According to a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of babies being born to unmarried women has skyrocketed in the last 20 years. In 2011, it was found that 62% of babies were born to unmarried mothers. Some problems that may come from this ever increasing trend may have a negative effect on the men who may have fathered these children.
We hear stories across the nation about custody battles, DNA testing, and child support payments. There are even stories of men who have cared for children both emotionally and financially for years only to find out later that they were no relation to the child. If you are involved with an unmarried mother who has recently had a baby, and are concerned about knowing the truth about this child as soon as possible, you may have been looking into how much a DNA test cost and what are the benefits. Most will agree that it may cause problems in a relationship if you mention your doubts about paternity to your significant other. If you are interested in knowing for sure that a child is yours, here are 5 steps that may help you.
1. Know your Legal Rights on Testing
Current laws in most states say that a paternity test cannot be run without a mother's consent. This may make for a very difficult decision about testing. Even imagining a conversation with your current partner about a paternity test may be enough to make a potential father sweat. If you have been thinking about having a paternity test done, and you are not listed on the birth certificate, it is often a good idea to start with an up front and honest discussion. Instead of making the conversation about infidelity, work to talk instead about your obligations to the child with reference to costs of rearing, insurance etc. By doing this, you partner may be more willing to allow the paternity testing because they will see the benefits to having you legally established as the father.
2. Where to Purchase at Home Test Kits
In lab paternity testing may be cost prohibitive. They can run from several hundreds of dollars up to a thousand dollars. If you are looking for a way to prove that you did, in fact, father a child, but are not looking for proof that will stand up in court, you may be interested in looking for an at home test kit. These can be purchased at drug stores nationwide for very little cost. There is some cost involved in processing the test and mailing samples and results, but compared to the in lab legal quality tests, the costs are very small.
3. Look for Assured Private Interactions
Privacy is a key for most men who are trying to determine if they are truly the father of a baby or child. When looking into which type of test to purchase, search for one that can insure your privacy. This type of company will either guarantee privacy by communicating through secure email or they will send documents in plain wrapping in the U.S. mail that will not draw attention to what may be inside. This type of privacy may give you time to process and understand the results of the testing before having to face your partner with the knowledge.
4. How to Find Easy to Read Results
Another thing to look for in a paternity test is one that offers understandable results. If your test comes back as a mass and jumble of lines and numbers, it may be nearly impossible to understand what it really means. Before purchasing a test, it may be a good idea to do a little bit of research online and read what prior customers have had to say about the ability to understand the results that were sent out from the testing facility
5. Conclusive tests vs. Legal Proof
Be sure to know what type of answers you are looking for in a paternity test. Many test kits that are sold in a drugstore are clear as to paternity, but non-admissible in court. This is because there is no way to prove who the sample swabs have come from unless they are done in a controlled testing facility. If you are looking for solid legal proof that will hold up in court, you may need to invest in a paternity test by a certified facility.
By knowing your rights as a father and the legal issues that surround paternity, you may gain several benefits. These may include certain knowledge that a child is yours, peace of mind, and certain legal rights of paternity.