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How to ensure accurate DNA testing for paternity

Paternity tests involve comparing a child’s DNA with that of the man believed to be the father. Like other types of DNA testing, paternity tests are widely believed to produce accurate results.

However, there are ways that paternity tests can be manipulated, either by the mother or the presumed father. Paternity fraud can be carried out in a number of ways. For example, a woman may submit DNA for a child she knows is the biological offspring of the man she claims is the father of another of her children. A man may submit DNA from someone else rather than his own.

A lab isn’t going to catch paternity fraud unless the fraudster does something careless like submit the DNA of a child or adult of a different gender than the one whose DNA was supposed to be submitted.

These scenarios can only occur if “at-home” tests are used and the testing isn’t witnessed by the parties involved or at least by unbiased parties. If you’re relying on an at-home test to establish paternity, it’s best for all parties (mother, child and potential father) to be present and witness the swabbing that’s used to collect DNA. They also need to witness the sealing of the envelopes to make sure that there’s no tampering with the samples.

Whether you’re a man attempting to establish your paternity of a child — or prove that you’re not the father — or a mother attempting to hold the biological father of your child responsible for financial support, it’s wise to seek legal guidance before doing any paternity testing. An experienced attorney can advise you on the best way to go about getting DNA testing done so that the results are accurate and will be accepted by the court.

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