Who Gets a Paternity Test? Results from Maryland Child Support Offices

David Bishai, Johns Hopkins University
Nan M. Astone, Johns Hopkins University

We interviewed 250 individuals who were having paternity tests conducted in Maryland pursuant to a state determination of a child support order. The interviews were conducted from Sept 2003 to August 2004 and focused on the relationship between the mother and the man in question as well as the level of contact between the man and the child. We also obtained permission to obtain results of the genetic tests from the research subject. The survey indicated that women expressed higher degrees of confidence than the men that the tests would prove the man’s paternity. Men who eventually tested negative for paternity had lower baseline levels of contact with the child.

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Presented in Session 135: Paternity Establishment and Father's Investments in Children