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3 minutes
21 Jan 2022

Can you refuse a DNA Test?

Yes, an individual can refuse to take part in a DNA test. However, there could be legal consequences in doing so.

Can you refuse a DNA test

Why would someone refuse to take a DNA test?

DNA Clinics have been providing DNA testing services since 2005. In this time, we have seen many circumstances where individuals do not want to take part in a DNA test. By far the most common situation is when an alleged father refuses a paternity test. Reasons for this range from a general break down in the relationship between the mother and father of a child. Or, attempting to avoid child maintenance payments. But where do you stand legally by refusing to take part in a DNA test?

If the mother refuses a paternity test

If a mother refuses to take part in a paternity test for legal reasons, a court can order the test to be performed. Normally to perform a legal paternity test, the mother must provide her written consent for her children to participate in the test. However, the court can overrule a refusal if it considers that the DNA test is being performed in a child’s best interests.

If the father refuses a paternity test

If a father refuses to take part in a paternity test, then either a court or the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) can order the test to be performed. It is worth noting that this would be the last resort in a disputed paternity case. Before this, interviews of both mother and father may have taken place. In the end, no individual can be legally forced to take part in a paternity test. However, continued refusal by the alleged father to participate will in most cases mean the court will declare him as the biological father without any evidence to suggest otherwise.

What is our experience?

In most cases, all test participants are happy to consent and take part in a DNA test. Also, although we mention the reasons why individuals refuse to take a DNA test, there are many reasons to take part. Some of these include child access rights or to settle a disputed Will. For paternity testing, it is in the mothers and the alleged fathers’ own interests to resolve the disputed paternity as soon as possible. Not only to avoid further costs and stress, but most importantly to act in the best interests of the children involved.