Tag Archives: DNA testing

IL divorce lawyerIf you need to identify the biological father of a child, the best avenue is through a DNA paternity test. This form of testing is unanimously accepted by courts across the country. However, what happens if someone is refusing paternity testing? It happens all the time, either the mother refuses to allow a potential father to take the test, or the father refuses to participate. Can someone legally refuse paternity testing?

Who Can Request a DNA Test?

If someone has made a request that you take or allow your child to participate in paternity testing, you are under no obligation to comply as long as it is the entity themselves making the request. However, in doing so, remember that the requesting party may seek legal aid or utilize the resources at the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS). Even if DHFS becomes involved, you are under no obligation to submit.

Can I Refuse a Court Order?

If you refused to comply with paternity testing requests at both the personal and the DHFS level, the requesting party can pursue legal action and have the court order your participation. Once the court issues an order for your cooperation, you must comply. Refusal at this level is in direct violation of a court order, and you become susceptible to harsh punishment.

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IL divorce lawyerThe legal relationship between a father and his child is known as paternity in Illinois. When a child’s parents are married, legal action is not necessary to establish paternity. However, if their parents are not married, a court order or formal document is necessary for the establishment of paternity. If possible, both parents should start the process of proving paternity as soon as possible.

A Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity Form

In Illinois, the easiest method of establishing paternity is for both parents to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity. An Administrative Paternity Order by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Services, or a court Order of Paternity are other options. In the event it is unclear who the father may be, parties should not sign the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity.

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Illinois family law attorneyThe dead beat dad has a negative connotation throughout society. The cliche mental picture of the full-grown man who, after a single night or even years of fun, impregnates a woman and walks away, out of both the lives of the mother and the future child. The legal system spends obscene amounts of money annually tracking these individuals, many times to no avail. While there are men out there hiding from their responsibilities, there are many others who do everything possible to become a part of their child's life. Sometimes, people jump through hoops to have a legal connection with their children while mothers intentionally thwart every effort. Establishing paternity has numerous legal and emotional benefits to consider.

Paternity Ensures the Child’s Rights to Benefits

Without having established paternity, a child will not necessarily be able to utilize significant benefits to which they would be entitled via the father. Benefits not only include the financial benefits but others as well, such as:

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Illinois paternity lawyer, Illinois paternity lawsIf you happen to stop to watch or listen to daytime talk shows, you may begin to question the validity of paternity tests. However, on the other hand, many people wonder whether or not some of those shows are staged, so perhaps we should not put much faith into the dramatic overtures seen when a father is, or is not, identified on television. On a serious note, a very real question that directly impacts the daily life and future of thousands of families across the United States depends on the reliability of paternity testing. Lives depend on them, but how reliable are the results?

How DNA Testing Works

DNA testing, also known as paternity testing, is intended to determine who the father is of a child. The practice gains a sample from both the potential father and the child through blood, cheek swab, umbilical cord, saliva, semen, hair, or another piece of tissue. The samples are then analyzed together to see how many commonalities are found within the two strands of DNA. The more closely two people are related, the more similar their genetic strands appear. A child receives half of their genetic code from each biological parent. Therefore the genetic code is a mixture of both. Now, paternity can be shown as early as eight weeks into the pregnancy through non-invasive blood testing of the mother. Also, if the father is uncooperative, testing may be done through the potential grandparents. This last method, however, may show parentage for any of the siblings in the family. Therefore, if the father has a brother, it does not conclusively say which brother matches more closely.

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Illinois family law attorney, Illinois paternity lawyerUnder the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 (750 ILCS 46), the determination of parentage is defined as the establishment of the parent-child relationship through the voluntary and legal acknowledgment of a declared minor child. In the event the parents of the child were not legally married before or following the birth of a child, Illinois law requires the alleged father to establish positive paternity via a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) form following the legal establishment of paternity through voluntary declaration or testing before his name can be recorded on the child’s birth certificate.

Currently there are three ways to establish legal paternity in the state of Illinois of which include:

  • Both parents voluntary complete, sign and bear witnesses on the VAP form;
  • An Administrative Paternity Order is requested by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Child Services; or
  • An Order of Paternity is requested by the Illinois judicial system.

If parentage is in question, the HFS may opt to establish paternity through established guidelines under their administrative process or seek to establish paternity through the judicial process.

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