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What is a Paternity Test? Why would you need to do one?

A paternity test is a procedure that compares the DNA of a child and a man in order to determine if that man is the child’s father. There are a few methods how this can be done, which will depend whether or not the child has already been born. If the mother has already given birth, than a DNA sample can be taken from the child by either drawing blood or by swabbing the inside of the child’s cheek. If, however, the child has not been born yet, then other methods such as an SNP Microarray can be used instead.

However, why should a paternity test be considered in the first place? There are three main reasons why getting one is an excellent idea:

1.) A paternity test can provide peace of mind for both parents concerning the child’s true parentage.

2.) The child would be eligible for certain benefits such as child support and inheritance from the father.

3.) The child would have access to the father’s medical history, which can be crucial if there is a family history of certain diseases.


Although it is necessary to understand the reasons for doing a paternity test, it is equally necessary to know how to establish paternity. There are various ways to go about establishing paternity. From a legal standpoint, some states will assume that a woman’s husband is a child’s father at the time of birth. In the case of unmarried couples, the father can simply sign an acknowledgement of paternity at the time of birth, which will state that he is the child’s father. He will then be permitted to have his name placed on the birth certificate. Alternatively, if the birth certificate does not list the father, he can sign what an affidavit of paternity up until the child turns 18. After that, the mother can apply to have the birth certificate altered to reflect the father’s name.

If, however, father in question refuses to sign an acknowledgement of paternity, then the mother can get into touch with the local office of Child support enforcement in order to discuss the available options. Usually, this involves having the mother sign affidavit confirming the identity of the alleged father then locating the father. If the alleged father still refuses to sign an acknowledgment of paternity, than that legal action may be required in order to confirm that he is the father.

If you have questions about Paternity, Child Custody, Child Support, or any other Family Law matter please call our offices to schedule a Free Consultation. Our offices can be reached 24 hours a day at (602) 254-8880 or via email.

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