genetic sample was collected, the identity of each person from whom a genetic sample was collected, the identity of the person who performed or witnessed the collecting of the genetic samples and packaged them for transmission to the laboratory, the date on which the genetic samples were received by the laboratory, the identity of the person who unpacked the samples and forwarded them to the person who performed the laboratory analysis of the genetic sample, and the identification and qualifications of all persons who performed the laboratory analysis and published the results.

(3) A statement that establishes that the procedures used by the laboratory to conduct the tests for which the test results are attached are used in the laboratory’s ordinary course of business to ensure accuracy and proper identification of genetic samples.

(4) The genetic test results were prepared at or near the time of completion of the genetic tests by personnel of the business qualified to perform genetic tests in the ordinary course of business.

(b) The genetic test results shall be admitted into evidence at the hearing or trial to establish parentage, without the need for foundation testimony of authenticity and accuracy, unless a written objection to the genetic test results is filed with the court and served on all other parties, by a party no later than five days prior to the hearing or trial in which parentage is at issue.

(c) If a written objection is filed with the court and served on all parties within the time specified in subdivision (b), experts appointed by the court shall be called by the court as witnesses to testify to their findings and are subject to cross-examination by the parties.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 15. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7553.
  

(a) The compensation of each expert witness appointed by the court shall be fixed at a reasonable amount. It shall be paid as the court shall order. Except as provided in subdivision (b), the court may order that it be paid by the parties in the proportions and at the times the court prescribes, or that the proportion of any party be paid by the county, and that, after payment by the parties or the county or both, all or part or none of it be taxed as costs in the action or proceeding.

(b) If the expert witness is appointed for the court’s needs, the compensation shall be paid by the court.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 470, Sec. 22. (AB 1529) Effective January 1, 2013.)

7554.
  

(a) If the woman who gave birth to the child is the only other person who is a parent or has a claim to parentage of the child under this division, the court shall find the alleged father or genetic parent who is not a donor under Section 7613 to be a parent of the child if he or she meets any of the following:

(1) Is identified pursuant to Section 7555 as a genetic parent of the child and the identification is not successfully challenged.

(2) Admits parentage in a pleading, when making an appearance, or during a hearing, the court accepts the admission, and the court determines that he or she is a genetic parent of the child.

(3) Declines to submit to genetic testing ordered by the court or a local child support agency, in which case, the court may find that the person is a parent of the child even if he or she denies a genetic relationship with the child.

(4) Is in default after service of process and the court determines the person to be a genetic parent of the child.

(5) Is neither identified nor excluded as a genetic parent by genetic testing and, based on other evidence, the court determines the person to be a genetic parent of the child.

(b) If more than one person other than the woman who gave birth asserts a claim under this division to be the child’s parent, parentage shall be determined under provisions of this division.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 17. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7555.
  

(a) Subject to a challenge under subdivision (b), a person is identified under this part as a genetic parent of a child if genetic testing complies with this part and the results of the testing disclose both of the following:

(1) The person has at least a 99 percent probability of parentage, using a prior probability of 0.50, as calculated by using the combined relationship index obtained in the testing.

(2) A combined relationship index of at least 100 to 1.

(b) A person identified pursuant to subdivision (a) as a genetic parent of the child may challenge the genetic testing results only by other genetic testing satisfying the requirements of this chapter that either excludes the person as a genetic parent of the child or identifies another person as a possible genetic parent of the child other than the woman who gave birth to the child or the person challenging parentage.

(c) If more than one person, other than the woman who gave birth to the child, is identified by genetic testing as a possible genetic parent of the child, the court shall order each person to submit to further genetic testing to identify a genetic parent.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 19. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7556.
  

This part applies to criminal actions subject to the following limitations and provisions:

(a) An order for genetic testing shall be made only upon application of a party or on the court’s initiative.

(b) The compensation of the experts, other than an expert witness appointed by the court for the court’s needs, shall be paid by the county under order of court. The compensation of an expert witness appointed for the court’s needs shall be paid by the court.

(c) The court may direct a verdict of acquittal if the person is found not to be a genetic parent pursuant to Section 7555, otherwise the case shall be submitted for determination upon all the evidence.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 20. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7557.
  

Nothing in this part prevents a party to an action or proceeding from producing other expert evidence on the matter covered by this part; but, where other expert witnesses are called by a party to the action or proceeding, their fees shall be paid by the party calling them and only ordinary witness fees shall be taxed as costs in the action or proceeding.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

7558.
  

(a) This section applies only to cases where support enforcement services are being provided by the local child support agency pursuant to Section 17400.

(b) In any civil action or proceeding in which parentage is a relevant fact, and in which the issue of parentage is contested, the local child support agency may issue an administrative order requiring the mother, child, and the alleged father to submit to genetic testing if any of the following conditions exist:

(1) The person alleging parentage has signed a statement under penalty of perjury that sets forth facts that establish a reasonable possibility that the person is the child’s genetic parent.

(2) The person denying parentage has signed a statement under penalty of perjury that sets forth facts that establish a reasonable possibility that the person is not a genetic parent of the child.

(3) The alleged father has filed an answer in the action or proceeding in which parentage is a relevant fact and has requested that genetic tests be performed.

(4) The woman who gave birth to the child and the alleged father agree in writing to submit to genetic tests.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), the local child support agency may not order a person to submit to genetic tests in any of the following instances:

(1) The person has been found to have good cause for failure to cooperate in the determination of parentage pursuant to Section 11477 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(2) A case in which more than one person other than the woman who gave birth asserts a claim under this division to be the child’s parent.

(3) A case involving a child conceived through assisted reproduction.

(d) The local child support agency shall pay the costs of any genetic tests that are ordered under subdivision (b), subject to the county obtaining a court order for reimbursement from the alleged father if parentage is established pursuant to Section 7553.

(e) This section does not prohibit a person who has been ordered by the local child support agency to submit to genetic tests pursuant to this section from filing a notice of motion with the court in the action or proceeding in which parentage is a relevant fact seeking relief from the local child support agency’s order to submit to genetic tests. In that event, the court shall resolve the issue of whether genetic tests should be ordered as provided in Section 7551. When a person refuses to submit to the tests after receipt of the administrative order pursuant to this section and fails to seek relief from the court from the administrative order either prior to the scheduled tests or within 10 days after the tests are scheduled, the court may resolve the question of parentage against that person or enforce the administrative order if the rights of others or the interest of justice so require. Except as provided in subdivision (c), a person’s refusal to submit to tests ordered by the local child support agency is admissible in evidence in any proceeding to determine parentage if a notice of motion is not filed within the timeframes specified in this subdivision.

(f) If the original test result is contested, the local child support agency shall order an additional test only upon request and advance payment of the contestant.

(g) The local child support agency shall not order in utero genetic testing.

(h) The local child support agency shall administer this section consistent with federal law.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 21. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7559.
  

Payment of the cost of initial genetic testing shall be made in advance when agreed to by the parties or ordered by the court pursuant to Section 7640.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 22. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7560.
  

The court or local child support agency shall order additional genetic testing upon the request of a person who contests the results of the initial testing under Section 7555.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 23. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7562.
  

If a person seeking genetic testing demonstrates good cause, the court may order genetic testing of a deceased person.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 24. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

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