Issues to consider
As discussed earlier, the fact that you can get a paternity test does not automatically mean that you should. There are many complex emotional issues to consider first.
Following changes in the law in 2006, all parties concerned must now give written consent for paternity testing, and all have a legal right to know the result. This means that you must air your suspicions to your partner in order to have the test done. Even if the result proves your suspicions to be unfounded, merely asking for the test may cause irrevocable damage to your relationship. Bear in mind that brothers and sisters from the same parents may have widely different appearances and personalities, and this is not automatically a cause for suspicion.
There are also the feelings of the child to consider. If the child sees a man as his or her father, finding out that they are not, may not be in the child’s best interests – at least not in the early years of development. Before you undertake a paternity testing, you should discuss if, how, and when you are going to tell the child about the results.
Similarly, if a man is happy to think he is the father of a child, there may be little to gain in him finding out that he isn’t. Even the most loving father may struggle with the knowledge that a child is biologically someone else’s.
Clearly the whole issue of paternity testing is incredibly complex and you should consider counselling, either individually, or as a couple, to make sure you’re as well prepared for the outcome of the test and the impact it will have on your relationship as you can be.