City of Alexandria, VA
Sometimes there is a disagreement between a mother and a man as to who is the father of a child. When that happens, either person who wants the issue decided can ask to have Paternity testing done at a hospital or facility that performs such testing.
If either person wants a judicial determination made on the issue, he or she may file a Petition through the Court Service Unit asking that such a determination be made. In most situations where these types of cases come to the court, the judge will order that Paternity testing be done. Usually the person who filed the Petition will have to pay the cost of the test up front unless the parties agree to some other way to pay for it.
If the matter remains contested after the Paternity testing is completed, the Court will make the child a party to the case and appoint a Guardian ad Litem to represent his/her interests so that any decision by the court can be binding on the mother, the child, and the man who has been found either to be the child's father or not.
If the child's mother or the man who wants paternity determined files an adult petition for child support and asks in that Petition that paternity be established, the Division of Child Support Enforcement will advance the costs for the paternity testing in most circumstances. Once a person is determined to be the father, however, he will then have to reimburse the state for the cost of the Paternity testing.