About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

Note that the “official” compilation of the laws (Chapters) enacted at each session of the General Assembly is published by the State as the “Laws of Maryland”, commonly referred to as the “Session Laws”. The Session Laws for each session are compiled chronologically by chapter number and serve as the source law from which the statutes accessed here are derived.

While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

The Municipal Charters are updated each year by incorporating all charter resolutions received by the Department through May 31 of that year. Individual Municipal Resolutions are published to the General Assembly website as they are received by the Department.

Statute Text

Article - Family Law
(a)   An unmarried father and mother shall be provided an opportunity to execute an affidavit of parentage in the manner provided under § 4-208 of the Health - General Article.
(b)   The affidavit shall be completed on a standardized form developed by the Department.
(c)    (1)   The completed affidavit of parentage form shall contain:
(i)   in ten point boldface type a statement that the affidavit is a legal document and constitutes a legal finding of paternity;
(ii)   the full name and the place and date of birth of the child;
(iii)   the full name of the attesting father of the child;
(iv)   the full name of the attesting mother of the child;
(v)   the signatures of the father and the mother of the child attesting, under penalty of perjury, that the information provided on the affidavit is true and correct;
(vi)   a statement by the mother consenting to the assertion of paternity and acknowledging that her cosignatory is the only possible father;
(vii)   a statement by the father that he is the natural father of the child; and
(viii)   the Social Security numbers provided by each of the parents.
(2)   Before completing an affidavit of parentage form, the unmarried mother and the father shall be advised orally and in writing of the legal consequences of executing the affidavit and of the benefit of seeking legal counsel.
(d)    (1)   An executed affidavit of parentage constitutes a legal finding of paternity, subject to the right of any signatory to rescind the affidavit:
(i)   in writing within 60 days after execution of the affidavit; or
(ii)   in a judicial proceeding relating to the child:
1.   in which the signatory is a party; and
2.   that occurs before the expiration of the 60-day period.
(2)    (i)   After the expiration of the 60-day period, an executed affidavit of parentage may be challenged in court only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.
(ii)   The burden of proof shall be on the challenger to show fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.
(iii)   The legal responsibilities of any signatory arising from the affidavit, including child support obligations, may not be suspended during the challenge, except for good cause shown.
(e)   The Administration shall prepare written information to be furnished to unmarried mothers under § 4-208 of the Health - General Article concerning the benefits of having the paternity of their children established, including the availability of child support enforcement services.
(f)   The Department shall make the standardized affidavit forms available to all hospitals in the State.
(g)   The Secretary, in consultation with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Maryland Hospital Association, shall adopt regulations governing the provisions of this section and § 4-208 of the Health - General Article.