This article uses information from a survey of 250 county child support agencies conducted in 1990 to describe how paternity establishment is organized and expedited in a nationally representative sample of localities. Findings indicate county paternity establishment rates are significantly associated with demographic characteristics of the counties. Rates were higher in counties that were spending more on child support cases, had lower average AFDC caseload per child support workers, transferred contested cases from a non-legal to a legal agency, and had a multiple consent process in which alleged fathers are given at least two opportunities to consent to paternity, usually after notification and also after genetic testing.
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