Genetic Testing

Genetic testing identifies a child’s biological father.

Genetic testing is available from Child Support at no cost when paternity has not yet been established. Contact Child Support to set up an appointment.

What to expect:

Genetic testing is done at a Child Support office.  The mother, child, and man believed to be the father may all come in for testing at the same time or separately.  Child Support will do its best to accommodate individual schedules.  Please call for an appointment.

When you arrive for testing, you will be asked to provide a photo ID.  If the child who is being tested has an identification card, it is helpful to bring that along too.  At the time of the test, photos will be taken of each party being tested in case there is ever a question about who submitted the samples.

To do the genetic test, skin cells are collected from each of the parties.  The cells are collected by rubbing a swab on the the inside cheek of the mouth of each of the parties.  The swabs are then sealed and packaged so that they cannot be tampered with and sent to LabCorp where the latest technology is used to compare the cells of the mother, child and man believed to be the father. 

 

Results:

Results are received in about 2 weeks.  Child Support will notify all parties of the results by letter.

  • 00% - Not the biological father
  • 99% - Biological father

When the results are 00%, the man is determined not to be the biological father of a child. Child Support will not proceed any further with that man and will work with the mother to gather information on other possible fathers.

When the results are 99%, the man is determined to be the biological father.  He will be given the opportunity to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity.  The Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity is a legal document signed by both parents which makes the biological father the legal father.  The man's name will be added to the child's birth certificate, and he will have all of the rights and responsibilities of being the child's legal father.

If the parties do not sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, the genetic test results will be used to legally establish the biological father as the child's legal father through a court order.  The court order may include child support and medical support obligations.

 

What else do I need to know?

Genetic testing is good for all parties because it removes any doubt about who the biological father is.  In rare instances, Child Support does establish an order against a man without genetic testing.  This is done when the man believed to be the father does not respond to notices sent by Child Support.  The lack of response is deemed to be an admission of parentage and will result in the man being named the child's legal father. 

When a man has already been determined to be a child's legal father, Child Support cannot provide genetic testing.  For example, if a man has signed a legal document acknowledging paternity of a child, Child Support will not provide genetic testing.  It is very important for all parties to be sure of the paternity of a child before signing any legal document acknowledging paternity.  If a man has been determined to be a child's legal father, but is not sure he is the biological father, he should contact an attorney for advice.