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Utter the phrase ‘paternity testing’ and you might picture a chaotic scene straight from Maury. In the real world, however, paternity testing looks little like the drama-heavy version portrayed on television. Dealing with paternity issues? These recent advancements in DNA testing may help:

Prenatal Paternity Testing

Non-invasive tests can now determine paternity in fetuses just eight weeks after conception. These tests merely require blood samples from the mother and the believed father. With the mother’s blood sample, fragments of the fetus’ DNA are extracted from the mother’s blood stream and compared against the prospective father’s DNA.

Experts worry that prenatal tests are not yet accurate enough for use in child custody cases. However, they provide excellent insight into paternity and hope of reduced drama in future custody proceedings.

Paternity Testing Without the Father

What if the alleged father refuses to submit to a paternity test or cannot be located? Mothers may be able to complete tests without the father’s help. Keep in mind: immediate family members such as siblings must be willing to participate, and even then, test results may not prove conclusive.

Making DNA Tests Affordable and Accessible

Perhaps the most notable development in DNA testing? Revised procedures that make it quicker and therefore less expensive.

Paternity tests are more accessible than ever before. Modern tests require the mere use of a cotton swab. Whether prompted by paternity concerns or curiosity, this affordability led to a swift increase in paternity testing in 2017; industry figures suggest that direct-to-consumer genetic tests doubled last year.

Your lawyer can play a critical role in proving (or refuting) paternity — and resolving your child custody or support concerns. Seek guidance from the talented team at the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.; call (763) 783-5146 today to learn more.