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Why Paternity Testing is Useful

Posted by on Oct. 13, 2017 at 4:24 AM
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Every cell in our body contains DNA, and although 99.9% of all human DNA is identical, the 0.01% that exists in all of us is something that makes us the individuals that we are. Our DNA determines everything from your eye colour to your hair colour, and it can even control certain aspects of our personality.

 

It is estimated that 5-20% of people have wrongly identified their father, whether this is because of information not being disclosed by the mother or the mother not knowing this fact herself. All men who are questioning whether or not they are the father of a child should consider a paternity test. This is, without a doubt, the very best way to determine whether or not you have a biological link with the child. The current science involved in paternity tests has 99% accuracy if there is a biological relationship or 100% accuracy if there is not. Paternity testing is important for a number of reasons:

 

Establishing the child's sense of identity

It is generally agreed that children who grow up with supportive adults in their lives have greater opportunities for healthy development, but psychologists claim that knowing who your biological father is is important for establishing a sense of identity and avoiding damaging emotional trauma. In an ethics article on PsychologyToday.com, it is suggested that "Knowing one's biological parents yields self-knowledge that has significant and irreplaceable value with respect to such identity formation. Therefore, it is immoral to intentionally [raise] children that do not know both of their biological parents." Of course, when disputing paternity it is important to consider the emotional ramifications for everyone that is involved. While identifying a biological link is important, it can have both positive and negative results.  

 

Determining potential health issues          

Genetics are important within the medical community for establishing the medical histories of both parents. This can help to determine whether or not there is any possibility of the child contracting a hereditary condition or disease in the future and can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

 

Legal implications and financial

Until declared otherwise, a man is considered to be a child's legal father if he is married to the child's mother at the time of the child's birth or if it is his name on the child's birth certificate. In the UK, there are a number of key legislations involved in the legal implications of paternity:

·         Family Law Reform Act 1969

·         Family Law Act 1986

·         Births & Deaths Registration Act 1953

·         Human Tissue Act 2004

 

Paternity tests which are required as evidence in a court of law usually need to be carried out following specific instructions by a named accredited company. It is also a criminal offence to take samples of someone's DNA without their consent, and only those who have parental responsibility for a child can permit their child's DNA to be taken and used. This is also important as a child may be entitled to financial benefits from the father such as inheritance rights, life insurance, veteran's benefits and social security from a deceased or disabled parent. If a man dispute's paternity, he will still have to pay child maintenance until a DNA test proves otherwise. 

by on Oct. 13, 2017 at 4:24 AM
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