Children and Family Relationships Bill, 2015-Testing to Establish Parentage

Part 6 of the Bill deals with testing to establish parentage.

parentage-paternity-family-law

Head 24: Definitions

This Head provides definitions for the purposes of the Part. It differs from the definitions in section 37 of the 1987 Act in referring specifically to DNA and DNA testing, as distinct from “blood tests”. This allows the omission of the definition of “excluded” as DNA tests should still give a high degree of certainty as to parentage even where some level of mutation naturally occurs. It also provides a definition of “non-intimate samples” because blood samples are not generally necessary for the purposes of DNA testing.

Head 25: Direction for the use of DNA tests

This Head mirrors section 38 of the 1987 Act with the modification that reference is made to DNA testing rather than solely to blood tests, and subhead (3) allows the court to decide whether to direct testing by means of blood sample or non-intimate sample, having regard to the overall circumstances and the best interests of the child.

Head 26: Consent to and taking of sample

The Head mirrors section 39 of the 1987 Act with the modification that it includes specific references to non-intimate samples and to DNA tests, and the reference in section 39(3)(b) to a medical practitioner having to certify that the taking of a blood sample will not be prejudicial to a person’s care and treatment is now omitted. This is because virtually all DNA samples will be non-intimate samples and taking such samples cannot prejudice a person’s care and treatment in any normal circumstances.

Head 27: DNA test and reports

This Head provides how DNA test results are to be reported to the court. It replicates section 40 of the 1987 Act with the modification that reference is made explicitly to DNA testing rather than “blood tests”, and to non-intimate samples.

Head 29: Failure to comply with direction on DNA tests

This Head allows the court to draw certain inferences where a person does not comply with a direction to undertake DNA testing. It replicates section 42 of the 1987 Act.
Head 30: Penalty for personation for DNA test purposes