Paternity testing in the laboratory is a complex, but very accurate process that allows an individual to prove the paternity of a person through DNA testing. This testing helps identify the biological father of a child and helps those involved to identify the truth and get the peace of mind they are looking for. This blog post will address several questions you might have about DNA testing when only one adult is involved.
It is possible to have a DNA paternity test without the father’s direct involvement?
One way is to test the father’s parents or his first-degree relatives. Or, non-standard samples from the father, such as an autopsy sample can be used. However, a Chain of Custody form that authorises the procedure must be signed by his next of kin and the coroner. This allows for a court to recognise the validity of the results. And, the results will be less conclusive if the sample is biologically more distant from the father’s closest living relative.
Paternity Testing be Done Without the Father’s Knowledge
Conducting a DNA paternity test without the father’s knowledge is not legal in the UK. All adults being tested must give their consent to have their samples tested. According to the Human Tissue ACT, to take someone’s DNA with the intention of having it tested without his or her consent would be to commit a criminal offence. Legally, he must sign a Chain of Custody form that authorises the laboratory to undertake the testing process.
Can the Father Refuse DNA Paternity Testing?
The alleged father of a child does have the right to refuse a court-ordered DNA test. However, he will experience legal consequences for doing so. DNA testing is typically considered a civil lawsuit and the judge can try and force the alleged father to provide a sample to a Ministry of Justice Approved laboratory.
If the alleged father refuses to take the test at this point, he can be held in contempt of court. This can lead to legal consequences such as fines and the court taking the view that the alleged father has something to hide. The court may assume paternity in the absence of a test. If a paternity case is filed with a court, the court will not necessarily order the alleged father to have a paternity test immediately. Initially, it will review the evidence submitted. If there’s enough information to warrant a paternity test, the court will issue the order.
How Accurate is a DNA Paternity Test?
If you are able to get a sample directly from the father, as is the case with simple buccal cheek swabs, these tests can have up to 99.9999% accuracy.
DNA tests are powerful tools when determining paternity in divorce and related custody or child support cases. They help women identify biological fathers, and alleged fathers prove they are not biological fathers.
What matters most is how the samples are collected. They must follow the chain-of-custody process. When being tested, mothers and named fathers must present a valid ID and/or passport photograph, sign the Chain of Custody authorisation, and their samples must be securely packaged with their ID.
Can You Contest the Results of a Potentially Falsified DNA Test?
In some cases, DNA test results can be contested. There are a few situations where this can happen:
- If the result is believed to be fraudulent
- In cases where the alleged father proves he is infertile
- Clear evidence is available showing someone has tampered with the lab results
How Many DNA Tests Are Done Each Year?
In 2006, it was estimated that 30,000 paternity tests are performed each year in the UK. Statistically, men who question whether they are the biological father of the child they’re raising are in fact not the biological father about 30% of cases. Paternity tests are a useful tool for proving paternity in divorces and other legal cases. If you are trying to determine paternity, just make sure you have the results collected legally by using Chain of Custody procedures.