DNA Testing Under the New Parentage Act

The new act, codified on January 1, 2016, encapsulates the spirit of the case law that indicates that fatherhood is not always created by pure genetics. In re Parentage of G.E.M., 382 Ill. App. 3d 1102, 322 Ill. Dec. 25, 35, 890 N.E.2d 944, 945 (3rd Dist. 2008).

The Act gives courts greater ability to deny motions for DNA testing.  It lists the following factors that courts will use in deciding whether to deny a motion requesting genetic testing:

  • The conduct of the parent, acknowledged parent, adjudicated parent, or the presumed parent and whether it estops that party from denying parentage;
  • If it would be inequitable to disprove the parent-child relationship between;
  • It if it is the child’s best interests to deny genetic testing, taking into account:
    • The length of time between the current proceeding to adjudicate parentage and the time that the presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated parent was placed on notice that he or she might not be the biological parent;
    • The length of time during which the presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated parent has assumed the role of parent of the child;
    • The facts surrounding the presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated parent’s discovery of his or her possible nonparentage;
    • The nature of the relationship between the child and presumed parent
    • The age of the child;
    • The hard that may result to the child if the presumed parentage is successfully disproved;
    • The nature of the relationship between the child and any alleged parent;
    • The extent to which the passage of time reduces the chances of establishing the parentage of another person and a child support obligation in favor of the child;
    • Other factors that may affect the equities arising from the disruption of the parent-child relationship;
    • And any other factors that the court determines to be equitable.

The discretion of the court in ordering DNA testing is greatly increased under this still-new law and the case law that came before it.

 

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