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The importance of DNA testing

In an ideal world, every child born in North Carolina has two parents committed to nurturing and supporting that child. However, there are circumstances in which there is some question over a child's paternity and the father's obligation to provide support. As a result, one or both parents may decide to request DNA testing.

DNA testing is a reliable way to establish whether a man is the father of a child. Once paternity has been established, issues such as child support, child custody, and visitation can more easily be negotiated. Conversely, testing can also establish who is not the father of the child so that he can defend himself against requests for payments.

In many cases, men voluntarily undergo DNA testing for their own peace of mind as well as to establish whether they have a responsibility toward a child. In addition, when testing does establish paternity, many men actively seek to develop a relationship with their child. This can have immense benefits for all parties, especially the child.

Another reason for establishing paternity would be if the mother of a child wishes to place the child up for adoption. Paternity testing could confirm the father of the child so that he could either assert his own rights in court or relinquish them if he agrees to the placement of the child in an adoptive family.

There are, however, situations in which a man is reluctant or unwilling to undergo testing. In such cases, a court may order the man to comply with testing so that paternity can be determined and, if necessary, child support ordered by the court.

Parents and individuals who are concerned about paternity issues may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. The lawyer may be able to review the case and make recommendations regarding testing as well as child support and custody.

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