DNA Test For Paternity, How Does It Work

The parties are given an appointment for DNA tests at a laboratory. The petitioner or respondent will have to pay for the testing, unless the court finds that the party cannot afford it. If so, DSS will pay for the test. The laboratory will send the results directly to the court. 

When the parties return to court, the court will explain the test results. DNA test results are expressed in percentages. For example, the DNA test might show that the man is 98% likely to be the biological father. If, after learning about the DNA results, the parties agree on paternity, the court may enter an order of filiation. If the parties still do not agree on paternity, the matter is adjourned for a hearing. At the hearing, both parties may testify and present witnesses, and the blood or DNA test results may be offered in evidence. The petitioner usually has the burden of proving paternity by clear and convincing evidence. If the DNA test results are 95% likelihood of paternity or higher, the burden shifts to the respondent to prove he is not the child’s father. If the petitioner presents sufficient proof, the court will enter an order of filiation. If not, the petition will be dismissed. 

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