Paternity tests were for a long time a big taboo. The man should just trust the woman that the child is his and stay to take care of the baby. Now that paternity testing is becoming more normal and affordable, it is no longer a taboo to ask for paternity tests. For both the man and the woman there are reasons to have a paternity test carried out. For a man, a big reason to ask for a paternity test is if he is not sure that he is the father. Infidelity might have occurred and the father would like to know if he is really the father, and perhaps he does not want to be responsible for a child that is not his. In that case, a legal paternity test might be the answer.
Paternity testing for legal reasons
A reason for a woman to ask the alleged father to take a paternity test is to determine who is the real father of the child. If a woman had multiple partners during the period that the child was conceived, a DNA test while pregnant might give clarity. If the real father is found, the woman might claim that he takes responsibility for the child and pays child support until the child turns 18 years old. Paternity must be determined by a judge and also the height of the child support is discussed in court. In order to determine paternity, it is however not enough to just take any kind of DNA test. The test must be a legal paternity test, which means it must be conducted by a laboratory which can provide legal paternity testing.
What is a legal paternity test?
A legal paternity test must adhere to several rules. The DNA test must be conducted at home or in the laboratory itself. The mother must provide a blood sample and the father must provide a saliva sample. The mother’s blood is necessary because it contains the baby’s DNA. However, this is only the case after the seventh week of the pregnancy and therefore it is not possible to conduct a DNA test before this stage of the pregnancy.
Two or more medical examiners will test the samples and compare their findings. If these professionals have found the same information, the test is accurate. If there have been different findings or the examiners have found that there are problems with the samples, the test needs to be taken again. Because of the high accuracy of these tests they are admissible as evidence in court.