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Mobile DNA testing reveals legal, emotional impacts of paternity

With the prominence of DNA testing on TV and in popular culture, it's almost hard to remember when such services were not widely available to average consumers. Now, paternity testing, using DNA verification, is a financially-viable option for Minnesota parents seeking answers.

Interestingly enough, mobile DNA testing services are now available in at least one major American city. The tests are performed in a repurposed RV, and are designed to offer quick results at a person's convenience. Though this may sound like a simple solution to a dilemma facing many parents and children, it has raised concerns among family law professionals.

One of the most important things to determine before seeking a paternity test is what exactly the test results could mean for you and your children. If the test results determine that an individual is the father, the custodial parent may be entitled to receive child support payments to assist with raising their child. Additionally, a positive test may also entitle a father to custody or visitation rights. No matter the findings, establishing paternity can assist individuals with the important task of being a responsible parent.

Knowing that paternity results can carry major legal consequences, it's very important to receive accurate information. Family law observers say that parents should not necessarily choose a testing service out of convenience alone; rather, determining paternity through an accredited agency is likely the best way to proceed confidently with the results.

Aside from the legal ramifications of determining paternity, there are equally important emotional consequences. For children involved in a paternity dispute, understanding who their father is will obviously have a lasting impact. A child can be devastated by test results if they do not fully understand the news they are given.

In 2010, over 382,000 relationship tests were administered in the United States. Clearly, there is a need for such testing. The important thing to remember, however, is that fathers, mothers and children can all stand to benefit greatly from confirming paternity. Likewise, a DNA test can create a new set of unanswered questions. As such, it is important to equip yourself with reliable knowledge regarding how a pending DNA test could affect your legal rights or obligations.

Source: Reuters, "Who's your daddy? DNA clinic gives answers, sparks concerns," Lily Kuo, Aug. 23, 2012

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Juvenile Criminal
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