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How Does DNA Paternity Testing Work in Illinois?

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IL divorce lawyerFor children who are born to married parents, establishing paternity is easy: The mother is obviously the mother, and the mother’s husband is assumed to be the father. However, when two people are not married, establishing the parentage of a child can pose some challenges.

Parents must seek to establish legal paternity for their child another way. Because Illinois law is deeply concerned with the wellbeing of a child and seeks involvement and support from both parents, courts will often issue Orders of Paternity in order to establish who is the child’s legal father. Before a court does this, however, it will need to determine who is the father; for this reason, genetic testing is often used.

What Is Genetic Testing?

We receive our genes, or genetic material, from two people: Our father and our mother. DNA testing compares the genes of a child to the genetic material of his or her parents. This DNA can be obtained in a variety of ways, including blood, hair, bone, or other body fluid samples, but the most common method of gathering DNA is through a simple cheek swab. This does not hurt a child.

The courts will generally choose the laboratory or individual who will be responsible for conducting the genetic testing, but parents can also conduct independent genetic testing if they would like.

Is Genetic Testing Accurate?

Genetic testing is very accurate and can tell with near absolute certainty whether a man is the father of a child. If the DNA test can show that the alleged father is more than 1,000 times more likely to be the child’s father than a random, unrelated man, then Illinois law will presume the alleged father to be the biological father. Alleged fathers who have doubts as to the veracity of one DNA test can order another from a different institution just to be sure.

What if a DNA Test Shows I Am the Father of a Child?

The child’s mother and father will be notified of the results of the genetic test, and an order will be issued depending on the results. If the DNA test shows the alleged father is, in fact, the biological father of the child, the Department of Child Support Services will issue an Administrative Paternity Order or an Illinois court will issue a judicial Paternity Order. Either way, the man will now be considered the legal father of the child and will be responsible for supporting the child.

If the DNA test shows the alleged father is not the true biological father, DCSS will issue an Administrative Order of Non-Paternity or a court will issue an Exclusion Order.

Speak with a Will County Paternity Lawyer

Whether you are a mother seeking to establish paternity of your child or an alleged father seeking to contest a paternity case, speak with an experienced Joliet paternity lawyer. At Reeder & Brown, P.C., we understand the importance of establishing a child’s true parentage and will help you understand your rights and responsibilities under Illinois law. Call us today at 815-885-5980 to schedule your free initial consultation.



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