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The Top 3 Reasons a Paternity Test could be Necessary

The Top 3 Reasons a Paternity Test could be Necessary

Paternity tests are ordered or considered for many different reasons. While years ago, paternity was simply something that needed to be assumed, today we have the technology necessary to find accurately the father of a child through DNA paternity testing. While paternity tests are performed for a variety of reasons, there are three top reasons why testing is done. More often than not, paternity testing is carried out for legal purposes. When it is not for legal purposes paternity testing is performed for peace of mind and medical history.


  • For the Purpose of Legal Action

Paternity tests are a necessity if either parent needs to take legal action, particularly in the cases of custody arrangements and child support. Before a father can be ordered to pay child support, a paternity test must be submitted to recognize legally the man as the father of the child. When a woman needs to take such legal steps to get child support a court ordered paternity test is usually ordered by a judge, particularly if the father was not present at the birth and did not sign the birth certificate as the father of the child. If a man has doubts about whether or not a child belongs to him, a paternity test should be taken for legal reasons. If the presumed father of the child is not the actual, biological father of the child he is within his rights to absolve any legal obligation to the child. For example, if a husband and wife have a child together, but the father doubts the paternity of the child and wishes to absolve himself from legal responsibility, he would first need to take a paternity test. If he is, in fact, the father he is legally responsible for the child. If he is not the biological father of the child he can petition the courts to absolve his legal rights and responsibility to the child, even if his name initially appeared on the birth certificate.

  • To Add a Father’s Name to a Birth Certificate

In some states, a father’s name cannot be added to a birth certificate unless he or she is present at the birth, and/or submits to a paternity test. Paternity tests, in most states, are only required if the parents of the child are not wed. If the parents are married, the husband is presumed to be the father of the child and can be added to a birth certificate without testing. In states that do not recognize an unwed father is the assumed father of a child, a paternity test will be needed in order to add a father to a child’s birth certificate. Adding the father is necessary for legal purposes, as well, particularly in cases where a custody agreement will need to be arranged.

  • Peace of Mind and Medical History

A paternity test may be administered for several reasons other than legal ones. Paternity tests are often administered for peace of mind, and for accurate medical history. If there is some doubt as to the father of the child, a paternity test is in order. For example, if there is more than one potential father it is advisable to have both take a paternity test. This can offer peace of mind to a couple who have doubts about the paternity of the child. Additionally, accurate paternity may be needed in a case where a medical problem of genetic origins may be present, or may present later in life. Having an accurate picture of a child’s inherited medical history can be extremely helpful for the parents, child and the medical community.


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