Child's Due Process Right In Determination of Parentage

It is inconceivable that a child would not have a due process right in the determination of his or her parentage. In In re Marriage of O'Brien, 13 Kan. App. 2d 402, 407, 772 P.2d 278, aff'd in part and rev'd in part 245 Kan. 591, 783 P.2d 331 (1989), we said (a comment not nullified by the Supreme Court's reversal): "The child has an interest not only in obtaining support, but also in inheritance rights, family bonds, and accurate identification of his parentage, which justifies the decision of the trial court allowing and ordering the parentage determination to proceed." The rights and interests of a child in his or her parentage are due process rights which cannot be terminated or affected without notice and an opportunity to be heard. We also note that the cases have been unanimous in concluding that a parent has a fundamental liberty interest in maintaining a familial relationship with a child. See In re J.L.D., 14 Kan. App. 2d 487, Syl. P1, 794 P.2d 319 (1990). By the same token, we hold that a child has that same fundamental interest in his or her parentage.