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What is the POP program?

The California Child Support Services webpage offers information on a great program called POP or Paternity Opportunity Program. While the paternity of a child born to a married couple is assumed to belong to the husband, for children born outside of a marriage paternity must be established. With the POP program, California is making it easier than ever.

The POP program is a collaborative effort between the California Department of Child Support and licensed hospitals, birthing centers, and clinics. This program helps families create a legal link between a child and their father through a few simple steps.

Since its inception in 1995, over 300 California hospitals and clinics now offer families a way to voluntarily acknowledge paternity when the baby is born. If a father wants to establish paternity after the child had been born, he must sign a legal declaration of paternity. It is the mission of the POP program to make this process as simple as possible, so more fathers establish paternity early in the child's life.

Once paternity is established either through the POP program or by a legal declaration of paternity, the child can receive the same benefits from his or her parents as does a child born to married parents. Child support can be ordered, and medical benefits can be provided after paternity is established. Aside from the obvious legal benefits to POP, a child can be raised with the comfort of knowing who both of his or her parents are.

While the POP program is a great opportunity for fathers to establish paternity, many children are born each year without a legally recognized father. If you are trying to establish paternity or are being asked to and have concerns, speaking to a trusted family law attorney may help.

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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