Four Reasons to Establish Paternity through DNA Testing

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DNAFour Reasons to Establish Paternity through DNA Testing

When many people think of paternity tests, they may think of lawsuits, courtroom dramas, or even television productions involving one of the former. Realistically speaking, though, establishing paternity through a DNA test is very common, and many people — whether they are couples or have separated — choose to do it well before any conflict arises between them. There are several benefits to establishing paternity, and while some are obvious, parents often initially overlook others. A quick review of these under appreciated advantages makes it clear that DNA tests to establish paternity are more than worth taking.

Ensuring the Child’s Support and Well-Being

The child enjoys many of the more obvious benefits of establishing paternity. If a couple separates, or if they were never in a relationship, a homedna paternity test can be the key to holding the father responsible for providing child support. When the parents are not married, the child becomes entitled to unique benefits if paternity is established, including access to the father’s insurance and financial benefits such as Social Security. The child also gains the right to access information about the father’s medical history, which is knowledge that can prove invaluable, especially if there is a history of medical problems on that side of the family. On a less tangible level, taking a quick and affordable test to legally establish paternity is an emotional boon for the child, as it shows that the father cared enough to make the effort and establish his rights.

Protecting the Father’s Parental Rights

On a related note, establishing paternity also protects a father’s right to stay involved in his child’s life. If paternity is not established, the father may not be obligated to pay child support, but he will not have a right to make legal decisions on behalf of the child or even secure visitation time with the child. Fathers who are involved with the mother or separated but maintaining a healthy relationship may not see securing these rights as a high priority, but doing so is an essential form of protection in case the situation changes somehow. For instance, if the mother remarries, the birth father may need to resort to legal means to assert his parental rights.

Expediting Conflict Resolution in the Future

Regardless of which parent denies or disputes paternity, conflicts over paternity can be time-consuming, costly, and stressful for every party involved, including the child. In many cases, in the event of a dispute, the court will simply order paternity testing, but in some states, if the father has already been legally declared the father, the test results may not matter. In other states, fathers may be declared the legal father even without being established biologically as the father. Often, such outcomes lead to additional legal struggles. Since laws regarding paternity are complicated and some legal declarations or orders cannot be reversed later, if there is any question on the part of either parent about paternity, it is best to take the test early on. This allows both parents to go forward with an understanding of what their rights and obligations are.

Providing Conclusive Results

DNA testing is not the only means of legally establishing paternity, although it is the most reliable. In most states, if a couple is married at the time of conception, the husband is assumed to be the biological father and can sign an acknowledgement of paternity once the child is born. Often, this option is also available to couples that are not married, and these acknowledgements may be rescinded within a certain deadline. A DNA test, on the other hand, offers scientifically based results that are much harder to dispute or retract later. By comparing the DNA of the child to the DNA of the supposed father, these tests can determine with a high degree of certainty — some promise more than 99 percent accuracy — whether the two are directly related. Establishing paternity is something that many parents may not see as strictly necessary for various reasons. However, more people are choosing to take this step to protect their rights while guarding against future uncertainty, conflict, and expenses. If you are considering whether ordering a DNA paternity test is necessary, it is also important to think about the benefits that the results of such a test offer for your child. Compared to the small costs and effort associated with taking one of these tests, the ongoing benefits for the child and both parents typically make the process more than worthwhile.

 

Disclosure:  I did receive compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. MumbleBeeInc

 

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