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Paternity test tops many Georgians' resolution lists

Over the past few years, there has been a common item topping the New Year's resolution lists of many parents in Georgia and throughout the United States: to conclusively determine the paternity of their child or children.

This inference was made by a company called Identigene, which sells over the counter DNA paternity tests. According to the company's executive director, paternity test sales have spiked during the first quarter of the year in every year since the product became available to the public in 2007.

In addition, Identigene also conducted a survey of approximately 1,000 people in December. About one in 10 respondents stated that they had been in a situation in which a paternity test would be called for, and about one in five stated that a family member or close friend had questioned the paternity of their child or children.

The survey also found that about half of the respondents who had paternity questions planned to address and hopefully resolve them in the new year. But because paternity can be a daunting and often expensive process, many of the respondents stated that they were not sure of where to begin.

Whether you are the mother or purported father of the child, it will likely be in your benefit to resolve your paternity question. A single mother may not be able to receive child support without a paternity determination, and a purported father may not be granted child custody or visitation without first being declared the legitimate father. In the alternative, a man who has been declared the legal father may seek delegitimation if he is paying child support for a child that is not biologically his.

Source: 14 News, "Survey: 1 in 10 question paternity," Theresa Seiger, Dec. 27, 2011

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