Paternity Test - The UK Legal Process
If you are having a court-ordered paternity test it will be worth you familiarising yourself with the legal process. In disputes about the paternity of a child the UK courts have the right to order a paternity test, which is usually based on DNA samples taken from the child and the alleged father. Depending on the details of the court order, maternal DNA samples may also be taken. A court-ordered paternity test has to be carried out by an accredited body, which must have proved that it works to certain high standards and also agreed to work within the government’s guidelines on testing and advertising in order to attain accrediation. When the court order is made you will probably be given a list of accredited testing bodies along with their charges. You will have to pay for your part of the test and if the mother is also being tested you will share the cost.
You cannot get a court-directed paternity test on the NHS so you must be prepared to pay for the paternity test privately. It is crucial that you use an accredited testing body or the results are likely to be inadmissible in court.
Paternity Test - The Process
When taking part in a court-directed paternity test you must ensure that you follow the guidelines for taking samples. These include:
- Finding someone to take your sample - a court-ordered test requires that the samples are taken by a medically qualified person such as your GP. You can arrange this yourself or the testing body may be able to procide a list of local medical professionals. You might have to pay for their services.
- Identification - the testing body will need to see proof that they are testing the correct people so you should bring two full-faced passport photographs for each person to be tested. The person carrying out the test will sign these to say that they are a true likeness of the person(s) they are testing.
- Sampling - the medical professional handling your samples must ensure they follow the guidelines exactly so that there is no danger your samples might become contaminated or degraded. They should place the completed samples in the envelopes provided along with the signed photographs and any other required supporting documentation, then send them back to the testing body.
Following the correct procedure and using an approved testing body will increase your chances of the test being accurate and of the court accepting its findings.
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