When you are trying to establish paternity, you have several options. According to Illinois Parentage Act of 1964, you can accomplish this through the following:
- The father can sign an acknowledgement at the hospital when the baby is born.
- The father can sign an acknowledgement with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
- The parties involved can take a DNA test.
In the event that a man denies parenting the child, a court can order the mother, the alleged father and the child to submit to genetic testing. The Cleveland Clinic reports that these tests are upward of 99.9 percent accurate.
Through DNA testing, scientists will look for genetic markers to evaluate the relationship between two people. This can be done before a child is born, at either 11 to 13 weeks of pregnancy or between 16 and 22 weeks. It is important to note that there are some risks associated with these tests, including the possibility of miscarriage.
DNA testing can be performed after the birth of a child in a much simpler and less invasive process. During a cheek cell test, for example, a cotton swab collects cells by simply rubbing the inside of the subject’s cheek. A DNA test could also involve drawing blood from the parties involved.
While home DNA testing is available, it is likely that the results may not hold up in court. In Illinois, the results of DNA tests are nearly always admissible as evidence in a paternity hearing when a third party conducted the test.
The American Pregnancy Association advises that if you plan on ordering a paternity test, you should do so with an American Association of Blood Banks-accredited laboratory.
While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.