In some states paternity test is required after a child is born to ensure that the child grows up with the knowledge of the identity of both parents. In issues concerning, visitation rights, custody or residence of a child, and child support, the court may also order for a parentage test to establish the legitimacy of the child.
Parentage test is a significant asset in parenting proceedings. It may or may not lead to a happy outcome, but the report is used by the court to form a basis of a court order. Listed below are the possibilities that one may expect in a parentage test.
If the alleged father’s DNA does not match the child’s DNA, the court can declare that he is not the biological father of the child with a 100% certainty. However, if the DNA of the alleged father matches the child’s DNA, the court can declare that he may be the possible father. The Family Law Court requires that report should be at least 99.5% to determine a relative chance of parentage.
The same rules also apply to the mother for the report to be legally admissible.
The mother, father, and the child should all submit a sample such as blood, mouth swab, or hair for the parentage testing. In case the mother declines to submit a sample, the court will base its result in the comparison of results of the father and son’s DNA. When only the biological relationship of the father to the child is in question, the mother may not need to submit a sample at all.
The court cannot force a child to submit to a parentage test, especially if the latter is below the legal age of 18 years old. If the child is a minority, the Family Law requires the court to seek consent from the parents or legal guardian before the child can undergo a DNA test.
The laboratory may require the parties to have a photograph was taken, which will be used to verify the identity of the persons giving the specific samples. The court may also order for the same, in case confusions arise as to the identity of the donors.
The results of parentage testing are very important especially in cases involving child support and successions. In case the father denies his paternity and refuses to pay his obligation towards the alleged child, the court will use the result of the parentage test as a basis to render a decision or issue an order.
The process of parentage testing can be complex and difficult. Before any court actions and procedures, it is always recommended for parents to seek legal advice from lawyers who specialize in family law.