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Preparing for a Paternity Test Is Your DNA Test Legal?

Is Your DNA Test Legal?

Legal paternity is only determined if you take an AABB-accredited paternity test. A paternity test generally occurs after a child is born, though there are tests that use fetal tissue sample to determine parentage. It is generally least stressful on a fetus if test results are delayed until the child is born.

Performing a legal paternity test on an unborn infant increases the risk for miscarriage. To get a fetal tissue sample, an amniocentesis needle is inserted through the uterus and into the infant’s body. A second option is chorionic villus sampling where a tube is inserted into the vagina, through the service and into the tissue attaching the fetus to the wall of the uterus. Either of these procedures heightens the risk for the amniotic sac to rupture. If the sac ruptures, the infant is at risk for premature delivery.

Why Choose Legal Testing

There are many situations when you will need legal paternity test results. Paternity testing helps in custody battles, but also in child support hearings. A father may deny a child is truly his and refuse to pay child support until he knows for certain. This is especially true in cases when a woman has had multiple sexual partners.

As custody and support hearings require legal paternity test results, a simple home test will not suffice. Legal tests cost extra, but they are the only way to prove parentage in a court of law.

How Legal Paternity Tests are Performed

With a legal paternity test, you make an appointment with a DNA lab or clinic. Call the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) or the American Pregnancy Association for testing centers in your state.

On the day of your appointment, they will take your fingerprints, photograph and a blood sample. They may also take a piece of hair or swab the inside of your cheek.

The lab processes your DNA sample breaking it down to get the DNA code. Once this result is back, the same process tests the DNA sample of the child and his/her mother. When the three results are back, the DNA patterns are compared to find similarities in the DNA chain. DNA matches are at least 99 percent accurate.

Understanding your Rights

DNA test results are kept confidential. The only people who will learn the test results are yourself, your ex or spouse, lab technicians and court personnel. It is illegal for the lab to share your results with the media.

You may be responsible for the cost of your test results. DNA testing varies from $400 to $2,000 depending on the complexity of the testing process.

Timeline before Test Results are Ready

It takes time for legal paternity test results to be completed. Usually, the fastest time span for results is five business days. Do not expect to have results back in hours like those that you see on television, it just doesn’t happen that way!