Can you perform a paternity test if the alleged father is deceased?

Yes, depending on the type of specimen available, or members of the family within the paternal line that are willing to participate in a DNA test.

If an autopsy was performed at the time of the alleged father’s death, the medical examiner may have a blood stain card, which would contain his DNA. The family member with power of attorney would need to request that the blood stain card be released to the laboratory for testing.

In cases where there are no direct specimens available for the alleged father, other types of family relationship DNA tests may provide the information needed to establish paternity, especially when you need to seek social security or other benefits, or for inheritance purposes. The rule of thumb is the closer the family members are to the alleged father within the family tree, and/or the more paternal family members that participate, the stronger the probability of relationship, which is critical when seeking legal admissibility and acceptance for these reasons. Ask your local medical assistant about grandpaternity testing and other possible DNA tests.