Paternity testing has come a long way! In the eighteenth century and even earlier there was no scientific way to establish paternity. The only way to determine whether or not a man was the biological father of a child was to look for physical similarities between the two. People also believed that eye color was the main marker for paternity. If a child’s eyes did not match their father’s eye color, people believed that someone else must be the father. Now when paternity is in doubt we have a scientifically valid test to prove with complete certainty whether or not a man is the biological father of a child.
If you’ve decided to pursue a legal DNA paternity test there are some things to keep in mind. First, make sure that a legal DNA test is the one that fits your needs. If you need to legally establish paternity for child support, immigration, a birth certificate, or other legal issues, a legal DNA test is the only one that will suffice. However, if you just want to establish paternity for yourself a home DNA test may be enough for you. A good rule of thumb is that if you need the paternity test results for anyone other than yourself, a legal DNA test is probably a better choice.
You also need to pick a reliable lab for your test. For a legal test the DNA lab must be AABB-accredited. This ensures that the laboratory follows the proper chain of custody to ensure that there is no chance for DNA samples or test results to be falsified or tampered with. Going with a laboratory that is not accredited means that you run the risk of the test results not being accepted by a court. Worse, the results of your DNA test could be compromised! Choosing a laboratory that has consistently upheld high standards of confidentiality, maintained careful records, and provided quick, accurate results will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
When you have chosen the place for your DNA test be sure that your child will be comfortable going there. Although they only need to take a cheek swab it is important that the staff members involved in taking the sample can put your child at ease and keep them from being uncomfortable during the procedure. Once the samples have been taken you should have your results in about 3-5 days. Typically, if you are in a big hurry you can pay extra for rushed results. The results can then be used in any legal or court proceedings.
Now that you know what’s involved in a legal paternity test you can make the best decision for you and your child about where to go and how to prepare. Choosing to pursue legal DNA paternity testing is one of the best things you can do for your child! It will set your child up to receive the economic help they need to get through childhood and adolescence. Choosing a legitimate, renowned laboratory will make the process as easy as possible for you and your child.