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Change in paternity

The Children Act contains rules about changes in paternity.

In some cases, the mother's husband is not the biological father of her child. In other cases, the mother states that a man other than the biological father is the father of the child. If he acknowledges paternity, he will be the legal father of the child even if he is not the biological father.

In some cases, parents may want to maintain the existing legal paternity. In other cases, the legal father may be made aware of circumstances that make him a doubt whether he is the biological father. Men may also become aware of information which means they may be the father of a child that they do not know about.

Paternity established by the pater est rule or acknowledgement can be changed by a new man acknowledging paternity and this acknowledgement being accepted by the mother and the man who has been regarded as the child's father. In these cases, the Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) must ensure that the new paternity is biologically correct by ordering a DNA analysis. No time limits apply to paternity being changed in this way.

Paternity cases in court

If not all parties agree that the paternity is to be changed, the person who wants to change the paternity must bring an action before the courts. The mother, father or man who alleges he is the father may bring an action to change the paternity. The child can bring action to change paternity, also if the child is over 18 years of age.

There are special rules concerning reopening of a paternity case. If a DNA-analysis was not available in the case, reopening of a final judgement may be applied for.