ARTICLE 8 - PROCEEDING TO ADJUDICATE PARENTAGE
 
14-2-801.  Proceeding authorized.
 
A civil proceeding may be maintained to adjudicate the parentage of a child. The proceeding is governed by the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure.
 
14-2-802.  Standing to maintain proceeding.
 
(a)  Subject to article 5 of this act and W.S. 14-2-807 and 14-2-809, a proceeding to adjudicate parentage may be maintained by:
 
(i)  The child;
 
(ii)  The mother of the child;
 
(iii)  A man whose paternity of the child is to be adjudicated;
 
(iv)  The child support enforcement agency;
 
(v)  An authorized adoption agency or licensed child-placing agency; or
 
(vi)  A representative authorized by law to act for an individual who would otherwise be entitled to maintain a proceeding but who is deceased, incapacitated or a minor.
 
14-2-803.  Parties to proceeding.
 
(a)  The following individuals shall be joined as parties in a proceeding to adjudicate parentage:
 
(i)  The mother of the child; and
 
(ii)  A man whose paternity of the child is to be adjudicated.
 
14-2-804.  Personal jurisdiction.
 
(a)  An individual may not be adjudicated to be a parent unless the court has personal jurisdiction over the individual.
 
(b)  A court of this state having jurisdiction to adjudicate parentage may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident individual, or the guardian or conservator of the individual, if the conditions prescribed in W.S. 20-4-142 are met.
 
(c)  Lack of jurisdiction over one (1) individual does not preclude the court from making an adjudication of parentage binding on another individual over whom the court has personal jurisdiction.
 
14-2-805.  Venue.
 
(a)  Venue for a proceeding to adjudicate parentage is in the county of this state in which:
 
(i)  The child resides or is found;
 
(ii)  The respondent resides or is found if the child does not reside in this state; or
 
(iii)  A proceeding for probate or administration of the presumed or alleged father's estate has been commenced.
 
14-2-806.  No limitation; child having no presumed, acknowledged or adjudicated father.
 
(a)  A proceeding to adjudicate the parentage of a child having no presumed, acknowledged or adjudicated father may be commenced at any time, even after:
 
(i)  The child becomes an adult but only if the child initiates the proceeding; or
 
(ii)  An earlier proceeding to adjudicate paternity has been dismissed based on the application of a statute of limitation then in effect.
 
14-2-807.  Limitation; child having presumed father.
 
(a)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, a proceeding brought by a presumed father, the mother, or another individual to adjudicate the parentage of a child having a presumed father shall be commenced within a reasonable time after obtaining knowledge of relevant facts, but in no event later than five (5) years after the child's birth.
 
(b)  A proceeding seeking to disprove the father-child relationship between a child and the child's presumed father may be maintained at any time if the court determines that:
 
(i)  The presumed father and the mother of the child neither cohabited nor engaged in sexual intercourse with each other during the probable time of conception; and
 
(ii)  The presumed father never openly held out the child as his own.
 
14-2-808.  Authority to deny motion for genetic testing.
 
(a)  In a proceeding to adjudicate the parentage of a child having a presumed father or to challenge the paternity of a child having an acknowledged father, the court may deny a motion seeking an order for genetic testing of the mother, the child and the presumed or acknowledged father if the court determines that:
 
(i)  The conduct of the mother or the presumed or acknowledged father estops that party from denying parentage; and
 
(ii)  It would be inequitable to disprove the father-child relationship between the child and the presumed or acknowledged father.
 
(b)  In determining whether to deny a motion seeking an order for genetic testing under this section, the court shall consider the best interest of the child, including the following factors:
 
(i)  The length of time between the proceeding to adjudicate parentage and the time that the presumed or acknowledged father was placed on notice that he might not be the genetic father;
 
(ii)  The length of time during which the presumed or acknowledged father has assumed the role of father of the child;
 
(iii)  The facts surrounding the presumed or acknowledged father's discovery of his possible nonpaternity;
 
(iv)  The nature of the relationship between the child and the presumed or acknowledged father;
 
(v)  The age of the child;
 
(vi)  The harm that may result to the child if presumed or acknowledged paternity is successfully disproved;
 
(vii)  The nature of the relationship between the child and any alleged father;
 
(viii)  The extent to which the passage of time reduces the chances of establishing the paternity of another man and a child support obligation in favor of the child; and
 
(ix)  Other factors that may affect the equities arising from the disruption of the father-child relationship between the child and the presumed or acknowledged father or the chance of other harm to the child.
 
(c)  In a proceeding involving the application of this section, a minor or incapacitated child shall be represented by a guardian ad litem.
 
(d)  Denial of a motion seeking an order for genetic testing shall be based on clear and convincing evidence.
 
(e)  If the court denies a motion seeking an order for genetic testing, it shall issue an order adjudicating the presumed father to be the father of the child.
 
14-2-809.  Limitation; child having acknowledged or adjudicated father.
 
(a)  If a child has an acknowledged father, a signatory to the acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity may commence a proceeding seeking to rescind the acknowledgement or denial or challenge the paternity of the child only within the time allowed under W.S. 14-2-607 or 14-2-608.
 
(b)  If a child has an acknowledged father or an adjudicated father, an individual, other than the child, who is neither a signatory to the acknowledgment of paternity nor a party to the adjudication and who seeks an adjudication of paternity of the child shall commence a proceeding not later than two (2) years after the effective date of the acknowledgment or adjudication.
 
(c)  A proceeding under this section is subject to the application of the principles of estoppel established under W.S. 14-2-808.
 
14-2-810.  Joinder of proceedings.
 
(a)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, a proceeding to adjudicate parentage may be joined with a proceeding for adoption, termination of parental rights, child custody or visitation, child support, divorce, annulment, legal separation or separate maintenance, probate or administration of an estate or other appropriate proceeding.
 
(b)  A respondent may not join a proceeding described in subsection (a) of this section with a proceeding to adjudicate parentage brought under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.
 
14-2-811.  Proceeding before birth.
 
(a)  A proceeding to determine parentage may be commenced before the birth of the child, but may not be concluded until after the birth of the child. The following actions may be taken before the birth of the child:
 
(i)  Service of process;
 
(ii)  Discovery; and
 
(iii)  Except as prohibited by W.S. 14-2-702, collection of specimens for genetic testing.
 
14-2-812.  Child as party; representation.
 
(a)  A minor child is a permissible party, but is not a necessary party to a proceeding under this article.
 
(b)  The court shall appoint an attorney to represent the best interest of a minor or incapacitated child if the child is a party or the court finds that the interests of the child are not adequately represented.
 
14-2-813.  Admissibility of results of genetic testing; expenses.
 
(a)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this section, a record of a genetic testing expert is admissible as evidence of the truth of the facts asserted in the report unless a party objects to its admission within fourteen (14) days after its receipt by the objecting party and cites specific grounds for exclusion. The admissibility of the report is not affected by whether the testing was performed:
 
(i)  Voluntarily or pursuant to an order of the court or a child support enforcement agency; or
 
(ii)  Before or after the commencement of the proceeding.
 
(b)  A party objecting to the results of genetic testing may call one (1) or more genetic testing experts to testify in person or by telephone, videoconference, deposition or another method approved by the court. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the party offering the testimony bears the expense for the expert testifying.
 
(c)  If a child has a presumed, acknowledged or adjudicated father, the results of genetic testing are inadmissible to adjudicate parentage unless performed:
 
(i)  With the consent of both the mother and the presumed, acknowledged or adjudicated father; or
 
(ii)  Pursuant to an order of the court under W.S. 14-2-702.
 
(d)  Copies of bills for genetic testing and for prenatal and postnatal health care for the mother and child which are furnished to the adverse party not less than ten (10) days before the date of a hearing are admissible to establish:
 
(i)  The amount of the charges billed; and
 
(ii)  That the charges were reasonable, necessary and customary.
 
14-2-814.  Consequences of declining genetic testing.
 
(a)  A person who declines to comply with an order for genetic testing is guilty of contempt of court.
 
(b)  If an individual whose paternity is being determined declines to submit to genetic testing ordered by the court, the court for that reason may adjudicate parentage contrary to the position of that individual.
 
(c)  Genetic testing of the mother of a child is not a condition precedent to testing the child and a man whose paternity is being determined. If the mother is unavailable or declines to submit to genetic testing, the court may order the testing of the child and every man whose paternity is being adjudicated.
 
14-2-815.  Admission of paternity authorized.
 
(a)  A respondent in a proceeding to adjudicate parentage may admit to the paternity of a child by filing a pleading to that effect or by admitting paternity under penalty of perjury when making an appearance or during a hearing.
 
(b)  If the court finds that the admission of paternity satisfies the requirements of this section and finds that there is no reason to question the admission, the court shall issue an order adjudicating the child to be the child of the man admitting paternity.
 
14-2-816.  Temporary order.
 
(a)  In a proceeding under this article, the court shall issue a temporary order for support of a child if the order is appropriate and the individual ordered to pay support is:
 
(i)  A presumed father of the child;
 
(ii)  Petitioning to have his paternity adjudicated;
 
(iii)  Identified as the father through genetic testing under W.S. 14-2-705;
 
(iv)  An alleged father who has declined to submit to genetic testing;
 
(v)  Shown by clear and convincing evidence to be the father of the child; or
 
(vi)  The mother of the child.
 
(b)  A temporary order may include provisions for custody and visitation as provided by other law of this state.
 
14-2-817.  Rules for adjudication of paternity.
 
(a)  The court shall apply the following rules to adjudicate the paternity of a child:
 
(i)  The paternity of a child having a presumed, acknowledged or adjudicated father may be disproved only by admissible results of genetic testing excluding that man as the father of the child or identifying another man as the father of the child;
 
(ii)  Unless the results of genetic testing are admitted to rebut other results of genetic testing, a man identified as the father of a child under W.S. 14-2-705 shall be adjudicated the father of the child;
 
(iii)  If the court finds that genetic testing under W.S. 14-2-705 neither identifies nor excludes a man as the father of a child, the court may not dismiss the proceeding. In that event, the results of genetic testing, and other evidence, are admissible to adjudicate the issue of paternity;
 
(iv)  Unless the results of genetic testing are admitted to rebut other results of genetic testing, a man excluded as the father of a child by genetic testing shall be adjudicated not to be the father of the child.
 
14-2-818.  Jury prohibited.
 
The court, without a jury, shall adjudicate paternity of a child.
 
14-2-819.  Hearings; inspection of records.
 
Notwithstanding any other law concerning public hearings and records, any hearing or trial held under this act shall be held in closed court without admittance of any person other than those necessary to the action or proceeding. All papers and records other than the final judgment pertaining to the action or proceeding, whether part of the permanent record of the court or of a file in the state office of vital records services or elsewhere, are subject to inspection only by court order.
 
14-2-820.  Order on default.
 
(a)  The court shall issue an order adjudicating the paternity of a man who:
 
(i)  After service of process, is in default; and
 
(ii)  Is found by the court to be the father of a child.
 
14-2-821.  Dismissal for want of prosecution.
 
The court may issue an order dismissing a proceeding commenced under this act for want of prosecution only without prejudice. An order of dismissal for want of prosecution purportedly with prejudice is void and has only the effect of a dismissal without prejudice.
 
14-2-822.  Order adjudicating parentage.
 
(a)  The court shall issue an order adjudicating whether a man alleged or claiming to be the father is the parent of the child.
 
(b)  An order adjudicating parentage shall identify the child by name and date of birth.
 
(c)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this section, the court may assess filing fees, reasonable attorney's fees, fees for genetic testing, necessary travel and other reasonable expenses incurred in a proceeding under this article. The court may award attorney's fees, which may be paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the order in the attorney's own name.
 
(d)  The court may not assess fees, costs or expenses against the child support enforcement agency of this state or another state, except as provided by other law.
 
(e)  On request of a party and for good cause shown, the court may order that the name of the child be changed.
 
(f)  If the order of the court is at variance with the child's birth certificate, the court shall order the state office of vital records to issue an amended birth certificate.
 
(g)  Upon a sufficient showing by the department of family services that birth costs were paid by medical assistance within the preceding five (5) years, the court shall include a requirement in an order adjudicating parentage that the father pay birth costs to the department in the manner set forth in W.S. 14-2-1004. Failure of the department to make a sufficient showing under this subsection shall not preclude the department from subsequently seeking recovery in any other manner authorized by law.
 
14-2-823.  Binding effect of determination of parentage.
 
(a)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, a determination of parentage is binding on:
 
(i)  All signatories to an acknowledgement or denial of paternity as provided in article 5 of this act; and
 
(ii)  All parties to an adjudication by a court acting under circumstances that satisfy the jurisdictional requirements of W.S. 20-4-142.
 
(b)  A child is not bound by a determination of parentage under this act unless:
 
(i)  The determination was based on an unrescinded acknowledgment of paternity and the acknowledgement is consistent with the results of genetic testing;
 
(ii)  The adjudication of parentage was based on a finding consistent with the results of genetic testing and the consistency is declared in the determination or is otherwise shown; or
 
(iii)  The child was a party or was represented in the proceeding determining parentage by an attorney representing the child's best interest.
 
(c)  In a proceeding to dissolve a marriage, the court is deemed to have made an adjudication of the parentage of a child if the court acts under circumstances that satisfy the jurisdictional requirements of W.S. 20-4-142, and the final order:
 
(i)  Expressly identifies a child as a "child of the marriage," "issue of the marriage," or similar words indicating that the husband is the father of the child; or
 
(ii)  Provides for support of the child by the husband unless paternity is specifically disclaimed in the order.
 
(d)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section, a determination of parentage may be a defense in a subsequent proceeding seeking to adjudicate parentage by an individual who was not a party to the earlier proceeding.
 
(e)  An adjudication of the paternity of a child issued by a court of this state or by the filing of an acknowledgment of paternity pursuant to W.S. 14-2-605 without the benefit of genetic testing, may be challenged by a party to the adjudication only if post-adjudication genetic testing proves that the adjudicated father is not the biological father of the child pursuant to W.S. 14-2-817.  This section does not apply to any of the following:
 
(i)  A paternity determination made in or by a foreign jurisdiction or a paternity determination which has been made in or by a foreign jurisdiction and registered in this state in accordance with the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act;
 
(ii)  A paternity determination based upon a court or administrative order of this state if the order was entered based upon blood or genetic test results which demonstrate that the alleged father was not excluded and that the probability of the alleged father's paternity was ninety-nine percent (99%) or higher.
 
(f)  A petition for disestablishment of paternity shall be filed:
 
(i)  In the district court in which the paternity order is filed;
 
(ii)  In the case of an adjudication as a result of the filing of an acknowledgment of paternity pursuant to W.S. 14-2-605, notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the petition shall be filed within the earlier of two (2) years after the petitioner knew or should have known that the paternity of the child was at issue or as provided in W.S. 14-2-809(b);
 
(iii)  In the case of an adjudication issued by a court of this state, the petition shall be filed only by the mother of the child, the adjudicated father of the child, the child, if the child was a party to the adjudication, or the legal representative of any of these parties.  A petition filed by an individual who is not a party to the adjudication shall be filed pursuant to W.S. 14-2-809.  The petition under this paragraph shall be filed no later than two (2) years after the petitioner knew or should have known that the paternity of the child was at issue.
 
(g)  The court shall appoint an attorney to represent the best interests of a child if the court finds that the best interests of the child is not adequately represented.  In cases concerning an adjudication of paternity pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent the best interests of the child.  In determining the best interests of the child, the court shall consider the following factors:
 
(i)  The length of time between the proceeding to adjudicate parentage and the time that the adjudicated father was placed on notice that he might not be the genetic father;
 
(ii)  The length of time during which the adjudicated father has assumed the role of the father of the child;
 
(iii)  The facts surrounding the adjudicated father's discovery of his possible nonpaternity;
 
(iv)  The nature of the relationship between the child and the adjudicated father;
 
(v)  The age of the child;
 
(vi)  The harm that may result to the child if adjudicated paternity is successfully disproved;
 
(vii)  The nature of the relationship between the child and any alleged father;
 
(viii)  The extent to which the passage of time reduces the chances of establishing the paternity of another man and a child support obligation in favor of the child; and
 
(ix)  Other factors that may affect the equities arising from the disruption of the father-child relationship between the child and the adjudicated father or the chance of other harm to the child.
 
(h)  The court may order genetic testing pursuant to article 7 of this chapter.
 
(j)  The court may grant relief on the petition filed in accordance with this section upon a finding by the court of all of the following:
 
(i)  The relief sought is in the best interests of the child pursuant to the factors in this section;
 
(ii)  The genetic test upon which the relief is granted was properly conducted;
 
(iii)  The adjudicated father has not adopted the child;
 
(iv)  The child is not a child whose paternity is governed by article 9 of this chapter;
 
(v)  The adjudicated father did not act to prevent the biological father of the child from asserting his paternal rights with respect to the child.
 
(k)  If the court determines that test results conducted in accordance with W.S. 14-2-703 and 14-2-704 exclude the adjudicated father as the biological father, the court may nonetheless dismiss the action to overcome paternity and affirm the paternity adjudication if:
 
(i)  The adjudicated father requests that paternity be preserved and that the parent-child relationship be continued; or
 
(ii)  The court finds that it is in the best interests of the child to preserve paternity.  In determining the best interests of the child, the court shall consider all of the factors listed in this section.
 
(m)  If the court finds that the adjudication of paternity should be vacated, in accordance with all of the conditions prescribed, the court shall enter an order which provides all of the following:
 
(i)  That the disestablishment of paternity is in the best interests of the child pursuant to the factors in this section;
 
(ii)  That the adjudicated father is not the biological father of the child;
 
(iii)  That the adjudicated father's parental rights and responsibilities are terminated as of the date of the filing of the order;
 
(iv)  That the birth records agency shall amend the child's birth certificate by removing the adjudicated father's name, if it appears thereon, and issue a new birth certificate for the child;
 
(v)  That the adjudicated father is relieved of any and all future support obligations owed on behalf of the child from the date that the order determining that the established father is not the biological father is filed;
 
(vi)  That any unpaid support due prior to the date the order determining that the adjudicated father is not the biological father is filed, is due and owing;
 
(vii)  That the adjudicated father has no right to reimbursement of past child support paid to the mother, the state of Wyoming or any other assignee of child support.
 
(n)  Participation of the Title IV-D agency in an action brought under this section shall be limited as follows:
 
(i)  The Title IV-D agency shall only participate in actions if services are being provided by the Title IV-D agency pursuant to title 20 chapter 6 of the Wyoming Statutes;
 
(ii)  When services are being provided by the Title IV-D agency under title 20 chapter 6 of the Wyoming Statutes, the Title IV-D agency may assist in obtaining genetic tests pursuant to article 7 of this chapter;
 
(iii)  An attorney acting on behalf of the Title IV-D agency represents the state of Wyoming in any action under this section. The Title IV-D agency's attorney is not the legal representative of the mother, the adjudicated father or the child in any action brought under this section.
 
(o)  The costs of genetic testing, the fee of any guardian ad litem and all court costs shall be paid by the person bringing the action to overcome paternity unless otherwise provided by law.
 
(p)  A man presumed to be the father of a child without adjudication of paternity may bring a proceeding to adjudicate paternity pursuant to W.S. 14-2-807.