On behalf of Jacquelyn S. Gonz, Attorney at Law LLC posted in paternity on Monday, June 24, 2019.
Ancestry tests are having a moment right now. Between AncestryDNA and 23AndMe, more people than ever are exploring their family’s heritage through cheek swabbing and DNA testing. But what happens when your results have unintentional consequences?
According to Vice, many people find secrets hidden the fabrics of the DNA. The report included George Doe, an anonymous source who found out he had a half-brother on his father’s side through an ancestry test. Others reported incidents where they discovered their dads weren’t their biological fathers, and it led to severe complications in their family relationships.

What does this mean for paternity suits?

With these implications, many people have discussed the possibility of using ancestry tests for paternity suits or child custody hearings. They argue the tests use legitimate practices to establish a genetic connection between children and fathers, but the creators of these tests disagree.
According to Ancestry.com, their test uses autosomal practices to establish who you are closely-related to, not to prove paternity between children and parents specifically. To officially establish paternity, you have to go through a DNA testing lab to ensure the results are entirely accurate.
In Missouri, most couples who want to test paternity can go through the court system to receive free testing – especially for child custody cases. Once you establish paternity, you can either seek more time with your children or child support order.
Creators of ancestry tests believe keeping their tests out of courts helps more parents than it hurts. It allows people to go through a formal process to establish paternity and keeps alternative explanations for specific genetic results out of a custody case.
If you want to establish paternity, skip the fee and cheek swabbing for an online test and go straight to a local DNA testing lab. It gives definite answers without a painful reveal when you get the results.