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11 of November, 2019
What Does Ontario Law Have to Say About Paternity Testing?
What Does Ontario Law Have to Say About Paternity Testing?

For many expectant mothers, it can be important to determine the biological father of the child through a prenatal paternity test due to the legal ramifications otherwise.

 

By not determining paternity, responsibility, such as financial support, surrounding a child does not legally need be shared with the father, leading to undue stress.

 

For others, responsibility is not the sole factor behind this; the rights of the father are important too. The evidence from a prenatal paternity test can set legal parameters in place so that he may utilise government benefits like the Canada Child Benefit or parental leave from work.

 

Does a Prenatal Paternity Test Count as Proof in Court?

Absolutely, by ordering a kit, like the ones provided by Prenatal Genetics Centre, you can have a non-invasive medical test that provides a result with >99% accuracy.

 

This is done by taking fetal DNA from the mother via her blood sample and comparing it with that of the presumed father, typically via a swab.

 

What If the Father Refuses to Participate in the Prenatal Paternity Test?

You may find yourself in a situation where the paternity test cannot go forwards due to the refusal of the father in question to participate.

 

In such cases, it is advised to have a court hearing so that you may formally request that the judge look at enforcing the father to take the paternity test. Before a judge comes to a decision about applying a court order (known as a declaration of parentage, discussed later) to acknowledge he is a parent, it is normal for them to first provide the father with the opportunity of paternity testing.

 

What Is a Declaration of Parentage?

In situations where the biological father of a child refuses to admit they are a parent, the court can - at request of the mother - look into applying a court order, known as a declaration of parentage, that sets into law their fatherhood to the child.

 

Both sides are required to put forward their evidence and statements as to why they believe they are or are not the father of the child – a prenatal paternity test is one such example of acceptable evidence.

 

Should a court order successfully go through and the biological father be instated as the child’s parent, you are then legally entitled to list him as a parent when registering the birth of your child. Similarly, changes to existing birth registrations can be made by contacting the Office of the Registrar General, in Ontario.

 

How Does the Law Determine If the Father Is Likely the Child’s Parent?

The factors the law takes into consideration for their proclamation of a court order for the parent of a child is reliant upon the child being conceived through sexual intercourse in addition to one of the following:

  • Married to the birth parent when child was birthed or within 300 days of the birth, but marriage ended due to divorce, annulment, or death
  • Cohabitation with the birth parent before and during birth of child
  • Voluntarily signed birth registration to certify parenthood
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