August 3, 1999

Department of Health and Family Services
Division of Children and Family Services

To: Adoptive Parent Support Groups
BPP Adoption Unit Supervisors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
Licensed Adoption Agency Directors
Milwaukee County Human Services Adoption Supervisors
From: Susan N. Dreyfus
Re: Paternity Determinations

Making an accurate determination of paternity will benefit a child being placed for adoption. The Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) will be easier when paternity testing services provide a report confirming the paternity based on current scientific methods.

With a clear documentation of the paternity, the medical/genetic background information provided for the birth father can be used with greater certainty in addressing the health care needs of the adopted child in the future. In addition, establishing paternity in court prior to the TPR assures the adopted child an opportunity to seek contact with the actual birth father in the future, as allowed by current statutes.

To assist Wisconsin licensed adoption agencies in using paternity test services, the Department of Workforce Development has cooperated with the Department of Health and Family Services by conducting a bidding for vendors. Wisconsin licensed adoption agencies may use these services at the same rates provided for county child support agencies. The attached Child Support Bulletin describes the services, records and billing requirements and customer service to be provided. Each of the approved vendors is listed and their established rates are identified. This replaces a similar list provided in 1996.

Licensed adoption agencies are encouraged to work directly with these vendors to complete paternity testing whenever possible prior to termination of parental rights for adoption. County human/social service agencies will work with their local child support agency when paternity testing is needed for a child in out-of-home care under county responsibility to establish child support, to determine relationships to maximize the potential for relative care or for any potential termination of parental rights.

Thank you for your efforts to meet the needs of children, adoptive families and birth parents.

Adoption Services Planner
1 W. Wilson St.
P. O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
(608) 266-0690


cc: Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
Bureau Directors
County Department of Community Programs Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities
    Services Directors
Program Office Directors/Section Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators

The Department of Children and Families, protecting children, strengthening families, building communities.