3727.17 Hospital to provide staff person to assist unmarried parents - acknowledgments of paternity - liability.

Each hospital shall provide a staff person to do all of the following:

(A) Meet with each unmarried mother who gave birth in or en route to the hospital within twenty-four hours after the birth or before the mother is released from the hospital;

(B) Attempt to meet with the father of the unmarried mother's child if possible;

(C) Explain to the unmarried mother and the father, if the father is present, the benefit to the child of establishing a parent and child relationship between the father and the child and the various proper procedures for establishing a parent and child relationship;

(D) Present to the unmarried mother and, if possible, the father, the pamphlet or statement regarding the rights and responsibilities of a natural parent prepared by the department of job and family services pursuant to section 3111.32 of the Revised Code;

(E) Provide the unmarried mother, and if possible the father, all forms and statements necessary to voluntarily establish a parent and child relationship, including the acknowledgment of paternity form prepared by the department of job and family services pursuant to section 3111.31 of the Revised Code;

(F) Upon both the mother's and father's request, help the mother and father complete any specific form or statement necessary to establish a parent and child relationship;

(G) Present to an unmarried mother who is not a recipient of medicaid or a participant in Ohio works first an application for Title IV-D services;

(H) Mail the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, no later than ten days after it is completed, to the office of child support in the department of job and family services.

Each hospital shall provide a notary public to notarize an acknowledgment of paternity signed by the mother and father. If a hospital knows or determines that a man is presumed under section 3111.03 of the Revised Code to be the father of the child described in this section and that the presumed father is not the man who signed or is attempting to sign an acknowledgment with respect to the child, the hospital shall take no further action with regard to the acknowledgment and shall not mail the acknowledgment pursuant to this section.

A hospital may contract with a person or government entity to fulfill its responsibilities under this section and sections 3111.71 to 3111.74 of the Revised Code. Services provided by a hospital under this section or pursuant to a contract under sections 3111.71 and 3111.77 of the Revised Code do not constitute the practice of law. A hospital shall not be subject to criminal or civil liability for any damage or injury alleged to result from services provided pursuant to this section or sections 3111.71 to 3111.74 of the Revised Code unless the hospital acted with malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner.

Cite as R.C. § 3727.17

History. Effective Date: 03-22-2001