DNA – Deoxyribonucleic Acid – is the genetic material within every living organism which determines the characteristics of the organism. Since every human being has DNA and the DNA within every person is distinct, DNA testing can be used to answer many questions about a person’s physical make up and his or her relationship with other people.
TYPES OF DNA TESTING
- Paternity/Maternity or Relationship – DNA can be used to establish familial relationships.
- Forensics – DNA results can be used as evidence in criminal trials.
- Ancestry – An individual’s DNA can be compared to the DNA profiles of population groups to discover what areas of the world one’s ancestors come from.
- Medical – DNA testing can be used to detect genetic defects that prevent normal metabolism of prescription and over the counter drugs.
PATERNITY OR RELATIONSHIP TESTING
Paternity testing is a means of establishing a familial relationship that is recognized by the judicial system, federal and state government agencies, and insurance companies.
- Child Support - DNA paternity testing can be used to establish paternity in legal matters involving child support.
- Child Custody/Visitation Rights - DNA testing may be required in custody/visitation issues to determine if a man is the father of a child – which can be a deciding factor in a court’s decision to allow or deny legal access to a child.
- Immigration - The U.S. State Dept. often requires DNA testing of non-citizen family members of U.S. citizens who wish to immigrate into the United States.
- Adoption - Adoption agencies require both biological parents of a child to release a child to them for adoption. In cases where the paternity of a child is in question, DNA testing must be performed to determine who the father of a child is so that he can sign the child over to the adoptive parents.
- Insurance – Insurance companies may require proof of paternity to add a child to an alleged father’s insurance policy. This can happen when the mother and father are not married or if the alleged father’s name is not on the birth certificate at the time of birth. In these cases DNA testing is the only proof insurance companies will accept.
- Inheritance – Courts will take into account family relationships in determining how an estate will be divided. This usually happens in cases when no will is available or the will is not specific enough when it comes to the division of the estate between family and non-family members.
REDUCED FEE PATERNITY TESTING
Any Connecticut resident can obtain reduced fee paternity testing for child support purposes by filing for child support at the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS). Men who deny paternity, but who must be tested can also apply at DSS for the reduced fee test. Testing is arranged by DSS and the fee for the testing is significantly lower than the fee a private lab would charge.
ACCREDITED PATERNITY (DNA) TESTING FACILITIES
Set fee relationship/paternity testing can be obtained from private testing facilities. The AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks) provides a list of accredited DNA testing facilities at their website, http://www.aabb.org/Content/Accreditation/Parentage_Testing_
Accreditation_Program/AABB_ Accredited_Parentage_Testing_Laboratories/aboutptlabs.htm. Out of state testing facilities can make arrangements for in-state sample collection.
TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT’S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
Search by service name: Paternity/Maternity Establishment.
SOURCE: Genelex: “Health & DNA: Reasons for Paternity Testing,”
“AABB Accredited Relationship Testing Facilities,” http://www.aabb.org/Content/Accreditation/Parentage_Testing_Accreditation_
PREPARED BY: 211/rj
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: July 2009