Chain of Custody and Why It’s Important in Paternity Testing

Chain of Custody and Why It’s Important in Paternity Testing



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For anyone seeking paternity testing for legal reasons, there are a variety of important factors to consider ensuring legally admissible results. Court-ordered DNA testing is serious business, primarily because it typically serves to answer essential questions about issues such as child custody, child support, and inheritance. These questions need to be solved with absolute certainty, which is why the paternity testing process is held to such strict requirements. Among these requirements is a clear chain of custody, a particularly important factor that can impact the accuracy and reliability of DNA testing results.

What is Chain of Custody?


Chain of custody is a term used to refer to the concept that the whereabouts of a particular lab sample must be known at any time. This means that from the moment the DNA sample is collected to the final delivery of results, each step must be accounted for. In addition, a neutral third party must be the one collecting the initial sample and then be designated responsible for ensuring that no unauthorized persons come into contact with it.

Why is Chain of Custody Important in Paternity Testing?


Chain of custody is highly important in any DNA testing process, to ensure that results are 100 percent reliable and have not been tampered with in any way. A clear chain of command eliminates the possibility of a particular sample being altered or swapped, therefore providing all involved parties with the assurance that the results are accurate.


The legitimacy of paternity test results is reliant on the chain of custody, and legal challenges to the results can be made if there is any evidence found of a broken chain of custody. In cases where paternity has been established, there are very few instances in which the presumption of paternity can be legally defeated – and all of these pieces of evidence require substantial evidence. One such example of this evidence would be proof that the chain of command was broken, thus allowing any affected party to suggest that the results of the test cannot be appropriately verified.


In the state of Florida, if a child born out of wedlock has a father that signs a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, challenges are only allowed if there is fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact involved. In rare situations such as these, seeking reliable DNA testing is an option for involved parties – and chain of command is equally essential.

Get Accurate, Legally-Permissible DNA Testing from ARCpoint Labs


ARCpoint Labs of Jacksonville offers highly reliable paternity testing services for individuals seeking legally permissible results. Our expert technicians understand the importance of chain of command, and our high standards for policies and procedures ensure that our clients will receive the utmost in testing accuracy and integrity.


To learn more about our DNA testing services and the other legal solutions offered by ARCpoint Labs, contact us today.

Image: Shawn Hempel/Shutterstock

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