Am I really your father?

Am I really your father?

Am I really your father?

There are times when there is a dispute over who is the biological father of a child. These questions arise in parenting cases or child support matters. In such matters, the Court can order a paternity test.

What is a Paternity Test?

A paternity test is a DNA test directed by the Court to determine the biological parentage of a child. Without a DNA test, the Family Law Act provides a presumption that that you are a parent of the child if:

  • your name is on the child’s birth certificate;
  • your name is on a signed acknowledgment of artificial conception;
  • you signed another legal document, such as a statutory declaration stating that you are the child’s parent;
  • a court in Australia or an overseas jurisdiction has made an order stating that you are a parent of the child;
  • If a woman was married, living, or in a de facto relationship with a man when her child was born, then the child is presumed to also be the child of the man; and
  • if a child was born to a married woman, the child is presumed to be the child of the woman and her husband.

Who can request a Paternity Test?

The following can request a Court-ordered paternity test:

  1. the alleged father;
  2. the mother of the child;
  3. a Legal Guardian;
  4. the child through legal counsel, or an older child;
  5. the Court.

When will the Court make an order for paternity testing?

The Court can order such a test at the request of one of the parties listed above but the party will need to convince the Court that there is reasonable reason to question the child’s parentage. The Court can make an order itself if paternity is crucial to resolving a matter. Once an Order is made, the parties must use an accredited laboratory for the DNA test. If the Court makes an order for paternity testing for an alleged Father and the party refuses the test, the Court might assume that he is the child’s biological father.

What is the paternity testing procedure?

When performing a parenting test, certain procedures must be followed. These are as follows:

  1. Completing an Affidavit and declaration.
  2. Once a sample has been taken, the donor will need to sign the label on the sealed container.
  3. The person taking the sample will take a photograph of the person being tested and then the photograph and the declaration should be attached.
  4. The Affidavit and declaration should contain details of the donor’s recent medical history.

What happens to the results?

The results of a Court-ordered paternity test are legally binding and will be used as evidence in legal proceedings. They can help determine the outcome of the proceedings.

If you have concerns in relation to the parentage of your child, or if you want to find out more about paternity testing, contact one of our experienced Family Law Solicitors at Solari and Stock on 8525 2700 or click here to request an appointment.

Article by Shweta Kumar
Photo by Derek Thomson on Unsplash

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