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Peru: Judicial Determination of Out-of-Wedlock Paternity

(Aug. 10, 2017) The Peruvian Congress, by a unanimous vote, has amended the law governing the process for establishing filiation of children. Under the amendment, Law 30628, anyone with a legitimate interest in obtaining a paternity determination may file a petition before a Justice of the Peace in order to obtain such a determination. (Ley que Regula el Proceso de Filiación Judicial de la Paternidad Extramatrimonial [Law Regulating the Process of Judicial Filiation of Extramarital Paternity], Law No. 28457, EL PERUANO [EP, Peru’s official gazette] (Jan. 8, 2005); Ley que Modifica el Proceso de Filiación Judicial de Paternidad Extramatrimonial, Law No. 30628, EP (Aug. 3, 2017).)

The amendment also prescribes that an alimony claim may be joined together with a paternity claim as an accessory claim before the same court. (Law No. 30628.) The defendant will have ten days after the service of process to oppose the declaration of out-of-wedlock paternity and to challenge the alimony petition. (Id.) When such a claim is made, there will be no judicial determination of paternity if the defendant agrees to take a DNA test. (Id. art. 2.) During a court hearing totake place within ten days after the alleged father’s opposition has been filed, samples for DNA testing will be taken from the alleged, father, the mother, and the child. (Id.) If the father has not been located because there is no available address for him or he is dead, DNA testing of the mother and of other children of the alleged father will be done. (Id.)

The DNA testing will paid for by the defendant. The petitioner may assume the testing expenses and be repaid by the defendant if the testing results are positive. The court will declare the paternity to be confirmed if the test results are positive. (Id. art. 4.)

The amendment is considered an important step for asserting the right of any child to his or her identity, according to the president of the Congressional Commission on Women. (Press Release, ADN Gratis para Prueba Única en Casos de Paternidad [Free DNA Testing for Unique Proof in Paternity Cases] (June 22, 2017), Congreso de la República website.)