Establishing Paternity in Texas with DNA Test
Establishing Paternity in Texas is different than other states. Know the laws and requirements to protect yourself and your family
There are several ways to establish paternity in Texas. If the parents of a newborn are not married, they can use an Acknowledgement of Paternity form. Once both parents sign, the father’s name can be entered in the birth records, providing both legal rights and obligations. According to the Attorney General of Texas, a father with legal paternity can ask for visitation rights, but will also be required to provide child support. Establishing paternity will also help the child obtain other benefits such as Social Security, veteran survivor benefits, and health insurance.
On the other hand, once a man is established as the father, he may be held liable for child support for years, even if a DNA test later proves he is not the biological dad, and even if he has no right of visitation! Don’t take signing an acknowledgement of paternity lightly, because you can be sure that the Texas court system won’t either.
If both parents won’t sign Acknowledgment of Paternity
There are many reasons why parents might not sign the acknowledgement, often leaving the other with a desire for closure and the child with a need for a father and paternal support. In some cases, the mom isn’t sure who the real father is; in other cases, the father has doubts. Regardless, the appropriate course of action in this case is to get a legal paternity test. If both parties don’t agree to this, lawyers should be consulted; it is possible to get a Texas court to order the parties to get tested. Health Street has DNA & Drug Testing Locations in Texas
Legal DNA Testing to Establish Paternity
A legal DNA test is like any other paternity test, except it is professionally collected and submitted to a lab along with a chain of custody; this helps make the result admissible in court. DNA testing involves collecting a sample of the DNA from both the man and the child. The mother does not need to take part. The simplest method is to obtain samples by swabbing the inner cheeks of both parties. This allows the lab technician collect buccal cells, which contain the DNA needed for the test.
If the possible father is deceased
If the purported father is recently deceased, then it is possible to conduct the DNA test by taking a sample from the body. In other cases, paternity can be established by first establishing grand paternity and showing that the child shares the DNA of the parents of the purported father. The determination of whether or not these type of indirect DNA tests will be legally admissible may vary by jurisdiction, so consult with a Texas lawyer before proceeding.
Accuracy of DNA Testing
DNA testing is one of the simplest methods of proving paternity. This is because the test will either show that the man has a 99.9% chance of being the father of the child or no chance of being the father. This leaves no room for any ambiguity. Sibling DNA tests may or may not be as conclusive. The results will provide a probability figure which may or may not be over 95 or 99%. To improve the conclusiveness of such tests, additional known family members should take part in these tests.