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Can You Make Someone Take a Paternity Test?

Updated July 20, 2017

Paternity tests are commonly sought to establish who the father of a child is, or to obtain custody or for child support. They may also be used to gain visitation rights. Sometimes a father in doubt may voluntarily take a paternity test for peace of mind, and to confirm that he truly is the father. A DNA paternity test can determine the percentage of matching DNA cells from the child and assumed father. According to PaternityTestInfo.net, samples can be tested and used to guarantee a 99.9 per cent accuracy rate of paternity.

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About DNA

DNA is the organic material unique to each person. Every person has a special DNA code that comes from the combined DNA structures of his or her mother and father. Paternity testing involves the comparison and matching of these DNA patterns to establish paternity --- proving a natural relationship between a presumed parent and child. Further, a DNA paternity test can be used to confirm the identity of a child's father to the highest degree possible.

Child Support & Paternity

Typically, a mother will seek financial support for a child from an assumed father. Yet the assumed father may protest or deny that he is the father. The mother must then prove that the assumed father is, in fact, the father of her child. However, the mother has to follow a legal process to establish paternity and obtain child support. This can be facilitated through the court system. The mother may petition a court to order the test. Once the court grants the order of the paternity test, the assumed father will be required to comply and cooperate with the testing process.

Paternity Test Rights

A person cannot lawfully be forced to take a paternity test unless he is under a court order to do so. However, an assumed father can be ordered to take a paternity test. Generally, the court will decide the administrator of the test. In this case, a professional DNA testing facility will collect a DNA sample from the presumed father for testing. If paternity is established, the father may also be ordered to financially support the child. Yet this father will have the option to seek custody or visitation, too. Family law attorneys specialise in issues related to paternity, child support and visitation. They can assist in these sensitive family matters. Legal aid is another resource for low-income mothers or fathers seeking to establish paternity and parental rights.

Paternity Test for Inheritance

Sometimes illegitimate or unknown children will lay claim to an inheritance. A potential heir may be required to prove paternity for entitlement to an inheritance. In this case, the executor or attorney of the estate may force the purported heir to take a DNA test. Otherwise, the alleged heir would have no claim to the inheritance. Siblings can each be tested to verify that they share either the same father or mother. DNA samples can ibe extracted and tested from one or both of the parents even if they are deceased.

Twin Testing

Contrary to popular belief, a set of twins does not always share the same biological father. Only identical twins truly share the same father. This is because identical twins are formed from the same egg and possess identical genetic codes. DNA testing between twins will reveal whether or not they were fathered by the same man. Yet a separate test must be performed to establish the actual identity of the father. An assumed father can be court-ordered to submit to a DNA test to establish paternity of twins.

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About the Author

Trinise L. Castro has been writing on a variety of topics since 1995. Her work has appeared in "Healthy Families Rappahannock Area," where her health-related articles are published, and online at Gadling.com where she is a published travel writer. An expert real-estate writer, she has also contributed to AchieveRealEstateSolutions.com and SFGate.com. Castro is also a spokeswoman and entrepreneur.

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