– from William P. in Mukwonago, WI

Question Details:

I was dating a girl for a few months about a year and a half ago. Soon after we broke up, she came to me with the news that she was pregnant. I knew it couldn't be mine because the timing didn't add up. After the baby was born, she took me to court for child support, and the court ordered a paternity test. The test results came back, and the doctor testified that the results showed that there was an almost certainty that I was the father. How can this be? The test was not 100%, but I was still found to be the child's father and liable for support. What if the DNA test was wrong?

Family Law Attorney Response:

First, there is something you should understand about DNA testing. No DNA test will show a 100% match. There are many reasons for this. The percentage will also vary depending on the amount of loci (locations) that are tested. In these types of cases, there are typically 15 loci's tested, which increases the amount of data produced. If your percentage was 99.9%, there is only a 0.01% chance of error. If, however, the lab did not test approximately 15 loci's, and your test result was 99%, there is actually a chance of error 100 times greater.

In the case of State ex rel. T.R.S. v. L.F.E. (In re Paternity of T.L.S.) 125 Wis. 2d 399, 373 N.W.2d 55 (Ct. App. 1985), a similar situation occurred where a man was found to be the father based on this evidence. Despite an appeal, the decision was affirmed based on the testimony of the individual supervising the test.

My advice would be to contact an attorney right away to discuss the matter in detail as well as child support representation if necessary.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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