The status of Children act states that children are the offspring of their mothers husband unless it is proved that they are not. However not all parents are married and there can be a requirement to prove paternity. If an unmarried mother names a man as the father of her child on the birth certificate, she can then attempt to claim maintenance from him in the family law courts.

Alternatively a man who considers himself to be the father of a child may find that the mother is unwilling to let him access the child, particularly if there has been a break down in communication between the parties.

It is in these incidences that DNA testing in Ireland is performed. Until recently relatively few DNA Tests in Ireland were being performed. However in the last five years there has been a huge upsurge in the number of DNA tests in Ireland.