Paternity: The DNA Test and Common Questions
Anyone who has ever watched syndicated talk shows knows that it is a cinch to get a DNA test. Here are some of the common questions about the process.
"Does the baby need to be born first?"
Indeed not, in many cases. There is a form of the paternity DNA test that can be done in a prenatal environment and determine the child's fatherhood before birth. The newer versions of this testing are very safe to both the child and the mother. It can be a good thing to get the results as soon as possible so both the mother and the father can begin making the appropriate arrangements. It is also important for someone who suspects he is not the father, as he may not wish to be financially responsible for the child. Look to your local clinics and private facilities to see if they offer this screening.
"Does the mother need to be involved?"
A DNA test can be done without the mother's participation, given that the mother approves of the testing being done. Most clinics will not charge more for the kind of testing done without a mother's participation and the results should be every bit as accurate. Having said all that, there are very good reasons for the mother to be involved. For one, the court may deem that it must be that way. Two, the mother can be privy to a copy of the results if she participates, which she may not otherwise be. Finally, if there are unexpected results, her input and analysis may be needed.
"Can the test be done if the suspected father isn't around?"
This is a little trickier, but a DNA test isn't out of the question. The first option is to find a sample of the missing father's blood or tissue. This can be done if there is some in storage. This is more likely to be successful if the father is dead, rather than missing, as the coroner's office will have the samples needed. If this isn't possible, a grandparentage test may be possible. If a DNA test can prove that both parents of the suspected father are related to the baby, it can be used as indirect evidence that the man is indeed the father.
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