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AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Family law matters.
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In Washington state, what is required for the court to order

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In Washington state, what is required for the court to order a paternity test? I am in a situation where a female on welfare has had a child, and the name she listed for the father matches mine. She has stated, however, that I am not the father & that the father was from out of town. I am, honestly, a little bit uncomfortable with just giving my DNA to the state to pile away in it's database somewhere. Perhaps that sounds silly to you, but I just don't think my DNA is their business. Does she actually have to identify me as the father, or can the state make me do it just because of my name?

Dear vivsomnio,


Thank you for your question and I look forward to assisting you. Please keep in mind that I can only respond to your post and the information contained in it, as I do not know what you know unless you describe it fully. Also, due to site tech reasons, oftentimes I am initially only able to see the first part of your post, so I apologize in advance if it means more interactions between us. Also, oftentimes there are future facts that are as yet undetermined in your matter, that can and must leave some areas of information provided by me broad in nature. However, don't hesitate to ask for clarification if needed! At times, there can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break. That being said...


Your name alone should NOT compel an order that you are the father nor demand a DNA test - many many people share the same name, particularly if yours is a common name (google it and find out how many results come up that are NOT yours). This is especially so if she states that you are NOT the father. Now, if you did have relations with her such that you arguably could be the father, keep in mind that she may easily change her mind and say, "OK, he's the dad." You see the real father is supposed to be paying support for this child, both morally and legally, and because right now, the mom being on welfare, the taxpayers (you and me) are getting stuck with the bill because dad isn't digging deep into his wallet, so we must. Welfare law demands that the State go after the father to recoup the money it is chucking out for his child, that he should have been paying all along.


Keep in mind also that the DNA test can protect you from having to pay for 18-21 years for a child that is not yours. Honestly, if it were me, I would take the test if I was confident I wasn't the dad. I'd much rather have my DNA in the system then pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to the state for the next 20 years. Besides, anyone who wants your DNA can probably get it - via the trash, a cup you used, etc. We are a very transparent society given our tech of the day.


Plus, if it is your child, wouldn't you want to know?


Hope this helps!



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Stephanie Joy


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