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Can I Still Prove Paternity in Illinois If My Child’s Father is Deceased?

Posted on in Family Law

Can I Still Prove Paternity in Illinois If My Child’s Father is Deceased?Legally recognizing your child’s father, in a process known as establishing paternity, is important for a number of reasons. Your child is entitled to know their biological father, have a relationship with him, and know his family history. Your child is also subject to financial benefits from their biological father, such as social security benefits, health and life insurance coverage, veteran’s benefits, and any inheritances. Proving paternity is not a difficult process if all parties cooperate. Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAP) is a form that both parents complete to establish who the child’s father is when the parents are not married. If the parties do not cooperate, you can turn to court orders for DNA testing to prove who the child’s father really is. However, for alleged fathers who recently passed away, the process can become slightly more complex.

DNA Testing

With modern technology, it is possible for you to determine your child’s father even after his passing. It is still relevant to make this legal determination for your child’s knowledge and for any financial legacy that your child may be subject to. When proving paternity using DNA testing, the child, mother, and possible biological father will all submit to DNA sampling, often through a cheek swab or blood test. Since the child is half made up of the mother’s genes, the alleged father’s genes must match up with the other half. This is a quick and definitive test that a medical professional can perform and send to the court for evidence.

You may think that since your child’s alleged father passed away, all attempts at definitively knowing his father are gone. Luckily, DNA testing can be performed on the man’s immediate family members and be used to make this determination. Since men have XY chromosomes, and women have XX chromosomes, one can test the males of the alleged father’s family to see if the Y chromosome matches your child’s Y chromosome. The Y chromosome is passed, unchanged, down the male line, and is different once the male lineage is broken. In other words, if you have a son, he will have the same Y chromosome as his father’s father and brothers. For female children, the testing would be the same, but the alleged father’s female family members would be submitted to these tests.

Contact a McHenry County Paternity Lawyer

When DNA paternity testing is done with immediate family members of the alleged father, rather than the man himself, the subjects tested and samples given will need to be formally notarized by a legal professional and transported for testing by a named courier to an accredited laboratory. It is always advisable to turn to a reputable attorney for help when establishing paternity, but this is especially relevant if the alleged father is deceased. Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, assists both mothers and fathers with determining who the biological father is to the mother’s child. If you are struggling to receive testing permission from the alleged father’s immediate family members, our Crystal Lake paternity attorneys can help obtain a court order for this testing to help you discover your child’s real background. For help with your case, contact our firm at 815-338-3838 to schedule your free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.easy-dna.com/knowledge-base/dna-paternity-testing-absent-father/

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/FormsBrochures/Pages/hfs3282.aspx 

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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