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in Soviet law, the fact of the parentage of a child by a particular man, as certified by a birth certificate in the civil registry. When a child is born to persons whose marriage is registered, the spouse of the mother is recognized as the father of the child. If the parents’ marriage is not registered, paternity may be established by a joint declaration of the father and mother of the infant. In the absence of such a declaration, paternity of a child born after Oct. 1, 1968, may be established through a legal process upon the declaration of either parent, of the guardian, of the person upon whom the child is dependent, or of the child himself when he attains majority. The conditions under which a court may establish paternity are laid down in the family codes of the Soviet republics (art. 48 of the RSFSR Family Code). Appropriate registration is recorded in the birth-registry book, and a birth certificate is issued on the basis of a joint declaration by the parents, a court decision establishing paternity, or an acknowledgment of paternity. Parental rights and obligations begin upon the act of registering paternity.