Your Legal Paternity Test – What You Need to Know

The difference between a non-legal and legal paternity test is the document’s admissibility in court. The DNA specimen for the paternity test must pass through a Chain of Custody in order to be considered official.

Chain of Custody, or CoC, is the foundation of the sample’s validity in court, and proving it is evidence that can help you get child support, custody, etc. The lab conducting the test must be able to document all of the following:

  • Client identification (Client’s state issued ID)
  • Integrity of the specimen collection
  • Integrity of the specimen shipment to the lab

Regardless of the type of test conducted, the goal is the same- to establish the child’s paternity. As long as the lab follows the standards of the Chain of Command, the resulting documentation will be admissible in court.

Getting a Legal Paternity Test

You have options for paternity tests — prenatal (before the child is born) and postnatal (after the baby is born). The type of test you decide to perform will clearly be based on you and your child’s level of comfort.

Prenatal legal paternity tests can be run no sooner than the end of the first trimester. You have three options for prenatal testing:

  • Amniocentesis
  • CVS
  • NIPP

The most non-invasive choice is NIPP, or Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity. As opposed to amniocentesis and CVS (Chronic Villa Sampling), NIPP does not involve any needles being inserted near the womb. Instead, NIPP only uses a small blood sample from both the mother and the potential father. By the time the fetus is eight weeks old, a lab can detect traces of its DNA in the mother’s bloodstream and compare its genetic markers with that of the potential father.

There are two types of postnatal legal paternity tests: buccal (cheek) sample or blood sample. Most labs will conduct the least invasive test, the buccal sample. The lab technician merely swabs the inside of the cheek to collect a small saliva sample to send to the lab. There is enough DNA from the child and potential father’s saliva to compare their genetic markers with up to 99.9% certainty.

Why Do You Need a Legal Paternity Test?

You may need a legal paternity test for a number of reasons, but the two most common reasons are to legally establish child custody and child support. You may also need to establish legal paternity to help the child get a birth certificate, immigration issues, tax forms, wills, or adoption.

When choosing a lab for testing, remember that you do not have to spend a fortune to have the test completed. All you need to do is make sure that the lab you choose is AABB Certified. Accreditation from the Relationship Testing Accreditation Program means that the lab meets the standards to complete legal DNA paternity testing.

Do you need to run an affordable and reliable legal paternity test? Find out how can help.

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