M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart III, Chapter 5, Section G



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M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iii, Chapter 5, Section G

Section G. Establishing a Biological Child, Adopted Child, or Stepchild as a Veteran’s Child for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Purposes

Overview




In this Section

This section contains the following topics:



Topic

Topic Name

See Page

37

Establishing a Biological Child as a Veteran’s Child for VA Purposes

5-G-2

38

Establishing an Adopted Child as a Veteran’s Child for VA Purposes

5-G-5

39

Surviving Spouse’s Adoption of a Child After the Veteran’s Death

5-G-10

40

Adoption in a Foreign Jurisdiction

5-G-11

41

Adoption of a Child Out of a Veteran’s Family

5-G-18

42

Establishing a Stepchild as a Veteran’s Child for VA Purposes

5-G-21



37. Establishing a Biological Child as a Veteran's Child for VA Purposes




Introduction

This topic contains information on establishing a biological child as a Veteran’s child for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) purposes, including the biological child of a


  • female Veteran

  • male Veteran married to the child’s mother, and

  • male Veteran not married to the child’s mother.



Change Date

April 9, 2013


a. Biological Child of a Female Veteran

Evidence adequate to establish a child’s age, as outlined in M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iii, 5.F.33, is also adequate to establish the biological child of a female Veteran as the Veteran’s child for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) purposes.



b. Biological Child of a Male Veteran Married to the Child’s Mother

Evidence adequate to establish a child’s age, as outlined in M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iii, 5.F.33, is also adequate to establish the biological child of a male Veteran as the Veteran’s child for VA purposes if


  • the Veteran was married to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s birth, and

  • there is no reason to believe the Veteran is not the child’s biological father.


Note: If the evidence of record suggests the Veteran may not be the child’s biological father, fully develop the facts of the case before making a determination as to whether the Veteran is the child’s father.

Continued on next page

37. Establishing a Biological Child as a Veteran's Child for VA Purposes, Continued

c. Biological Child of a Male Veteran Not Married to the Child’s Mother

If a Veteran fathered a child and was not married to the child’s mother when the child was born, VA requires the following in order to establish the Veteran as the child’s biological father:


  • evidence that establishes the child’s birth and age, as outlined in M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iii, 5.F.33, and

  • a formal acknowledgment by the Veteran that he fathered the child.

If the Veteran does not submit the acknowledgment referenced above, or if there is reason to question its validity, accept the following in lieu of the acknowledgment:




  • evidence showing the Veteran has been identified as the child’s father by judicial decree ordering him to contribute to the child’s support or for other purposes, or

  • any other secondary evidence that identifies the Veteran as the child’s father, such as

  • a copy of the public record of birth or church record of baptism showing the Veteran was the informant and was named as the father of the child

  • certified statements of disinterested persons who attest the Veteran accepted the child as his, or

  • information obtained from a service department, or public records such as those maintained by school or welfare agencies, showing the Veteran, with his knowledge, was identified as the father of the child.


Notes:

  • the formal acknowledgement referenced in this block, or

  • the other evidence VA may use to establish the parental relationship.

  • An oral statement from the Veteran, a written statement that the Veteran signed, or a completed VA Form 21-686c, Declaration of Status of Dependent, that the Veteran signed, satisfies the requirement for the formal acknowledgment referenced in this block.

  • Document on VA Form 27-0820, Report of General Information, any information and/or statements given to or obtained from a claimant by telephone.

  • Encourage claimants to e-mail or fax VA any documentary evidence that supports their claim.

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37. Establishing a Biological Child as a Veteran's Child for VA Purposes, Continued


c. Biological Child of a Male Veteran Not Married to the Child’s Mother (continued)

References: For more information on

  • using MAP-D, see the MAP-D User's Guide, and

  • documenting telephone contact, see M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart iii, 1.B.2.e.



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