Paternity Testing

What you should know about establishing paternity

There are several reasons to consider having a paternity test conducted, but whether yours are emotional or financial in nature, you'll want to make sure you proceed in the best possible way to avoid uncertainty. Paternity testing is a relatively simple process, can be conducted before or after delivery and you'll have your results in a matter of days. However, there are a variety of testing methods and products out there, ranging in effectiveness and legal authority. If you are serious about discovering who the father of your baby is, gather some crucial information before you begin the paternity testing procedure.

Legal Paternity Testing for the Good of the Child

Determining the father of your child will likely be a big relief to you; determining parentage could be vital for your child's wellbeing. First, an accurate and recorded biological parentage will allow access to legal and social benefits that otherwise could be off-limits to your child. Secondly, establishing paternity will open up a medical history that could prove life-saving down the road if your child is faced with a severe health condition or emergency. The last thing you want to think about is your child suffering physically, emotionally or financially, but knowing that the situation can be resolved because you chose to legally establish paternity should bring you some comfort.

Aside from major medical or financial problems, unresolved paternity can lead to a mess of personal complications down the road. From custody to adoption to child care and other contentious issues, you could find yourself locked into a stalemate with the father (or possible father) that will surely bring emotional distress to you and the child that is caught in the middle of it. Of course, testing is pricey and it's not always agreeable to everyone involved, which has led to the home paternity testing kit as a covert and inexpensive answer to the burning question of paternity.

Is Home Paternity Testing Accurate?

A paternity test you can conduct in the privacy of your own home may appeal to you, but consider the consequences. First, can you ever be entirely sure that the results are accurate? And even if they are, are you prepared for the immediate division of your family, the mistrust that can result and the possible accusation that you had altered the results for your own gain? Conducting a paternity test yourself can indeed complicate the situation, and you may not even get the certainty you're after.

If you want to find out once and for all who the father is -- and be sure your government recognizes him as the father -- you need to have a blood test performed at an accredited laboratory. DNA paternity testing that is conducted, processed and contained in a professional laboratory will cost more than a cheap home testing kit, but you will get two very important results: a definitive answer and legal acknowledgment. In the end, you'll save yourself money, time, hurt and hassle by going the professional route, so look into facilities accredited by the AABB or equivalent association to compare cost and services.

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