Thanks to popular daytime television shows, paternity testing became somewhat of a joke in recent years. “You are NOT the father” became a sort of catchphrase in our culture. Unfortunately, establishing paternity is anything but a laughing matter. Knowing who fathered a child or children is important for everyone involved.
There are highly accurate tests available with which to establish paternity. In fact, tests today can establish the paternity of a child with 90 to 99 percent accuracy. When a paternity case is in court, all parties involved must submit to genetic testing when requested to do so by either party to the case. There are several ways in which a parent may establish the paternity of their child.
A blood test can be helpful in determining paternity, but it alone cannot determine a biological parent. Blood tests used today use white blood cell antigens, compared to the tests used decades ago using only blood types.
While a blood test cannot conclusively tell who a father is, it can help to determine the biological possibility that a man is the father of a child. In other words, it can easily exclude a potential father from candidacy.
A DNA test is the most accurate paternity test available. A child gets half of their DNA from their mother and half from their father. When DNA is tested, the child is compared to the mother. The DNA not found to be in common must have come from the biological father. When the DNA patterns match the child, mother and father exactly, the possibility of paternity is 99.9 percent. If a child and the alleged father do not match two or more probes, the man is excluded as the father.
Why Establish Paternity?
Beyond the notion that each child deserves to know who their father is, establishing paternity is important for legal reasons. If there is any question as to who the father is, determining who it is will ensure that the right person is ordered to pay child support. When a man desires to establish paternity and does so, it means that he will have rights to the child.
Once paternity has been established, a mother may take the father to court to fight for child support payments. In some cases, it’s the father who seeks to prove paternity in order to establish his right to make decisions for the child or even to try and secure legal custody of the child.
If you help in establishing the paternity of a child in Orlando, reach out to our experience family law attorneys. We will review your case, advise you of your legal rights and help you take the next appropriate steps. We assist people in your situation everyday, and we understand the emotions you may be experiencing. Call today for caring, expert legal assistance.