Genetic testing is used to determine biological parentage by comparing the DNA markers of the birth parent, alleged genetic father, and child. We no longer conduct blood testing; instead we collect the DNA necessary for genetic testing by using the Buccal Swab method, which is painless. To conduct the test, a laboratory technician gently swabs the inner cheeks of the mouth to collect buccal cells. DNA is extracted from buccal cells instead of blood cells. The results are as efficient and accurate as a blood test, but less invasive because there are no needles.
Genetic Testing Process
- The alleged genetic father is entitled to genetic testing under most (but not all) circumstances, if requested. To request genetic testing, when a man is served with a Summons and Complaint, he must promptly
File an Answer denying paternity and asking for genetic testing. The local child support agency (LCSA) usually pays for the genetic testing.
- Genetic testing is scheduled by the Child Support Services Department and is usually conducted by appointment only, at the Local Child Support Office where the case is assigned. Scheduled appointments based on availability. The Child Support Office sends appointment letters to the custodial party (CP) and child, and the alleged father. If the parents live in different states, we can coordinate genetic testing of all participants in their home states.
- If you are scheduled for genetic testing, you must bring government-issued photo identification with you on the day of the appointment. We will also take your photo and fingerprints at that time.
- If your appointment is scheduled at a date, time or location that you cannot attend, it is very important that you call our office as soon as possible to reschedule. Call the phone number on the appointment letter. Our office will try to accommodate you one time, but you must keep in mind that it takes time for the laboratory to process the results and we will need the results as soon as possible, particularly if there is a court date pending.
- In addition, be aware that your cooperation can be considered a factor in your case. If you are an alleged father and do not show up for genetic testing, the judicial officer can rule against you and order that you are the father even without genetic test results. If you are a Custodial Party who receives public assistance, and do not show up for your appointment, your aid grant could be reduced by 25%. If you are a Custodial Party who does not receive public assistance, and you do not show up for your appointment, your case could be closed.
- Sometimes, a judicial officer at court will order the parties to submit to genetic testing. If the judicial officer does order you to our office to be tested, you must do so. A laboratory technician will swab you there.
- Once the laboratory testing is complete, the testing facility will contact you regarding the results. If you have any questions when you receive the results, or if you don’t receive results (allow several weeks), you may call us at 1 (866) 901-3212.