There might be a lot of reasons why your child might insist on a paternity test. Some of them just want to know the family history while others want to reassure a few doubts. There are also some cases where a paternity test helps doctors to diagnose a person’s risk of suffering from a particular disease. In such instances, if you try to pull your child down, the seed of doubt might result in the whole tree, so instead, get the test done and talk with evidence and proofs.
A parent or a child might think about it or contemplate having one due to a variety of circumstances. It isn’t always about the right or wrong, neither it is the dramatic causes that is usually shown in the daily TV soaps, mostly it is about the situation and the need of the hour (the reason can be it’s usability to diagnose some major health issues.)
Now when we are talking about the need, getting a paternity test done is not the ‘cliche’ that you think of. In fact, there is a list of reasons that justify the paternity test is the best solution for the matter concerned. Let me cite you some of these very common practical situations or circumstances:
1. The Custody Battle
There can be various circumstances that can come to your mind when we mention the word custody and yet, in all of them, a paternity test exists. Firstly, the court might ask you as a father to proof your relation with the child of concern via a test during a custody battle, necessary additional evidence of sorts. Secondly, if the mother of the child claims that you are not the father of her child, a paternity test becomes your only savior in disguise. Thirdly, there are cases that once a child reaches a mature age, they challenge the court, claiming that they do not want to stay with someone who isn’t their biological father as per their knowledge. Then again, all you can do is a single test. These are the only ways through which you get to keep the custody rights to your own kid.
2. The Immigration scene
As one might know, the United States of America is extremely particular about immigrants and their citizenship. They have a stringent set of rules that guide the immigration process and the one that tops the list in bold letters is, if a child is born to an American male with a foreigner citizen, the child is eligible for American citizenship via certain processes and conditions. The process demands that the father needs to apply for a CRBA by the local embassy to provide conclusive evidence of the child’s birth and relation to the father. This is then evaluated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). During evaluation or application checks, a paternity test is usually concluded to be final evidence of medical proof to claim the blood relation between the father and the child. These results and reports are of utmost importance, as they are transferred to higher authorities like embassies and attorneys.
3. The Legal way
Having a child does not always call for marriage first. Couples might even have a child or adopt one before getting married. In fact, in some cases, they don’t plan to get married at all. While most states allow for this, they require parenting proofs, especially a paternity test to finalize legal procedures and validate the situation. During a no marriage child-birth case, they specifically ask for a paternity test. However, during adoption, both parents might be asked to give proofs so that no concerns arise in the future, both legally and emotionally among the family.
4. The Medical diagnosis
As the father of your child, simple biology talks about genetic relation and how your child gets your traits. More often than not, with traits comes a similar immune system, certain common habits, and style of working. Now, when you go for an initial appointment, it does take a lot of time and effort to fill out a very extensive medical form. Moreover, there are times when you are critically ill, and the diagnosis hasn’t been helpful. In these cases, getting a paternity test will be a very wise decision. Not only does it clarify all your concerns and gives you an appropriate record of your medical history, but it also keeps track of all possible outliers in your case. It is genuinely of one big help to your doctor. With just a simple sample of your hair, skin, saliva or blood, practitioners can tell what serious medical conditions you might face in future. These tests will help you look for some specific changes in your DNA or in your specific genes that are causing dysfunction and making your body prone to a particular disease.
With your medical history in hand, all thanks to your paternity test, they can comprehend your body better, give a better diagnosis and work better to strengthen your immunity system.
Cystic fibrosis, familial hyperlipidemia and muscular dystrophy are some of the very common hereditary diseases that can be identified using a paternity test.
5. The Inheritance right
Inheritance is one major talk of the town after the death of a family member, especially if it is something of high monetary value. Inheritance here means things like real estate and materialistic goods that one member leaves behind for his close family and sometimes friends. Now the deceased might have already established their legal heir or may have not. In cases where the legal heir is already known, a child might challenge the case, stating his/her first right due to direct relation. During these times, both maternity and paternity test are needed to kick-start the court in the child’s favour. Now, during times when things happen suddenly and there is no stated heir, the child or children of the deceased might be called upon to prove their relation via a medical document like a paternity test before being given any inheritance rights by legal bodies or the family attorney himself/herself.
6. The Adoption doubt
There are usually two cases of adoption, both polar opposites. The first case is when a couple decides to part ways or find themselves incapable of raising a child due to various reasons like financial and emotional ability, they decide to give a child for adoption. Usually, mothers have an upper hand for calling the final decision in this case. The legal authorities might first ask for a paternity test of the father before considering their views because if it is a situation of a non-biological father, the case would rather consider only the mother’s point of view. The second situation is when a child has been adopted and raised by adopted parents. Once they reach a certain age, the desire to meet his/her biological parents comes to light or if they have grown up with sole custody with their mothers, they want to meet their biological father. In these cases, a paternity test is possibly the first and most vital step in order to reach their biological father.
7. The others left
Since we already talked about inheritance, there is something similar that also becomes a reality after the death of a family member, Death benefits. This includes things like social security and once again, requires the child to prove their relation via a paternity test before making any claims, both if they are the challenger or the selected heir. Another case is child support, where after a couple splits, the mother and court might want the father to continue and provide the desired support to the child. During these times, an initial confirmation is required regarding the assured biological relationship of the father with the child before any child support clause is established.
Now that you know when to take the test and when to think about it, don’t let any myth that says ‘a paternity test is not the right decision’ blind you. Be wise about the issue, be cautious not shun it off when it is needed!
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.