Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 20. Domestic Relations
Chapter 3.1. Proceedings to Determine Parentage

§ 20-49.3. Admission of genetic tests.

A. In the trial of any matter in any court in which the question of parentage arises, the court, upon its own motion or upon motion of either party, may and, in cases in which child support is in issue, shall direct and order that the alleged parents and the child submit to scientifically reliable genetic tests including blood tests. The motion of a party shall be accompanied by a sworn statement either (i) alleging paternity and setting forth facts establishing a reasonable possibility of the requisite sexual contact between the parties or (ii) denying paternity.

B. The court shall require the person requesting such genetic test, including a blood test, to pay the cost. However, if such person is indigent, the Commonwealth shall pay for the test. The court may, in its discretion, assess the costs of the test to the party or parties determined to be the parent or parents.

C. The results of a scientifically reliable genetic test, including a blood test, may be admitted in evidence when contained in a written report prepared and sworn to by a duly qualified expert, provided the written results are filed with the clerk of the court hearing the case at least fifteen days prior to the hearing or trial. Verified documentary evidence of the chain of custody of the blood specimens is competent evidence to establish the chain of custody. Any qualified expert performing such test outside the Commonwealth shall consent to service of process through the Secretary of the Commonwealth by filing with the clerk of the court the written results. Upon motion of any party in interest, the court may require the person making the analysis to appear as a witness and be subject to cross-examination, provided that the motion is made at least seven days prior to the hearing or trial. The court may require the person making the motion to pay into court the anticipated costs and fees of the witness or adequate security for such costs and fees.

1988, cc. 866, 878; 1989, c. 598; 1992, c. 516; 1997, cc. 792, 896.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.