Can a Woman Refuse a Paternity Test?


Mothers and fathers have rights where their child is concerned. When a man believes he has fathered a child by a woman, he can request a paternity test. In such a test, DNA from his body cells are matched with DNA from the child’s body cells. If they match to a significant degree, then he is declared to be the father. But what if the woman does not wish to have such a test conducted? What if she does not want the man to be involved in her life and the child’s life and she refuses to allow the test by not presenting the child for the collection of cells for testing? Can she refuse the paternity test?

The answer to that question depends upon factors such as whether or not a court is involved in the dispute between the woman and the man claiming to be the father and also whether or not he is paying or may be paying child support for the child. If there is a court dispute, the court may order the woman to present the child for the paternity test. This is particularly the case where the woman is seeking or accepting child support payments for the benefit of the child. Child Support Hearing Officers may advise the court to order the man and the woman to comply with paternity test procedures. If either refuses to comply then the view by the court would be that the test results would be against their favor. A court may hold a refusing mother in contempt if she does not follow the court order for the test. Either the woman or the man may challenge the results of the test and ask for a second one to be done. When the test results are seen as conclusive, then notice of them is sent to both parties.

The best advice for a woman who does not want a paternity test is to keep silent until the man has said all he wants to say on the matter and then if the court orders the woman to bring forth the child for the test, then she will have to do so. There is the chance that the man will not follow through on his statements that he will take the matter to court. Many do not follow through on such threats, and the woman need not have engaged in any legal or verbal battles with him. Still, a man who believes he is a father and who wants to be a part of the child he believes to be his has a right to do so. In such a case, a woman’s best decision would be to allow the paternity test. It is not only legally the right thing to do, but often it is also the ethical thing to do.

In situations where a couple is married, and the husband suspects a child his wife delivered is not really his, some states have time frames in which the determination of paternity must be done. Some states have a requirement that a father uncertain if a child is biologically his has two years to have a paternity test done. After that time has passed, and he has supported the child and behaved as its father, the courts presume his paternity and will no longer enforce any requested paternity test. Other states simply presume his paternity if he is married to the woman when she gives birth to the child, and will not order any paternity test. The mother may voluntarily submit to such a request, but if she does not, then in the eyes of the court, he is the legal father. Certainly, where family relations are involved, the importance of tests and decisions based on them become highly important. The determination of paternity can impact upon health. financial, and legal issues for years to come.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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