It’s now possible to create a genetic fingerprint or DNA profile that identifies a person and his or her biological parents. DNA profiling is a technique of extracting and analyzing genetic material from cells and can be used in child custody and divorce cases.
Typically, for paternity testing, consent forms must be signed by both the adults and custodial parent of the minor child being tested. Valid identification is also required. Adults must have a government-issued ID such as a driver’s license, passport or military ID. For minor children, parents are required to present a birth certificate or Social Security card for identification. To prevent paternity fraud, the identification is photocopied with a photograph and thumbprint of each person tested.
To collect DNA samples for paternity testing is typically through a buccal smear, or cheek swab. Cheek swabs are a non-invasive way to collect DNA material for accurate paternity testing. In most cases, samples from the child, potential father and mother are tested. In cases involving an unborn child, blood or umbilical fluid from the mother can be used to extract DNA to compare to the potential father’s DNA. To check paternity after a child’s birth, blood from either the umbilical cord or the infant’s cheek can be used for paternity testing.
After the DNA samples are collected, the samples are sent to a laboratory for DNA paternity testing. The results are generally available within a week.
DNA testing laboratories, such as the DNA Diagnostics Center, are accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks and perform DNA paternity tests using a Chain of Custody documentation process. The Chain of Custody process is the standard that satisfies the legal requirements for test results to be admissible in court.
The results of DNA paternity tests done by an accredited laboratory can include the father of a child with 99.99% accuracy or exclude a potential father completely.
For legal advice on a paternity action call the attorneys at Allen & Abaray, P.A. One of our experienced attorneys will be happy to answer all of your questions during a free consultation.
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