FACT CHECK: Does A New Florida Law Require Fathers To Submit A DNA Test Before Signing A Birth Certificate?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook purports a new Florida law requires fathers to submit a DNA test before signing their child’s birth certificate.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence supporting the claim. A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Revenue denied the claim in an email to Check Your Fact.

Fact Check:

U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor blocked a law that would prevent Chinese citizens from owning homes or land in the Sunshine State back in mid-August, according to Reuters. Winsor said that because the ban is based on citizenship, it likely does not violate the U.S. Constitution, the outlet reported.

“New Florida Law! A father’s must submit a DNA test before signing the birth certificates. Ladies beware,” the Facebook post, shared over 1,000 times, purports.

The claim is false, however. Check Your Fact found no results for the purported Florida law via LegiScan. Likewise, there are no credible news reports supporting the claim. If the claim was actually true, multiple media outlets would’ve covered it, yet none have. In addition, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has neither referenced the purported law via his website nor his verified social media accounts.

According to HG Legal Resources, paternity must be established either voluntarily or via a court order in Florida if the mother is unmarried. Paternity can be established voluntarily at any point if the child’s parents are unmarried, HG Legal Resources indicates. Paternity can also be established at the hospital for a child of unmarried parents.

For voluntary acknowledgment, the father signs a form which acknowledges him as the child’s legal father. The father has the right to revoke the form for 60 days after signing, the website indicates. After 60 days, the form becomes legally binding. In cases where a court order is sought, a genetic test will be used to establish paternity.

HG Legal Resources also notes that simply having a name on a birth certificate does not establish paternity.

Similarly, the Florida Department of Revenue outlines how the paternity of a child can be established in various instances, including at the hospital if the parents are unmarried, if the parents are unmarried after the child’s birth, or if the parents decide to marry later. (RELATED: Did Illinois Pass A Bill Allowing Illegal Immigrants To Apply For The Police Force?)

Bethany Wester, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Revenue denied the claim in an email to Check Your Fact.

“No, Florida law does not require a father to submit a DNA test before signing the child’s birth certificate. The Florida Department of Health administers the requirements for completing and/or amending birth certificate forms,” Wester said.

Check Your Fact has also contacted DeSantis’s office for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter