Paternity Testing Explained

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If your family finds itself in a situation where a paternity test is needed, it’s helpful to be well-informed so that you are able to smoothly navigate the process.

Why a Paternity Test Might Be Needed

There are many reasons why a paternity test may be required, including when a mother has had a number of sexual partners and there is a genuine doubt in the mind of both parents about the paternity of the child. Some couples who no longer live together will wish to determine paternity so that a potential father who is unsure will not be required to pay child support. If a couple separates on bad terms, the mother may try to claim that her ex-partner is not the child’s father, simply so she and the child no longer have to interact with him. Applications from father for contact with their children can also create the demand for a paternity test.

The Impact on the Child

The first thing you and your partner or former partner should ascertain before carrying out a paternity test is whether or not this is the best route forward for your child. A child’s sense of identity is important, and integral to this is allowing them to be sure of who their parents are. A positive or a negative result from the paternity test could have comforting and enlightening consequences, but be prepared for the possibility of negative emotional consequences. It’s important that you also consider the impact on other siblings.

How the Tests Work

There are two types of DNA tests with regard to paternity identification. The first is the unofficial test, which can be undertaken at home. These usually require painless cheek swabs and can be returned directly to the company for analysis. The laboratory will usually be able to process them within a week. Paternity tests that are court ordered and required as evidence must be undertaken following official direction. The court will usually choose the company to carry out the tests and provide a report. You will not be able to take the samples yourself. Once samples have been collected from the child, mother and potential father, professionals will build up a DNA profile for the child and compare this profile to the unique DNA samples provides by the mother and presumed father. If half of the child’s DNA fragments do not match the father’s fragments, he can be excluded as the biological father.

For more information on determining paternity, contact a firm that specialises in these tests like Easy DNA UK. 

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