It used to be that almost anything other than holding hands was strictly forbidden before marriage. However, in today’s western societies, it’s quite normal to become engaged in sexual relationships long before marriage is even considered. Television is dominated by reality shows where young singles pursue all kinds of relationships, and tabloids are full of stories about celebrities who switch partners more often than they change their underwear. In today's culture, it’s not always clear who the biological parents of a child are. This presents many legal problems, for example, child support, custody, and paternity issues. Some cases have been reported over the years where the mother of a child has lied about who her child’s biological father is and tried to get child support payments from another man who she claims is the bio-dad. According to one study, paternal discrepancy (i.e. a child is identified as being biologically fathered by someone other than the man who believes he is the father) rates “vary between studies from 0.8% to 30%.” Luckily, a paternity test can be taken to set the records straight.
Paternity tests are used to prove whether a man is the biological father of a child. Nowadays, DNA tests are the most common and accurate way to test for paternity. In a DNA test, the probability of paternity is 99.99% when the father is biologically related to the child and 0% if he is not. Tests take a short period of time and are simple to perform–usually a cotton swab is used to collect what are called “buccal cells” from the inside of a cheek. The DNA inside the cells is then matched against the child and mother’s buccal swab samples.
While taking a paternity test is a reliable method for determining parentage, it’s usually just the first step. If you are involved in paternity related legal disputes, you’ll need professional counseling. Contact an experienced Chicago metro area family law and paternity lawyer at your earliest convenience.
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