Paternity and Genetic Testing: The Testing Process in Florida
In Florida, paternity can be established in a number of different ways, one of which is via genetic testing. This testing can be accomplished privately by the parties, by Court Order after initiation of a Petition to Establish Paternity, or through a child support matter initiated with the Florida Department of Revenue.
While genetic testing can be used for a variety of purposes (including identifying mutations, large genetic changes, and protein abnormalities that often lead to genetic conditions) the Florida Department of Revenue primarily uses genetic testing to identify children’s biological fathers.
Genetic testing to identify a child’s biological father through the Florida Department of Revenue is a simple process that involves scheduling an appointment at a local Child Support office, having skin cells collected from the mother, the child, and the man believed to be the father, and waiting about two weeks to hear the test results. These tests are fast, easy, reliable, and are conducted via the seven step process outlined below.
The Seven Steps to Genetic Testing in Florida Through the Department of Revenue
According to the Florida Department of Revenue, a child’s biological father can be determined by following these seven steps:
Step 1 – Schedule an Appointment: First, the mother, the child, and the man believed to be the child’s father must schedule an appointment at one of our state’s Child Support offices. In order to locate the Florida Child Support office closest to you click here.
Step 2 – Bring Proper Identification to Your Appointment: Be aware that everyone (i.e. the mother, the child, and the alleged father) must bring picture identification to their appointment. However, if the child does not have picture identification their birth certificate or Social Security card will suffice.
Step 3 – The Mother and the Alleged Father Perform Their Own Tests: The mother and the man who is believed to be the child’s father must each collect skin cells from the inside of their own cheeks by rubbing their mouths with a cotton swab. This collection process must be done in the presence of a staff member.
Step 4 – A Genetic Sample is Collected From the Child: Next, the adult who brought the child to the appointment is required to rub the inside of the child’s cheek with a cotton swab in order to collect a sample of the child’s skin cells.
Step 5 – Samples are Sent to the Lab: A staff member from the Child Support office will seal all three of the collected samples and ship them to a genetic laboratory for testing.
Step 6 – The Samples are Tested: Once the laboratory receives the samples, they compare the DNA in the cells of the mother, the alleged father, and the child in order to determine if the alleged father is in fact the child’s biological father. Be aware that this process takes a bit of time and that therefore the Child Support office generally won’t get your test results back for a couple of weeks.
Step 7 – You Will Receive Your Test Results in the Mail: While it may be hard to wait weeks before hearing the results of your test, be aware that the Child Support office is not allowed to provide test results over the phone. But don’t worry, both the mother and the alleged father will be mailed copies of their test results as soon as they are ready.
Significantly, though, you are not required to initiate a paternity action through the Florida Department of Revenue. A Petition to Establish Paternity can be individually filed with the court. Thereafter, the genetic testing process is more streamlined, and results can be obtained more efficiently.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
Whether you have been served with a paternity action filed through the Florida Department of Revenue, are interested in initiating a paternity action with the court, or you have been served with a paternity action, feel free to contact Boca Raton paternity attorney David L. Hirschberg today at (561) 288-8620. Similarly, if you have questions about establishing paternity in Florida, or about any other family law matter, feel free to contact Mr. Hirschberg today.