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Paternity Testing Information for the State of South Carolina (SC)

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The South Carolina Statute

SECTION 20-7-956. Admissibility of evidence at hearing.

(A) The following evidence is admissible at a hearing to determine paternity:

(1) Results of genetic tests as described in Section 20-7-954 from physicians, agencies, hospitals, laboratories, or other qualified testing facilities, properly verified to show the chain of custody of blood samples. This evidence, must be introduced and admitted without the foundation testimony or other proof of authenticity or accuracy unless a challenge has been asserted by motion at least twenty days before the date of trial. Any party to the action, absent stipulations to the contrary, may demand the right to have additional testing conducted at the expense of the party who demands the additional testing.

(2) The refusal of a party to submit to a genetic or other ordered test as to the credibility of a party.

(3) Test results which show a statistical probability of paternity. A statistical probability of paternity of ninety-five percent or higher creates a rebuttable presumption of the putative father's paternity.

(4) A verified voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. This acknowledgment creates a rebuttable presumption of the putative father's paternity except that a verified voluntary acknowledgment of paternity executed after January 1, 1998, creates a conclusive presumption of the putative father's paternity subject to the provisions of Section 20-7-958. The person acknowledging paternity must be given the opportunity to seek legal advice prior to signing a verified voluntary acknowledgment. A verified voluntary acknowledgment must be made by a sworn document, signed by the person acknowledging paternity and witnessed by (1) that person's attorney, parent, or guardian or (2) a person eighteen years of age or older who is not related to the child and not employed or acting under the authority of the Department of Social Services. The witness must attach to the acknowledgment a written certification which specifies that prior to signing the acknowledgment, the provisions of the acknowledgment were discussed with the person acknowledging paternity and that, based upon this discussion, it is the witness' opinion that the acknowledgment is being given voluntarily and that it is not being obtained under duress or through coercion.

(5) A foreign paternity determination whether established through administrative or judicial process. This determination creates a conclusive presumption of paternity.

(6) A birth certificate containing the signature of the mother and the putative father. This evidence creates a rebuttable presumption of paternity.

(7) An expert's opinion concerning the time of conception. This evidence is admissible in the same manner as other expert testimony. The court may take judicial notice of the normal period of gestation.

(8) The testimony of a husband and wife as to any relevant matter, including marriage and parentage.

(9) Any other relevant and competent evidence deemed admissible in the discretion of the court.

(B) Upon the motion of any party to the action or upon its own motion, the court may view a child for the purpose of examining the presence or the absence of physical characteristics and similarities between the child and the putative father.

(C) If a male witness offers testimony indicating that his act of intercourse with the natural mother may have resulted in the conception of the child, the court may require the witness to submit to genetic or other tests to determine whether he is the child's father. If the results of the tests exclude or tend to exclude the witness as the father of the child, the witness's testimony must be stricken from the record and disregarded.





This information is provided for reference only





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