Establishing Parentage


Parentage is the recognition of a parent’s legal relationship to a child.


Some of the benefits of establishing parentage

  • Legal rights for the parent
  • Support (financial and emotional) for the child

  • Legal documentation (proof) of parentage

  • Family medical history (hereditary conditions, etc.)

  • Inheritance rights

  • Potential benefits (Medical insurance, Social Security, Veterans)


In California, parentage is legally established:

  • By circumstances of marriage

  • By filing a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDOP)

  • Through the court system


    Genetic (DNA) testing may be available in qualifying cases and is a free service offered as part of parentage establishment.


    To learn more about parentage establishment, visit