Every now and then I'll read about a mother who is trying to establish paternity so that she can obtain social security benefits for her child because the biological father died before parentage could be determined.
Recent developments in DNA testing will now make such paternity testing more possible -- provided, of course, that the mother can get someone from the male bloodline of the biological father to cooperate with DNA testing.
A story on January 6, 2007 in the Boston Globe, reported that a 54-year-old African-American female lawyer, adopted at the age of 5, was finally able to establish the identity of her own father. In this case, the child, Carla Latty, simply wanted to know her heritage. The male relatives weren't particularly cooperative because the possible father was a Roman Catholic priest in the church where Ms. Latty's mother played the organ. Male relatives were spread through the country, with one found in British Columbia who was eventually establihsed as the full brother of Ms. Latty.
An earlier Boston Globe article was successful in soliciting some assistance from one male member of the prist's father and financing for the DNA testing from another priest.
The story is long and complicated. It will give you some idea of the kinds of hoops that may need to be jumped through in such a case. You can read it here.
To contact Jeanne Hannah with your questions or to view her Family Law website, click here.