In the event that a father did not sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (or, a “VAP”) at the hospital when a child was born, they may have the right to request DNA testing to confirm paternity. Even in the event that a father did sign the VAP, if it has been less than two years, in some circumstances, they can still request a DNA test (every case is different). Parties often wonder what their rights are and how a DNA test works, as well as who pays the costs for same.
In family court in Illinois, the rule is generally that the requestor of the DNA test incurs the costs for same. However, in some circumstances, the Court may allocate the fees and costs for the DNA test between the parties. It is up to judicial discretion, so it varies from Judge to Judge who will ultimately be responsible for the payment of the costs for a DNA test.
DNA testing confirms whether or not a party is the biological father of the minor child. Once the DNA test results come back, if they are positive, the Court will enter an Order declaring the father as the biological and natural father of the child. They will have all rights that a parent enjoys, as well as the obligation to support the child financially. While a VAP may be voluntarily signed without a DNA test, the party who signs it without a paternity test may be relinquishing their rights to obtain one, unless it is done in a timely manner, pursuant to statute.