What is a DNA Paternity Test?
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the genetic material that you inherit from your parents. A DNA paternity test is one way to establish the legal father of a child through the Florida courts if one parent does not consent to a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity. If you would like to learn more about DNA paternity testing or other means of establishing paternity for a child, call or contact the law office of Blair H. Chan, III in Tampa Bay to schedule a free consultation of your case.
How Does a DNA Paternity Test Work?
A DNA paternity test is usually performed by taking a cheek swab or a blood test of the child and the presumed father. For the purposes of a court ordered paternity test, this typically must occur in a medical setting; however, at-home DNA paternity tests can be purchased online or in stores. With a cheek swab test, a cotton swab is used on the inside of the cheeks to gather buccal cells. With a blood test, a blood sample is given by each participant in the test, and in both cases medical personnel will send the samples collected to a laboratory for examination.
The laboratory will run a series of tests known as DNA sequencing that looks for matches between the child and the presumed father. Matches in DNA confirm paternity of the child, and these tests can show with 99.9% accuracy whether a man is a child’s biological father. Typically, it can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks to get the results from a laboratory for a paternity test, which can then be used to confirm parentage in a legal paternity case.
Can You Test for Paternity During Pregnancy?
You can also test for paternity during pregnancy using DNA with three different methods. Noninvasive prenatal paternity testing analyzes fetal DNA in the mother’s bloodstream during the first trimester. Chorionic villus sampling takes a small sample from the placenta for DNA testing between 10-13 weeks of pregnancy, and amniocentesis draws a small amount of amniotic fluid between weeks 15-20 to test against the presumed father’s DNA for matching.
What Happens after Paternity is Confirmed?
Once paternity is confirmed, the parents and their attorneys will negotiate a parenting plan for the child. This includes issues of child custody, visitation, and child support. Depending on the level of involvement that the father wishes to have in their child’s life, this could include joint custody and substantial visitation with the child. The child may also be eligible for health insurance benefits, Social Security, inheritance rights, and more through their legally established father.
Call or Contact Our Office
If you would like to learn more about DNA testing for the paternity of a child, call or contact the law office of Blair H. Chan, III to speak with an experienced Tampa family attorney about your legal options today for court ordered DNA paternity testing.