Some family law cases require parents to determine the paternity, or biological fatherhood, of a child. This is typically done through a DNA test. There are many different ways to obtain and test this DNA, but only a few are accepted in a St. Louis, Missouri court of law. It’s critical that if paternity is an issue in your family law case, you learn about the types of paternity testing that may be available to you and what is legally admissible and what isn’t.
The first opportunity that parents have to test the paternity of a child is in-utero. This can be done via an amniocentesis in the hospital; however, there are potential health risks to the mother and baby when an amniocentesis is done. The results of this type of test are legally admissible in court because the test is performed by a medical professional in a controlled setting.
Paternity testing kits are available at many drug stores and online for home use, and it’s as simple as swabbing the cheek of both the potential father and the child and sending the swabs to a private lab for results. Although this route is quite possibly the easiest way to determine paternity, the test results will not be admissible due to the uncontrolled environment of the test and the inability to truly verify the results.
If you wish to have paternity testing done discreetly, it is possible through the same private labs that produce home paternity testing kits. You may obtain a DNA sample, such as a hair or a toothbrush, and send it in without notifying the child or the potential father. Again, since unconventional samples may be contaminated and the environment is not controlled, these results are inadmissible in court.
Apart from prenatal testing, legal paternity testing — often arranged by an attorney to be performed in a hospital — is the only other form of test that is accepted in court. A third party completes the testing in a controlled environment and the chain of custody can be verified, ensuring that the DNA samples are never compromised or tampered with and that the results are accurate.
If you need paternity testing, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney at the Haefner Law Office, LLC today for assistance. Call now for a consultation at (314) 200-6101.