What should you do if you need a paternity test but the father is incarcerated in prison? What correctional services do you need to get in touch with? Contrary to what many people think, you can in fact perform DNA paternity tests on prison inmates. There are certainly a few extra hoops to jump through, but it's a small price to pay to know who the father of your child is. If you're interested in performing a paternity test on someone incarcerated in prison, keep reading and I'll reveal how you can go about doing so.
Steps to follow to carry out a paternity test in prison
Typically, the first step you'll need to follow is to contact the inmate you believe to be the father of your child and ask them if they mind taking a paternity test. If they accept and don't mind, then you'll need to contact the officials at the prison where he's incarcerated at. See what their policy is on inmate paternity testing. While some prisons don't have a problem with private testing, others will require that you go through the courts.
As long as the prison officials don't mind, then you can purchase a DNA paternity testing kit and send it to them. They'll likely give it to their prison doctor or a member of their medical staff to administer. Administering a DNA test usually involves taking a saliva sample by swabbing the inside of the cheek, although there are also DNA paternity tests done using blood samples, the newest and most convenient method is through saliva. Once the sample is taken, it can either be mailed back to you or directly to the specified lab for testing. You might wish to get some information and assistance from the Department of Correctional Services which is reponsable for the running and administration of prisons in South Africa (The agency has its headquarters in Pretoria)
What happens next after sending samples?
Waiting for the results may feel like an eternity, but it should only take 1 to 2 weeks depending on the lab. So just how accurate are the results of a paternity test? Most of them claim to be 99.99+% accurate. But one must look out to ensure that the laboratory is advertising that they are indeed ISO17025 accredited as this ensure the maximum attention to your test.
If the prison system tells you that you must go through the courts or if the inmate doesn't give you their consent, then you'll need to petition the court system for a DNA paternity test. This is typically a straightforward procedure that's done through the family court system. If the judge supports your claim, a legal or judiciary paternity test will be ordered. The procedure will still be the same; he'll have his cheeks swabbed but this time in the presence of a medical professional who will ensure that identity of the person participating. Samples of the child would need also to be collected at a Surgery in front of a GP (General Practitioner)
The results of the Legal DNA paternity test can be presented in court if necessary. For instance, if he claims he's not the father and doesn't want to pay child support, you can take him to court and prove otherwise using the results of the test.