Paternity Testing

Paternity testing determines who the father of an individual is. Paternity testing can have important personal and legal implications. You may be seeking financial or emotional support, or you may simply want peace of mind from knowing. If you are involved in a legal dispute involving paternity a qualified family law attorney can be instrumental in protecting your legal rights and interests.

Legally, why is paternity testing important?

In cases where paternity testing is needed for legal issues, the results are vital in determining issues such as child custody, child support, inheritance, adoption, citizenship, immigration, and more. The court uses paternity test records to issue orders in many family law disputes and divorce cases.

How is paternity testing administered?

There are several ways paternity testing can be administered. The oldest tests, called red blood grouping tests, were used to exclude paternity rather than identify the father. While red blood grouping tests are very reliable, the most advanced paternity testing involves the highly accurate scientific process of DNA testing. DNA paternity testing is almost 100 percent accurate and is accepted as legal evidence in court.

What type of sample is required?

DNA paternity tests can involve samples of blood, saliva, hair, or other things that contain DNA. However, the most common method of paternity testing is the painless, non-invasive buccal/mouth swab in which a sample of cheek cells are taken from the inside of a patient’s cheek with a cotton-like swab. The cells are then tested to determine if the DNA of the patients match.

Who does paternity testing involve?

Paternity testing usually involves the mother, child, and alleged father. However, testing can still be administered if the mother is not present. Paternity testing can also be performed before the birth of a child. A CVS test can determine paternity as early as the tenth week of pregnancy and amniocentesis can be performed between weeks 14 to 24 of pregnancy.

What if one parent is deceased?

DNA paternity testing can also be administered when one or both parents of the child are deceased. DNA samples can be taken from the alleged father’s kin. While these tests are reliable, they are not as accurate as direct paternity testing.

Where is paternity testing performed?

A number of public and private medical facilities in the United States offer paternity testing. However, it is very important to make sure your paternity test is administered by an agency or hospital that is accredited by the Parentage Testing Committee of the American Association of Blood Banks to ensure your test results are accurate and will be upheld in court.

What does it cost?

The cost of paternity testing is dependant on what procedure is performed. Prices can range anywhere from $50 to $2,000. At-home DNA paternity kits are less expensive and are available over the Internet. However, they are considered “curiosity tests” and aren’t court-approved unless the tests are administered in a laboratory and witnessed by an authorized third party.

For more information about paternity testing, please contact us today to speak with an experienced and qualified family law attorney who can protect your legal rights and maximize your options.