In America today, it is more common than ever that the parents of a child are not married. In some cases, the parents of the child aren’t even involved in a relationship. When this occurs, the parties will likely approach the issue of establishing paternity at some point. Establishing paternity is important so that the parties can confirm that the man is the father of the child, and, from there, issues such as child custody, child support and fathers’ rights can be addressed. But, is the process of establishing paternity infallible? The unfortunate answer is “no.”
Everyone has seen the occasional news reports about DNA evidence exonerating a person who has served prison time for a crime they didn’t commit. DNA testing is just as important when it comes to establishing paternity, and, just like in criminal cases, this testing is not 100 percent foolproof. When a father begins to suspect that the paternity results might have been erroneous, it may be necessary to challenge the case for potential paternity errors or fraud.
DNA testing, when it is done correctly, is reportedly about 99 percent accurate. However, there are instances in which a DNA sample could be tainted in some way, either during the collection process or in the actual testing process. There are also instances in which the lab results from the sample are proven to be fraudulent.
The idea that paternity could be established and then later challenged isn’t likely a comforting thought for any of the parties involved. Fathers deserve to know who their legal children are, and children absolutely deserve a chance to establish a relationship with their fathers.