If there is any doubt or question about whether a man is the father, DOR recommends genetic marker paternity tests (DNA tests). The tests are very simple and painless. The mother, the man and the child are tested by having a cotton swab rubbed on the inside of the mouth. The tests may prove the man is not the biological father, or they may show that there is at least a 97% probability that the man is the biological father. In Massachusetts, a probability of 97% is sufficient evidence to support a court entering an order to establish a man is the father. Either parent can apply for DOR services and DOR can help arrange for the tests.

If the tests show that the man is the child’s biological father, he may be required to pay for the tests. If the tests show that he is not the father and DOR is providing services to the family, then DOR pays the cost.