This comment begins with the history of the conclusive presumption of paternity in California, from its common law roots to its modern day affirmation in Michael H. v. Gerald D. This background will discuss the adoption of the Uniform Parentage Act in California and its application in paternity proceedings. In an effort to advocate the need for its repeal, this comment will also discuss the modem trend in the California courts to circumvent the conclusive presumption. The comment concludes that this rebuttable presumption enables an unwed father to establish his parental rights regardless of the mother's marital status. By protecting developed parent-child relationships, California law has become more closely aligned with the Uniform Parentage Act, which aims to eliminate any differentiation between a married and an unmarried parent's legal relationship with the child. The courts have demonstrated the dwindling usefulness of the conclusive presumption in paternity disputes by placing greater importance on an assessment of the child's existing relationships.
Batya F. Smernoff,
California's Conclusive Presumption of Paternity and the Expansion of Unwed Fathers' Rights, 26 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.