Natural Parent Legal Definition
Section 6453 sets forth the means of establishing whether a person is a "natural parent" of another.
One means includes the presumptions and procedures established by the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA), Family Code section 7600 et seq. ( 6453, subd. (a).)
Another means--relevant here--includes establishing parentage through "any other provisions" of the UPA. This latter means includes a requirement of "[a] court order entered during the father's lifetime declaring paternity" if a party seeks to establish a natural parent and child relationship pursuant to Family Code section 7630, subdivision (c). ( 6453, subd. (b)(1).)
Section 6452 requires that the parent or a relative of the parent acknowledge a child born out of wedlock and contribute to the child's support. (Lozano v. Scalier, supra, 51 Cal. App. 4th 843, 846.)
Although the statute does not define "acknowledge," the word must embrace more than contributing to the financial support of the child. Otherwise, subdivision (a) of the statute is surplusage and an interpretation that we must avoid. (Estate of Sanders (1992) 2 Cal. App. 4th 462, 470.)
In interpreting a statute, we must give "significance to every word, phrase, sentence and part of an act in furtherance of the legislative purpose if possible." (Ibid.)
The word "acknowledge" has no technical meaning and means "to own or admit the knowledge of." (Blythe v. Ayres (1892) 96 Cal. 532, 577, 31 P. 915.)
In Lozano v. Scalier, supra, 51 Cal. App. 4th 843, 845, 848, the father physically cared for the child some of the time, bought clothing and items for him, informed his family and friends that the child was his, and signed a financial form for medical care for the child's mother during her pregnancy.
These acts sufficed to constitute acknowledgment within section 6452, permitting the father to bring an action for wrongful death of the child. ( Id., at p. 848.)
In Estate of Wilson (1958) 164 Cal. App. 2d 385, 386-388, 330 P.2d 452, the decedent allowed the child into his home, admitted to his wife that he had fathered the child, introduced the child to family and friends, gave his consent to the child's marriage, and paid for her wedding.
Wilson concluded that these acts amounted to public acknowledgment within the meaning of former Civil Code section 230, regarding adoption of an illegitimate child. (Id., at p. 389.)
In Blythe v. Ayres, supra, 96 Cal. 532, the father never saw his illegitimate child because she resided in another country. Nevertheless, he admitted to family and friends that he fathered the child--"he shouted it from the house-tops." (Id., at p. 577.)
At the father's request, the child was named and baptized with his surname. (Ibid.)
Blythe concluded that the father publicly acknowledged the illegitimate child for purposes of former Civil Code section 230. (Ibid.)