Establishing paternity is necessary to protect each parent’s right to build a relationship with their child, as well as their access to child support and a fair child custody or visitation arrangement. Cooperation throughout the genetic testing process ensures that the matter can be handled swiftly. Failure to cooperate can lead to harsh punishments.
Who Can Request a Paternity Test?
If a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity was not filed after the baby’s birth, a paternity action could be necessary. This could be completed by:
- The mother
- The man who believes he is the father
- The child if they are over 12 years old
- A local child support agency
- An adoption agency
Any of these individuals may ask for court intervention to establish paternity. The court will proceed to ask the mother and suspected father to take a genetic test if sufficient evidence exists that justifies ordering a test.
Consequences of a Father’s Refusal
A father’s refusal could cause him to be held in contempt of court. With this comes the potential of criminal charges and fines.
Alleged fathers who fail to attend genetic testing appointments are not dismissed from the case. Rather, the judicial officer can still offer a ruling declaring your paternity even without receiving the results.
Effects for Persons Receiving Support (PRS)
If you refuse to get genetically testing, your public assistance grant could be reduced. If you do not currently receive any aid, your case could be closed.