Paternity testing is undoubtedly a life changing decision. Unfortunately, getting the paternity test done is not always as simple and straightforward as we would like it to. The following are some of the problematic situations that arise with DNA tests and suggestions on how to solve them.
How do I find out which the alleged fathers are ?
This can be tough especially if there have been sexual rapports with several men in a brief period of time. Trying to get pen to paper over the possible time of conception might help; you can try and discuss the issue with a gynecologist or obstetrician who can tell you what stage you are at in your pregnancy and help you get a clearer idea of who the father might be. You may opt for a prenatal paternity test or a paternity test after the child is born. Get Additional information about prenatal tests.
In some cases the father might come forward wishing to know whether the child is his or not and request a paternity test so as to clear any doubts. In most cases these men are willing to provide support and maintenance for the child which makes thing simpler as it saves court cases. If you have had rapports with the man and you yourself are not sure whether he is or is not the father, he has every right, from a moral and legal perspective, to ask for a DNA test.
What happens when the alleged fathers are brothers ?
Brother share a considerable amount of their DNA. If a mother had intercourse with two brothers and believes one could be the father of a child a DNA test will clearly identify which father is the biological father of the child. The paternity test result might show a 98% probability of paternity with one of the alleged fathers which clearly indicates that the tested man is closely related to the child. But this probability is not high enough to indicate that he is the biological father. The 98% result indicates that the tested father is the uncle of the child. To be the biological father, the probability of paternity will be in excess of 99.9%.
Can I do Paternity Testing if the alleged father is in prison ?
The situation may occur in which you will need a paternity test from jail. Every prison facility will have a system in place which makes it possible to get hold of a DNA sample from convicts. The first thing to do is to contact the correctional facility and get fully advised on how to go about getting the DNA sample for the paternity test. The sampling procedure will involve using mouth swabs but it will most likely not be you who will be able to take the samples; the prison facility will have a person who is responsible for collecting DNA samples from inmates. The Child Support Services Department can also provide some assistance in this matter.
What do I do in cases of violent or abusive fathers ?
In such cases you may have to go to court and get a court ordered paternity test. The judge will have to issue the court order and the alleged father will have to take the paternity test. Of course, you cannot be physically forced to submit to a DNA test but there are consequence should the person act against what the judge has ordered.
Can Paternity Testing be carried out if the alleged father is deceased ?
If the alleged father is deceased there are two possible scenarios: either the alleged father is buried or the alleged father is still to be buried. If the alleged father has just died, freshly cut nail clipping from fingers or toes can be used or hairs plucked out for a hair DNA test. If the body has been buried perhaps you might have access to things belonging to the alleged father who may contain DNA; recently smoked cigarettes or a toothbrush. If the body has been buried you may try and either opt for an exhumation and involve a forensic pathologist to collect the DNA samples (bone from the femur or humerus bone). These options are more expensive and will effect the cost of the paternity test.
It might also be possible to have a less costly option as exhumations can be quite tedious from a legal perspective. Relationship DNA testing is great way of confirming paternity by testing the relatives of the alleged father; the closer the relationship, the more accurate the DNA test. Perhaps an aunt/uncle test or a sibling DNA test can help solve the paternity issues. Ideally, paternity testing directly between alleged father and child is more accurate.