How to Request a DNA Test to Establish Paternity in Florida?
In Florida, a child born to unmarried parents does not automatically have a legal father. As a result, the father must take action to establish paternity. Unmarried parents can establish paternity by signing the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form.
However, this method of establishing paternity is possible when both parents agree on who is the child’s father. When there are disputes over parentage, an unmarried father can establish paternity through genetic testing, including DNA, which stands for deoxyribonucleic acid.
If you want to request a DNA test to establish paternity in Florida, speak with our experienced Orlando paternity attorney at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., to help you navigate the process.
Requesting a DNA test to establish paternity in Florida
Because of the accuracy of paternity genetic testing, Florida courts recognize the results of DNA tests to determine a child’s biological father. DNA testing can measure the probability of parentage at 99.99%. But how can one request a DNA test to establish paternity?
Schedule an appointment at the local child support office
The first step in requesting a DNA test is to set up a meeting with the local child support office in Orlando. It is recommended to schedule an appointment in advance when requesting a DNA test at the local office.
Attend the child support office and get tested
If possible, the father seeking to establish paternity should attend the appointment with the child and the child’s mother. A technician at the local child support office will take photos of each person who participates in the collection process. The technician then takes a DNA sample from the alleged father, mother, and child.
Contrary to popular belief, no needles are used in the collection process. Advances in DNA technology allow establishing paternity with a mouth swab, also known as the cheek swab.
Wait two weeks for the results of the DNA test
After the collection process, the samples are sent to a state-approved laboratory to confirm paternity. You have to wait approximately two weeks from the date the laboratory receives the samples.
The results of the paternity DNA test will be mailed to you and the child’s mother. According to the Florida Department of Revenue, paternity DNA test results are “not available by phone.”
Establish paternity based on the test results
If the DNA test confirms that you are the biological father of the child, the court will issue a final order of paternity to ensure that you have your parental rights and obligations. Also, the child’s birth certificate will be updated to include your name if paternity is successfully established.
If the DNA test does not show a match, you may not be able to establish paternity. Consult with our skilled paternity attorney at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., if you need legal help with establishing paternity through a DNA test or another way. Call 407-521-7171 to schedule a consultation.