CA Welf & Inst Code Section 316.2


At the detention hearing, or as soon thereafter as practicable, the court shall inquire of the mother and any other appropriate person as to the identity and address of all presumed or alleged fathers. The presence at the hearing of a man claiming to be the father shall not relieve the court of its duty of inquiry. The inquiry shall include at least all of the following, as the court deems appropriate:


Whether a judgment of paternity already exists.


Whether the mother was married or believed she was married at the time of conception of the child or at any time thereafter.


Whether the mother was cohabiting with a man at the time of conception or birth of the child.


Whether the mother has received support payments or promises of support with respect to the child or in connection with her pregnancy.


Whether any man has formally or informally acknowledged or declared his possible paternity of the child, including by signing a voluntary declaration of paternity.


Whether paternity tests have been administered and the results, if any.


Whether any man otherwise qualifies as a presumed father pursuant to Section 7611, or any other provision, of the Family Code.


If, after the court inquiry, one or more men are identified as an alleged father, each alleged father shall be provided notice at his last and usual place of abode by certified mail return receipt requested alleging that he is or could be the father of the child. The notice shall state that the child is the subject of proceedings under Section 300 and that the proceedings could result in the termination of parental rights and adoption of the child. Judicial Council form Paternity-Waiver of Rights (JV-505) shall be included with the notice. Nothing in this section shall preclude a court from terminating a father’s parental rights even if an action has been filed under Section 7630 or 7631 of the Family Code.


The court may determine that the failure of an alleged father to return the certified mail receipt is not good cause to continue a hearing pursuant to Section 355, 358, 360, 366.21, or 366.22.


If a man appears in the dependency action and files an action under Section 7630 or 7631 of the Family Code, the court shall determine if he is the father.


After a petition has been filed to declare a child a dependent of the court, and until the time that the petition is dismissed, dependency is terminated, or parental rights are terminated pursuant to Section 366.26 or proceedings are commenced under Part 4 (commencing with Section 7800) of Division 12 of the Family Code, the juvenile court which has jurisdiction of the dependency action shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear an action filed under Section 7630 or 7631 of the Family Code.


After any inquiry, proceeding, or determination made pursuant to this section, the juvenile court shall note its findings in the minutes of the court.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 316.2’s source at ca​.gov