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How paternity testing works

Identifying the biological father of a child without a doubt was difficult in the past. Nowadays, with the aid of science and other technological advancements, identification of the biological father is as easy as determining if the male who is tested and the child share the same DNA. Missourians who are interested in learning more about paternity testing can continue reading about how it works and its accuracy. After reading this blog, readers should better understand the importance of paternity testing, especially if a reader is questioning paternity.

DNA is similar to a person's fingerprint; it is unique and different from anyone else's DNA. When a child is conceived, the parents pass on their DNA to the child. If issues concerning paternity arise, a DNA test may be indicated. The test starts with collecting a DNA sample from the prospective father. Often, a swab to a person's cheek, inside the mouth is performed to collect DNA. The sample is then sent to the lab to determine if it matches the child's DNA. If test results show a 99.99 percent probability that DNA matches, then it is highly likely that the person tested is the biological father of the child.

Paternity testing can be court-ordered or based on the willingness of the father to undergo testing. In many cases, a father can request a paternity test to determine if he is the biological parent of the child. The connection between father and child will be established by the results of the test. Once paternity is established, a father earns the legal right to seek custody and visitation.

Paternity testing is a legal issue. Parents who are facing such issues should consider their legal options before they proceed. They may speak to a knowledgeable legal professional who can further explain how the process works.

Source: Cleveland Clinic, "DNA paternity test," Accessed on Jan. 21, 2015

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