WHAT IS PATERNITY?
Paternity means fatherhood. If parents are married, the husband is considered to be the father of a child born during the marriage. A child whose parents are not married has no legal father unless the parents establish paternity.
WHY SHOULD PATERNITY BE ESTABLISHED?
Fathers are an important part of their children's lives. When both parents share the responsibilities of parenthood, children are more likely to stay off drugs, finish high school, stay out of jail, delay pregnancy and earn more money as adults
It's important to everyone to know who their parents are. Knowing both parents can give a child a sense of belonging.
Children need to know if they have inherited any special health problems. If a child develops a serious medical condition, it may be necessary to identify relatives with compatible blood or tissue types. Employers usually require paternity to be established before a father can add his child to his health plan.
Both parents should support their children. Children supported by only one parent are more likely to live in poverty than children supported by both parents. If paternity is not established for a child, the child is not legally entitled to support from the father.
HOW IS PATERNITY ESTABLISHED?
A paternity test is extremely accurate and results are determined through DNA testing of the child, mother and alleged father. A paternity test can be performed without testing the mother; however it does reduce the statistical value of the test. Every effort should be made to test the mother when she is available.
There are two types of paternity tests, private and legal. The only difference between the two types of tests is the documentation procedures used at the time of the sample collection. The laboratory methods are identical. A private paternity test can be collected anonymously. Samples for a legal test must be collected or witnessed by a neutral third party with no interest in the test outcome and proper verification of identity documented for each person.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A TEST?
Paternity test can be performed on children and parents of any age. It is a painless procedure that may be done at our office or we may perform the test at the hospital. The cheek of each participating party is swabbed, and photos are taken along with copies of photo ID's to confirm identity of each party.
- Parents may come in together or separately.
- Payment is required at the time of service.
- Results are usually completed within 3-5 business days, and are accepted by the court system as a legal test.
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