Genetic testing

When legal fatherhood is not established, Child Support Services may be able to help establish fatherhood by assisting to schedule genetic testing at each party's convenience. If legal fatherhood was established through a default order and an individual wishes to change this relationship, the paternity must be disestablished privately before Child Support Services can help to establish paternity again.

Genetic test results alone do not establish a legal bond between a father and a child. A court order or paternity affidavit must establish this relationship. If genetic testing results determine fatherhood, Child Support Services asks a court to establish a legal father and order child support.

Child Support Services may also ask the court to include costs associated with genetic tests and legal fees be paid to the father listed in the order.

If both the mother and possible father agree to genetic testing

Child Support Services schedules genetic tests when both parties agree to testing, or when paternity was not previously established. Both parties will be sent a letter indicating the time and place of the test. Testing does not happen at the same time for both parties. View a map of approved testing sites.

What If the potential father is not willing to take a genetic test?

Child Support Services can establish a court order requiring participation in testing. If the possible father refuses to attend an appointment, Child Support Services pursues a contempt order to require compliance with the original order.

After you receive genetic testing results

After genetic testing results determine who the father is, both parents may establish legal fatherhood by signing an acknowledgment form from the Idaho Bureau of Vital Statistics or Child Support Services asks a court to establish legal fatherhood and order child support.

About genetic testing

With the exception of identical twins, everyone has different DNA. Every person receives half their DNA from their mother and half from their father. Genetic tests analyze a child's DNA and determine which half came from the mother and whether the other half came from the possible father.

Because of the unique nature of an individual's DNA, genetic tests are extremely reliable. In most cases, genetic tests indicate with a probability of more than 99 percent certainty whether a man is a child's father. If a man is NOT the father, genetic tests show this with 100 percent certainty. Whenever possible, the mother, possible father, and child are tested to determine parentage.

Genetic tests are simple and painless. A cotton swab (called a buccal swab) is brushed inside each cheek of your mouth, collecting DNA from your saliva. The samples are then sent to a laboratory for testing. Results are sent to Child Support Services and each parent within a few weeks.