A paternity test is often requested by the mother of the child. In these cases, the named father is in doubt of his paternity and will gladly consent to the test to clear his name. The father, however, has the same legal right for a paternity test if the mother is refusing legal rights to the suspected father.
If the suspected father or mother is not willing to consent to paternity testing, the requesting party can take legal action. At this point, the court system will be given the right to handle the case and may request or demand a paternity test be completed. If the court system takes over the paternity hearing, the process will take far longer than it would if the persons involved consented to paternity testing. In addition to the added time, the court system will demand child support from the included father if the paternity test is positive.
If there is a guardian named for the child, that guardian is given full legal rights. This means the guardian, even if they are not biologically related to the child, has the right to request paternity testing.
Finally, the child has the right to request a paternity test. This usually occurs in cases where the child has grown up without the father in the household or in cases of adoption. The legal rights of the child to press the issue further if the father is unwilling will vary state to state.