When the identity of the father of a child is in dispute, it is possible for either party to apply to the court for a declaration of parentage of the child. Hughes Fowler Carruthers recognises the emotional complexity of these matters.
The key method for establishing parentage is, of course, a DNA test. This must be carried out with the knowledge of the parents and the approval of the court. The court cannot compel a person to provide a bodily sample for testing. If they refuse, then the court is entitled to draw an appropriate inference when looking at any other evidence put before the court by the applicant.
The court can refuse to make a declaration of parentage if it considers that it would not be in the interest of the child to do so.
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