"I got different results from a different lab. How is that possible?" |DNAtesting.com

“I got different results from a different lab. How is that possible?”

Can you relate to this scenario? You have already received your results for a DNA paternity test and, for your own personal reasons, you’ve decided to test again. This time your results were different. Perhaps the only factor that changed is where you tested your samples. You begin to question the accuracy of the lab(s) and the test itself. You sent in the same mother, child and possible father both times, and now you’re questioning the accuracy of the lab and the test. [Read more…]

Dr. Janet: Healthy Conversations About Paternity Testing

Healthy Conversations About Paternity Testing

Hi. I’m psychiatrist Dr. Janet Taylor. And I’m here to talk about the importance about having certainty around paternity. 1 in 5 Americans have said that they, or a close friend of family member, have questioned the paternity of a child. A paternity test will answer these questions. And, no matter what the results are, it’s important that all the adults involved make a shared pledge to keep the best interests of the child as the number one priority. Knowing the truth about paternity, and having both parents involved in a child’s life, is so important to the health and well being of that child. According to researchers, children who live without their biological father are, on average, two to three times more likely to be poor, to have emotional and behavioral problems, to struggle in school and to use drugs. These kids are also at higher risk to become victims of child abuse and to engage in criminal behavior. Knowing the truth about a parent’s health history is essential for medical reasons, too, such as identifying some diseases or disorders a child may have inherited from their mother or father. Every child deserves to grow up in an honest, loving, and nurturing environment. Determining paternity is a good first step to providing that for the child.

Increasing Awareness of Paternity Fraud in America

Identigene is working to increase awareness of paternity fraud in America.  Paternity fraud occurs when a woman allows a man to assume he is the biological father, even though he is not. It’s an issue with potentially serious consequences for everyone involved, from financial obligations to custody arrangements to emotional attachments. The campaign to raise awareness of paternity fraud reached millions of people and was conducted through advertising, outreach to news organizations, social media, and the efforts of Dennis Fuller, a Dallas, Texas attorney who has championed this cause. (www.dennisfuller.com)   “In my professional experience, the truth about paternity leads to a positive outcome for everyone involved,” Fuller says.  Mr. Fuller provides the example of his client, Barry Wallace.  Mr. Wallace was sentenced to prison for nonpayment of child support.  His wife sought legal assistance and DNA testing, eventually proving paternity fraud and freeing her husband from jail.   The mother of the little girl had a brief encounter with Wallace and had for years wanted to stop the child support, enabling her husband to officially adopt the little girl and assume financial obligation.  Disestablishing paternity was a positive for all parties.  See more of Mr. Wallace’s personal story here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwO9lYUDoTU&feature=player_embedded&noredirect=1 The state of Texas offers a case study for tackling the issue of paternity fraud.  Texas law had long held that once the court officially identified someone as the father, that designation could not be changed—even if DNA testing proved he was not the father.  Accordingly, men identified as the father were also obligated to pay child support, which can be as high as 40% of a man’s income.  On May 12, 2011, the Texas Family Code was amended.  The new law created a window of time, or statute of limitations, for men previously adjudicated to be “the father” to petition the court for DNA testing. If DNA testing proved a man not the biological father, the court would terminate future child support payments. A deadline of September 1, 2012, was set for men to come forward to petition for DNA testing.  Looking ahead, the new law allows one calendar year to petition the court for DNA testing when a man suspects he is a victim of paternity fraud.  If a man suspects he is not the father, he must notify the court and request a DNA paternity test within 12 months of the day he discovers he is not the father.  If DNA testing proves a man is not the father, the obligation for future child support can be voided.  If the 12-month deadline is missed, DNA does not matter and a man will be held to these future financial obligations. According to SupportKids.com, more than 8 million children in the United States do not receive any of the child support they are owed. The national unpaid child support balance exceeds $106 billion. Penalties for owing child support include wage garnishment and jail. In some cases, men are punished for not paying support for a child later determined not biologically related. The amount of unpaid child support due to paternity fraud is not known.  “Identigene processes thousands of paternity tests every month and about one-third come back excluded, meaning the alleged father is not the biological father. We know paternity fraud is real and its effects can be life altering,” says Identigene executive director, Steve Smith. Disestablishing paternity varies by state.  Some attorneys advise men who father a child outside of marriage to do a DNA paternity test before signing a birth certificate.   If you suspect paternity fraud, Identigene suggests contacting a family law attorney to discuss next steps.  More information about legal paternity tests can be found at http://www.dnatesting.com/legal-paternity-testing/legal-paternity-test-court-admissible.