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Arkansas’ general provisions for paternity testing

Right after the birth of most children in Arkansas, the father will typically fill out the forms required for Acknowledgment of Paternity in the hospital. However, in some cases the paternity of the child is disputed because the child was not the consequence of marriage or a long-term relationship, there were allegations of infidelity by the mother or for many other reasons.

In some cases, the mother willfully conceals the paternity of the child from the father. In all these cases, establishing paternity becomes a future requirement, but can also become more complicated under existing state laws. As a result, many fathers, as well as mothers, find it useful to get more information in order to attempt to resolve paternity disputes.

With the advancement of medical science, proving or disproving paternity has become relatively easy and accurate. A paternity suit is usually initiated by a concerned party. The judge overseeing a paternity case requires the potential father to submit to various scientific testing, including DNA testing, to refute or prove paternity. In most cases, if these tests prove that there is a probability of 95 percent or higher that the child is genetically related to both parents, then under Arkansas law this evidence is enough to establish paternity.

In some cases, paternity establishment is necessary because the mother of the child has died and the child is left an orphan because the identity of the father has not been established. In such cases, the child’s maternal family members might also be asked to submit to testing to prove the child’s genetic links to either side of the family. Inversely, in cases where the identified father has died before establishing an undisputed paternal genetic link, his relatives can also submit to tests to prove that the child is their blood relative.

Source: Arkansas Statutes, “Arkansas Code,” Accessed on Aug. 6, 2015

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