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What Is Paternity Testing?


There are a lot of different ways that couples can establish paternity of a child in Florida. When two parties are unable to agree, however, that someone is a child’s father, then it may be necessary to conduct paternity testing. This in turn, relies on the analysis of DNA samples taken from both the child and the putative father. Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of genetic testing in Florida paternity cases.

DNA in Paternity Testing 

Our DNA contains genetic information that is unique to each of us. When a child is conceived, it inherits half of its DNA from one parent and half from the other, which makes it possible to determine whether a child is biologically related to its mother or father through a specific test. DNA tests are extremely accurate and in most cases, results show a probability as high as 99 percent of paternity or exclusion.

Court Ordered Paternity Testing 

Parents who wish to establish paternity of a child can do so voluntarily, by acknowledging paternity at the hospital or at a later date, or by eventually getting married. If, however, two parents don’t agree on paternity, then paternity can be established by filing a civil suit in court. In these cases, the judge will order both parents and the child to provide genetic samples (through a cheek swab) to a designated testing facility. The samples will be sent to a laboratory and the results of that testing will then be provided to the court. If the results reveal that the man is the child’s father, then the court will issue an order of paternity.

Establishing Paternity Through the Child Support Program 

There is also another way to establish paternity with DNA testing that doesn’t require going to court. This is achieved by requesting help from Florida’s Child Support Program, which will also ask the parties to submit their DNA for genetic testing, but doesn’t involve any court appearances. If the results of the test indicate that a man is a child’s father, then the program will issue an Administrative Order of Paternity and ask the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics to add the father’s name to the child’s birth certificate before moving forward to request child support. These orders have the same effect as a paternity judgment issued by the court, but don’t require multiple court appearances or legal fees. The genetic tests are also simple to perform, reliable, and cost free.

Speak with an Experienced Florida Paternity and Fathers’ Rights Lawyer Today 

Trying to establish paternity of a child can be a legally complex and emotionally fraught process. Fortunately, parents do not have to go through this ordeal alone, but can often benefit from the help of an experienced attorney. Dedicated Fort Lauderdale paternity and fathers’ rights lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. can walk you through each step of the paternity process, ensuring that your child’s best interests are protected throughout. Please call our office at 954-945-7591 to set up a free consultation or reach out to our legal team via online message today.




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