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Once You Receive Your Paternity Test Results What Paternity Means in the Law

What Paternity Means in the Law

Being a parent does not just mean attending the child, it also has legal ramifications. In matters of paternity law, the exact laws differ by state. Learning the specific laws to the state in which the mother and child are living will assist the potential father in knowing his rights. Sometimes, a state might order a paternity test, or the father could opt to take one on his own. In either case, when a paternity test returns a positive match for a father, that man has legal obligations which must be fulfilled, no matter where he and his child live.

Paternity law deals with the legal ramifications of being a parent or claiming parentage. There are two types of ways in most state which paternity can be made legally binding: signing a consent form and by a DNA analysis.


ExpertLaw.com recommends a DNA paternity test in all cases of disputed parentage. It can give a definite positive or negative answer to the question of paternity. In the realm of paternity law, not all tests are acceptable by state agencies to establish a relationship to a child. Most state and federal entities will only accept DNA paternity testing results from accredited labs. Labs which are members of the AABB agree to adhere to certain standards which ensure the quality of their results. The American Pregnancy Association notes these differences in quality standards.  

The US Code: Title 42 § 666 dictates that state ordered paternity tests might be required in issues where the paternity is contested. In such events, the potential father must undergo genetic testing to affirm or deny legally his duties. According to the code, should the test results show that a man is a child's father, the state may require him to pay for all genetic testing costs and or child support. Paternity law in Massachusetts holds in Chapter 119A: Section 3A. Establishment of paternity; genetic marker tests, that both suspected parents must have a genetic test to determine parentage. Should either refuse, a test the offending person could be brought to trial to establish paternity. All those undergoing genetic testing for paternity law purposes, need to consult with a lawyer specializing in family law in his state.

Using a DNA test to establish parentage in a paternity law case should only be done by a reputable testing service which sends their samples to an accredited lab. These measures can ensure that the test will not have to needlessly be repeated. Some states will pay for the cost of a genetic test, but others will require the biological father to repay the cost. Doing the test correctly first will save money in the long run and it will prevent false results which could wrongfully but legally bind a man to a child who is not his own.