- Community Services
- Child Support
- Genetic Testing
The Washington County child support office will assist with the genetic testing process if either the mother or the alleged father has applied for services and a legal father has not yet been established for the child.
If genetic testing is arranged through the child support office, the test is completed through buccal swab collection from the mother, alleged father and child. Buccal swabs are cotton swabs that are rubbed firmly against the inside of each person's cheek to obtain DNA cell samples and those samples are sent to a lab for testing.
- Can anyone have genetic testing done through the child support office?
The child support office will only arrange for genetic testing if the mother or alleged father applies for child support services, or receives public assistance benefits for the child, and the child support office determines the applicant's child does not have a legal father. Individuals who want genetic testing but do not have a child support case open with the child support office can independently contact a genetic testing lab about genetic testing services.
- Is blood more accurate than cheek cells when testing for paternity?
A person's DNA is the same whether it is collected from cheek cells or blood, so both are equally accurate. Collecting blood samples from children can be a painful and frightening experience, so the child support office uses cheek cell collection instead of blood sample collection.
- How accurate are genetic tests?
DNA testing is very accurate and will indicate either a probability of paternity greater than 99.9% (inclusion) or 0% (exclusion).