The Paternity Testing Process & Your Rights

A paternity test is defined as a test that determines the likelihood that a man is the biological father of the child. Also known as a DNA test, paternity testing reveals the inherited DNA that is received from both biological parents. This type of testing compares the child´s DNA pattern with that of the potential father, which is the most definitive proof known to exist. After taking a paternity test, there are two possible result scenarios. The first would be exclusion, which means that the man is proven not to be the biological father. The second scenario would be inclusion, which means that the man is considered to be the biological father. Modern standard testing provides 99.99% accuracy in paternity inclusions and 100% guarantees of exclusion.

There are at-home tests that can be performed, but these tests can be inconclusive and may not be admissible in a court of law. In order to ensure proper custody, child support and having the child know his/her father with certainty, paternity testing should be done at a medical testing center that can certify the results.

Paternity testing would include the mother, child and the potential father. In most cases, a simple swab of the cheek is used to collect DNA samples. The procedure is painless and requires a minimal amount of time spent at the collection site. The swab is similar to that of a cotton Q-tip, which is rubbed against the inside cheek. Loose cells immediately adhere to the swab, which is later tested for DNA comparison.

After testing, results are often available within one week. This depends on the time of year, demand for testing and other factors. It´s a good idea to make an appointment for testing and follow up if you have not received the results within a week´s time. Once the results are available, the child will then have definite answers as to his/her biological father. If the reason for the test is regarding custody or child support claims, the results will determine the next step.

While legally, it is important for a child to know the identity of both parents, it´s also emotionally important to a child of any age. Growing up without ever knowing a parent can be very troubling for a child and may worsen as they reach adulthood. Even if the parents cannot live together and continue as a family, the child will someday begin to ask questions and want to know about their father. If visitation is at issue, the potential father should petition for a paternity test. If the results are found inclusive, the father must pursue his legal rights to visitation with the child.

This article, while believed to be factual in it´s basis, should not be construed as medical or legal advice. The information contained in this article should not be used to determine either. Before proceeding with either, a medical doctor and/or attorney should be consulted. For more information, contact a licensed professional with questions and/or concerns regarding issues surrounding paternity, and/or DNA, testing.