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In what context can a paternity test be carried out?

Verified 10 August 2020 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

The paternity test shall be authorized only in the context of legal proceedings for:

  • to establish or contest a link filiation,
  • to receive or withdraw financial assistance supply,
  • to establish the identity of deceased persons, in the course of a police investigation.

It is not mandatory to obtain several proofs or indications of paternity to request a test. The paternity test may be applied for automatically in respect of filiation unless there is a legitimate reason for not being able to do so. For example, a paternity test whose sole purpose is financial interest may be refused.

Consent of the alleged father is mandatory. Thus, he may refuse to submit to a legal paternity test, but in the event of a refusal the judge may draw any consequences and interpret the refusal as an admission of paternity.

It is illegal to carry out a paternity test outside this framework.

The paternity test shall be ordered by the court judge seised by a lawyer.

It can be accomplished using 2 methods:

  • Blood test
  • DNA identification (DNA test)

The paternity test may be carried out only by specially approved technicians.

The establishment of a paternity test is regulated by law, it is not possible to do so in a private setting. For example, you can't do it on the Internet or abroad.

The carrying out of a paternity test outside the legal framework carries penalties ranging from one year's imprisonment to €15,000 fine.

Dissemination of information on the identification of a person by his or her genetic fingerprints or examination of the genetic characteristics of a person shall be punished in the same way.

To request the examination of his or her genetic characteristics or that of another person or to seek to identify a person by his or her genetic fingerprints outside the framework provided for by law is punishable by €3,750 fine.


no paternity test can be performed before birth.