Proving your Parenthood: DNA Tests Help Establish Fathers Rights

Fatherhood is an emotionally complex experience even when one is certain that their children are biologically on theirs. Sometimes, however, there may be uncertainty regarding paternity, on the part of the father, mother, or both.

In some situations, you and/or the child’s mother may not be positive that you are the child’s real father. In others, the mother may firmly believe that you are the other parent, but you have your doubts. Conversely, you may be completely sure that you are the biological father, but met with with the birth mother’s uncertainty or even denial of you as the father.

This last possibility – the one in which you have no doubt that the child is yours, but are being told that you have no parental rights – can be the most anxiety-provoking, confusing, depressing, and frustrating situation of all. You might feel uncertain about what to do, and alone in your quest to figure out a game plan.

The best way to determine whether or not a child is actually, biologically yours, of course, is to take a DNA paternity test. There are two types of paternity tests: Legal DNA Tests and Home DNA Tests. Typically 99.9 percent effective at determining if a specific man is, indeed, the father, paternity tests are the only way to be absolutely sure if a child is yours. They work by comparing the genetic code – the DNA – of the parent to the child. If the child’s DNA matches, in part, the father’s, it is seen as evidence of inheritance, and the biological relationship between the pair is established. A sample is typically taken by swabbing the inner cheeks of both child and alleged parent, though it is also possible to take a prenatal sample if necessary.

Legal DNA Tests may be ordered by the court system, in disputes over paternity or custody, and are conducted in-person by a trained technician, so that the results are legally defensible. Legal DNA Test fees can range from $400 to $500. It generally takes 3 to 5 days to receive the results of a Legal DNA test.

Home DNA Tests are for the sole benefit of the parties involved, and are done at home, at your own convenience, with a collection kit. After you collect the samples, they are sent back to the company you ordered the kit from so that they can analyze the results. The cost of home paternity tests ranges from $80 to $275. You will receive the results in 5 to 7 days.

If the results of the DNA test proves you are the biological father of the child, you may experience mixed feelings. Relief, at knowing you were correct. Joy, at knowing you have a child. Anger, at the child’s mother, for having been uncertain as to your paternity. If the biological mother is supportive of your involvement in the child’s life, then the path ahead is clear: go be the best daddy you can be!

Unfortunately, not all women will welcome the father’s presence in their life or their child’s. If this is the case for you, know you are not alone, and know that you do have rights. If you took a Home DNA Test to prove paternity, it is time to request a Legal DNA Test, so that you have legal documentation of your relationship to your child. You may have a tough battle ahead, but it’s your child – and your relationship with him or her – that’s at stake. It’s worth the fight.

Once a Legal DNA Test proves your paternity, you will be entitled to visitation and other parental rights that you would not have otherwise. You will also then be responsible for paying child support to the mother, so long as she remains the custodial parent. Being established as the child’s legal father will also entitle the child to a complete medical history on you and your family, and the long-term emotional and physical involvement of their dad in their life – an impact so great that it cannot possibly be measured in either words or in dollars.