How to Establish Paternity in Washington - ARCpoint Labs of Seattle West
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How to Establish Paternity in Washington

by | Dec 23, 2023 | Uncategorized

While all children have a biological father, establishing a paternal connection that is legally recognized is often an entirely different matter. In the state of Washington, there are three distinct routes to establishing paternity and securing the rights and responsibilities associated with legal parentage.

How to Establish Paternity in Washington

There are three primary scenarios in which paternity may be legally established in the state of Washington.

Automatic Assumption of Paternity

If a child’s mother and father are married (or in a domestic partnership), paternity will be automatically established at birth. The mother’s husband (or partner) will be assumed to be the legal father and will be included on the child’s birth certificate unless contrary information is provided.

Complete a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity

If a child’s parents are unmarried, but both mother and father agree on the subject of paternity, a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity can be issued. This legal form is signed by both parents and can be completed at the hospital after birth or at various government offices.

File a Petition to Establish Parentage

In situations in which a child’s mother and potential father do not agree on paternity, a court can intervene once a Petition to Establish Parentage has been filed. If the paternity dispute cannot be resolved, either the mother or father can request DNA testing to confirm parentage to enable the court to declare legal paternity.

Legal Paternity Tests vs. Non-Legal Paternity Tests

Before you choose a paternity test provider, it’s important to understand the difference between legal and non-legal DNA tests:

  • A legal DNA test is one that is accepted by Washington state courts and must be administered by an approved lab provider who follows all procedural standards to prevent contamination, tampering, and other testing issues.
  • A non-legal DNA test is one that can be used for personal peace of mind, but not in a court of law. At-home test kits and mail-in lab services typically fall into this category.

Depending on your situation, you may need a legal DNA test to satisfy court-ordered requirements.

Why Establishing Paternity is Important

There are many life-changing benefits to establishing paternity, affecting the child, father, and mother involved. When a child’s biological father is officially confirmed, both child and parents may benefit in the following ways:

  • Parents can adequately share the financial and emotional responsibilities of raising a child, each contributing equally to the cost, time, and effort involved in a child’s lifetime.
  • The child can develop a close and invaluable bond with their father, discovering their familial ties and perhaps connecting with their culture and family history.
  • The child and parents will be able to access important medical histories, as well as benefits such as Social Security, inheritances, life insurance, and Veteran benefits.

Legal Paternity Testing in Seattle, WA

If you’re searching for fast, reliable paternity testing in Seattle, make {Sub:BusinessName} your first and only choice. We offer a wide range of paternity test services, including legal DNA testing for use in legal situations such as child custody, child support, and visitation cases. Whether you’re seeking DNA testing for personal, medical, or legal reasons, our friendly trained technicians can provide a stress-free test experience for all parties involved. At {Sub:BusinessName}, we understand that establishing paternity can often be a challenging process, which is why we are dedicated to eliminating part of the burden and giving clients the quick, accurate DNA testing they need.

Learn more about your options for DNA testing in Seattle by contacting {Sub:BusinessName} today.

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