Paternity establishment is the legal determination of fatherhood and is the essential first step prior to the establishment of a support order. Following State laws (OAC 5101:12-40), paternity can be determined through the State of Ohio Affidavit of Paternity, Court Order, or Administrative Order (based on genetic testing results).

The Agency provides genetic testing on-site. Not all cases are eligible for genetic testing, so it is important individuals bring a copy of a child’s birth certificate to the appointment, so the Agency can correctly determine if genetic testing is allowed under State law (or ordered by the court). In addition, the Agency provides genetic testing for those individuals who are court-ordered to have testing completed.

Please Note: Once a “final and enforceable determination of paternity” exists, genetic testing will not be available to you through the administrative process. A “final and enforceable determination of paternity” exists when:

  • An acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit has been signed by both parties and not subject to rescission;
  • An administrative order establishing paternity has been issued and neither party objected within thirty days of the issuance; or
  • A court issued an order establishing paternity.

If you would like to establish paternity, please click on the Intake Packet document below. Mail the completed document to DCCSEA at 140 North Sandusky Street, Delaware, Ohio, 43015. Once the Agency has received your completed packet, we will schedule you for an appointment.


How is genetic testing conducted at the agency?

Genetic testing is generally conducted with buccal (oral, mouth, or cheek) swabs. The DNA specimen is collected by gently rubbing the cheek inside of the mouth with a long swab that looks like a large q-tip. The DNA test utilized with buccal swab specimens is the same DNA test utilized with blood specimens. These test are used in courts throughout the country and are more then 99% accurate.