Legal Paternity Testing: What About?

By Clark Huffine

DNA profiles of the man and the child, which respectively contain encrypted sets reflecting the genetic makeup, can be used to identify and verify the biological relations between them. Thus, legal paternity testing may be defined as the process used to effectively identify the legal paternity of a father with respect to a child through DNA testing or other genetic testing.

Under the law, legal paternity is the acknowledgment of the parental relationship between a man and a child. In this particular jurisdiction, whenever the paternity of the child is being put in issue, one party may rightfully seek redress from the courts through a petition for the determination of the paternity of putative fathers.

A prosperous petition to the court will assign the paternity to a particular man who will be deemed for all intents and purposes as the father of the child. This court ruling will usually include awards for alimony or support for the child, vesting of legal rights to the child, and other appropriate rights such as visitation rights.

Once a father has established paternity and, if he wishes to be part of the child's upbringing, he can effectively establish his parental rights with his child by filing a parenting plan. In the United States, under the law parents are required to file this plan with a district court. It outlines how the biological parents will share parental responsibilities on matters such as legal custody, physical custody which means parenting time or visitation, and medical insurance.

Legal paternity testing through DNA samples, to be acceptable, must strictly observe the chain of custody requirement to foreclose issues on irregularities or inconsistencies. But, to substantially comply with this requirement all tested parties have to be properly identified and their specimens collected by a third person not related to any of the parties and lacks interest in the case. This is so that it can yield to awards or rulings for child support, inheritance, social welfare benefits, immigration, or adoption purposes. - 32385

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