CRIMINAL LAW

FAMILY LAW

Why genetic tests are now the gold standard for paternity cases

| Dec 9, 2020 | Child Custody |

In order to prove paternity, the courts used to depends on testimony and marriage certificates. Children born out of wedlock or to parents having extramarital affairs might not know their true parentage. 

Thankfully, medical science has reached a point where it is possible to accurately determine if there is a genetic connection between two people. Advances in science are exactly why the courts usually turn to genetic testing to establish paternity unless parents voluntarily agree on paternity.

How accurate are DNA-based paternity tests? 

One of the reasons that genetic testing has become the go-to solution for contested paternity situations is the accuracy of the test. Provided that there are clean samples submitted from both the potential father and child, genetic testing is usually over 99% accurate. 

There is a very small margin of error, but it is virtually unheard of for someone to take a court-ordered test that shows they are the father only to later find out it was not true.

You don’t have to wait to go to court to get a paternity test

If you want to establish paternity but the mother of your child has not cooperated with you, the best solution is usually to go to the family courts and ask them to order testing to confirm paternity. However, you may hate the idea of going to court only to find out in a formal setting that you don’t have a biological relationship with the child. 

If you can obtain a sample from your child before you go to court, there are basic paternity tests available at drugstores now. While not as accurate or fast as court-based testing, performing an at-home test can give you the confidence you need to move forward with requesting formal paternity testing or other legal actions.