IFG – Institut für forensische Genetik Münster, Prof. Dr. Bernd Brinkmann

Legal Information

§ 1598a of the German Civil Code states that all affected individuals (meaning all children, every uncertain mother and every legally recognised father) have the right to call for paternity testing. The affected individual may choose the laboratory that will carry out the test. If no legally acceptable parentage assessment exists, the participation of affected individuals who are unwilling may be ordered by a family court, so that that a test can be legally carried out despite the refusal.

The legal costs for such processes are low, no lawyer is required. Parentage assessments made without the agreement of the statutory representative are illegal. In the case of a complaint, such assessments can lead to legal action and a monetary fine of up to €5,000 for the client and a fine of up to €300,000 for the laboratory that carried out the test. This applies to clients who fall under the jurisdiction of German law, regardless of where they are when the assessment is carried out.

Since 2010, parentage assessments have been regulated by the Genetic Diagnosis Act (GenDG).