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Can paternity be established with a DNA test?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2017 | Paternity And Custody

Biological fathers who are not listed on their children’s birth certificates, and/or who were not married to the mother of their children at the time of birth, could face challenges in establishing their paternity. However, with modern medical advances, those challenges will not be insurmountable.

Highly accurate testing is available that can be performed on a father and his or her alleged child to prove that a paternal relationship exists. Modern blood and DNA testing for paternity have been shown to be 90 to 99.9 percent accurate. The courts also support the use of testing by requiring all potential fathers to step forward and take a genetic test when the paternity of a child is in question.

These days, DNA tests are the most accurate way of determining paternity. Every individual — except for some twins — has an individual and unique DNA. Lab technicians can compare the DNA samples of a father and child to determine with high accuracy whether a child is the offspring of one man over another. In fact, a DNA test is said to have a 99.9 percent accuracy.

DNA samples are provided by taking a swab and rubbing it strongly back and forth against the inside of the cheek. Doctors can also take DNA material from a child’s umbilical cord after birth to perform an immediate paternity test.

Once irrefutable DNA evidence has been submitted to the court, the court will rule that the paternal relationship exists. Next, it must be determined how the parents will share custody of the child, and whether one parent will be required to pay child support. The assistance of an experienced Omaha family law lawyer can help parents establish paternity and resolve the legal issues that come out of the results of the DNA test.

Source: FindLaw, “Paternity Tests: Blood Tests and DNA,” accessed Jan. 04, 2017