Paternity Establishment

The Columbiana County CSEA provides services to establish legal paternity at no cost. Paternity establishment determines the biological father of a child born out of wedlock and updates the child’s birth certificate. Paternity can be established for a child until the child becomes 23 years old.  In Ohio, if a child’s mother is not married when the child is born, that child does not have a legal father.  For unmarried parents in Ohio, paternity can be established by an Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit, Administrative Order through genetic testing or Court Order.  If the child’s mother is married when the child was born or at any time during the 300 days prior to the child’s birth, the mother’s husband is presumed to be the natural father of the child but that can be rebutted.  To rebut the presumption of marriage, parents can request genetic testing. To request paternity services, please complete the Application Forms below. Once completed, please return these to the CSEA.

Acknowledgement of Paternity Affidavit

The Acknowledgement of Paternity Affidavit legally establishes paternity for a child born to unmarried parents.  If there are no other claims or pending actions to establish paternity for a child, the biological father and mother sign a Paternity Acknowledgement declaring that he is the father of the child. This can be completed at the hospital when the child is born, at the CSEA, or at the local Registrar’s office. Once signed, the affidavit can be rescinded (taken back), at your local CSEA, for a period of 60 days after the last signature.  If the affidavit is rescinded, genetic testing will be required.  This affidavit should not be signed if there are any doubts about who is the biological father.

Genetic Testing

Genetic testing, also called a DNA test, may be used to determine the biological father of a child. The CSEA provides genetic testing services at no cost to parties who apply for administrative child support services in most cases.  Testing does not require a blood test, but only a cheek swab to be completed.  The test is run by a state contracted lab and results returned to the CSEA.  If the results determine that there is a 99.99% probability of the man being the father of the child, an Administrative Order Establishment of Paternity is issued to the parties. The Agency also provides court-ordered genetic testing there is sometimes a cost to the parties. To apply for Paternity Establishment services, please complete the above forms and return the IV-D Application for Services and the Application Questionnaire & Checklist to the Columbiana County CSEA.  

Cooperation Requirements

If you have applied for Public Assistance, you may be required to cooperate with Child Support to establish paternity and a support order. If this is the case, you will be receiving information from us.