As past posts on this blog have noted, paternity is an important legal concept when it comes to preserving a man’s parental rights. If a man is not legally recognized as a child’s father, then he may lose opportunities to secure custody and visitation with his child, or to stop an adoption if the child’s mother chooses not to keep the child. Paternity can be established through a variety of different genetic tests.
As with all medical procedures and assessments, problems can arise when genetic material is submitted for paternity testing. In some cases, genetic material may be tampered with in order to change the results of a paternity assessment. In other situations, mistakes made by labs or during collection processes may affect whether a man is proven to be a child’s biological parent.
When individuals deliberately try to change the results of a paternity test, paternity fraud may be alleged. As with other forms of fraud, paternity fraud involves deceit and may result in a man being forced to provide for a child who is not his biological offspring.
It is always a good idea for men caught in paternity battles to seek the counsel of attorneys who understand the legal significance of fatherhood. Assuming the role of a parent is an important and legally consequential undertaking that can change the course of both a man’s and a child’s life. Fathers who wish to fight for their rights to provide for and be with their children can work with legal advocates to push their cases forward.