Paternity has been pushed into the national spotlight by the recent allegations toward teen pop star Justin Bieber. While tabloids buzz with celebrity paternity stories, thousands of men across the country face the same issue daily and turn to DNA paternity testing to either confirm or refute their relationship to children. According to DDC (DNA Diagnostics Center), the largest provider of private paternity testing worldwide, questions about paternity testing from men have increased annually and now account for about 40% of all inquiries.
“As one of the leading companies in DNA testing, we’re seeing an increase in calls by men seeking paternity answers, especially for cases where there are disputes or where chain of custody is important,” said Dr. Michael Baird, chief science officer for DDC. “In the case of DDC, we’re an accredited AABB laboratory that maintains a chain of custody reporting structure to ensure results of a test can be presented in court, if needed.”
About 500,000 paternity cases were performed in the United States last year, according to the AABB (aabb.org), the professional society that accredits paternity testing laboratories, in its latest annual report. Establishing paternity is important for the child to have access to legal and social benefits (including social security, veterans and inheritance benefits), provides an accurate medical history and strengthens the bond between father and child. In fact, most state laws require an unmarried couple to complete an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) at the hospital to establish parental rights.
“If there are any questions about who the father is, a DNA test is recommended,” Dr. Baird states. “About 1 out of every 3 tested alleged fathers is found to not be the biological father of a child. After an AOP is provided to the Bureau of Vital Statistics, couples have the option of amending the document with a DNA paternity test to confirm parental rights or fathers have the option of securing a DNA test to establish paternity. However, there is a limited time for the validation to take place. Until that time, parental rights are not fully protected.”
In addition to paternity testing services, DDC also provides expert DNA testing for family relationship, adoption, immigration, forensics and ancestry. For more information on DDC visit online at dnacenter.com or call 800-362-2368.