Adoption and paternity issues
Only information for birth parents and grandparents should be included on the HAR form—DO NOT list adopted or hānai family members. The Data Center requires that Hawaiian ancestry be derived via biological relations only. Therefore when a person in the Hawaiian line is adopted, we require documents to confirm that his or her Hawaiian ancestry was derived from biological parents rather than adoptive or hānai parents. In addition to adoptions by unrelated parties, the document requirements listed below also apply to adoptions by a step-parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, and any other family member.
Documents required to confirm the ancestry of an adopted person
Any ONE of the following may be submitted for consideration to satisfy the Data Center’s document requirement, along with the adopted person’s current birth certificate. An original document or the certified copy must be submitted—photocopies are not accepted for verification. See page Where to Get Your Documents for details on obtaining the following documents.
- A Letter of non-identifying information of Racial Extraction of Biological Parents (LRE). This letter discloses the ancestry of the person’s birth parents without revealing their identities. It can be obtained from the Hawai‘i State Family Court in which the adoption occurred.
- An adoption decree or court order which identifies the person’s biological Hawaiian parents, plus birth certificates for the biological Hawaiian parents and grandparents.
- A pre-adoption birth certificate which identifies the biological parents. If the applicant was adopted, his current post-adoption birth certificate is required as well. Birth certificates for the biological Hawaiian parent, grandparent, etc. which meet the ancestry requirements are also required.
State specific laws regarding access to adoption records can be found at http://childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/state/.
The Data Center verification process involves tracing Hawaiian ancestry via a series of parent child relationships through birth certificates. If an amendment is made on the original birth certificate to either add or change the name of the father, the Data Center requires documents to confirm the amendment. This requirement applies even if the father is not the ancestor through whom Hawaiian ancestry is being traced.
Documents required to resolve paternity issues
The required documents depend on the situation surrounding the amendment. The following documents may be submitted for consideration to satisfy the Data Center’s verification requirement.
- Paternity affidavitt — If a child’s parents were not married at the time of the child’s birth and the father is not present to sign paternity documents, the child’s father will not be listed on the birth certificate. If both parents later choose to add the father’s name to the birth certificate, they may file a notarized paternity affidavit with the Department of Health to amend the child’s birth certificate to reﬂect the biological father’s information. In other cases, parents who are married after a child’s birth may choose to legitimate the birth even if the father’s name was on the original birth certificate. If the birth certificate of the applicant or of any ancestors in the Hawaiian line were amended in this fashion, the Data Center requires a certified copy of the affidavit available through the Hawai‘i State Family Court. See page Where to Get Your Documents for details on obtaining a paternity affidavit filed for a Hawai‘i birth. Equivalent documents may be issued by other states.
- Court order — If the father identified on a child’s birth certificate is disputed or if the father’s identity was not previously disclosed, the court may be petitioned to make a determination regarding paternity, and subsequently the birth certificate may be amended. If the birth certificate of the applicant or of any ancestors in the Hawaiian line were amended in this fashion, the Data Center requires a certified copy of the court order establishing paternity which is issued at the end of the court proceedings. See page Where to Get Your Documents for Family Court contact information. Equivalent documents may be issued by other states.
- DNA test results — If a father is not identified on a child’s birth certificate, or if the identity of the father on the birth certificate is disputed, the identity of the biological father may be determined through DNA testing. The Data Center will only accept notarized and certified DNA test results from parentage testing facilities nationally accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) to identify the child’s biological father. A list of acceptable laboratories can be found at the AABB Web site at http://www.aabb.org/SA/FACILITIES/Pages/RTestAccrFac.aspx
Please submit BOTH of the following:
- Original laboratory notarized DNA test results
- Chain of Custody documents*
If the Chain of Custody documents were not transmitted to you with your test results, please request them from the applicable laboratory. Most laboratories require a written request, and all parties tested may need to approve your request. Please contact the DNA testing laboratory for specific requirements. Whenever possible, we suggest that you request the Chain of Custody documents when arranging for the test.
* The Chain of Custody documents initially record the identities of the persons submitting specimens for DNA testing. The documents accompany the specimens and are certified along the way to ensure proper identification of the specimens when tested. The Chain of Custody documents will generally include a picture of the parties tested along with each person’s date of birth. Other forms of identification may be substituted depending on the laboratory.