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When is DNA Testing Used to Establish Paternity in Illinois?

Posted on in Paternity

DuPage County family law attorneyIf a woman in Illinois who is married to a man has a child, her husband is automatically presumed to be the child’s biological father. The father will not need to take additional action to establish himself as the child’s legal parent. When unmarried parents have a child together, the father is not automatically considered the legal father until he takes certain steps. Many people falsely assume that a father can gain legal parentage of a child by simply writing his name on the child’s birth certificate. However, before a father can be listed on a child’s birth certificate, he must establish paternity. Depending on the circumstances, DNA testing may be necessary to establish the biological relationship between a child and the child’s presumed father.

Establishing Legal Parentage of a Child

There are three ways that an Illinois parent can establish paternity. If both parents agree that the father is indeed the child’s biological father, the parents can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) and file it with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HSF). The VAP form is typically available at the hospital when the baby is born, or it may be obtained through the HSF website, local child support office, County Clerk’s Office, or local Registrar’s office.

If either parent questions the presumed father’s biological relationship with the child, the process for establishing paternity is more complex. In this situation, paternity may be established via an Administrative Paternity Order through the HFS Division of Child Support Services or through an Order of Paternity entered by the court.

A father may be required to submit to DNA testing in order to determine whether or not he is the child’s biological father. DNA testing is a simple, noninvasive procedure. A cheek cell sample is obtained by swabbing the inside of the participant’s mouth and then the DNA inside these cells is analyzed in a lab. If the test shows that the presumed father is the child’s biological father, he may be required to pay child support. Unless there is a reason that the father should not have contact with the child, such as a history of child abuse or abandonment, he will gain the right to request parenting time and parental responsibilities as well.

Contact a DuPage County Paternity Lawyer

Whether you are a mother who wants to establish paternity for the purpose of collecting child support, or you are a father who has doubts about your parentage, Pesce Law Group, P.C. can help. Call our office at 630-352-2240 today and schedule a free, confidential consultation with an experienced Naperville family law attorney to discuss your concerns.

 

Sources:

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/FormsBrochures/Pages/hfs3282.aspx

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=3638

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