Knox County Tennessee
Regional Forensic Center

DNA/Paternity Test from the Medical Examiner’s Office

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To request a paternity/DNA test on a decedent that was brought to the Knox County Regional Forensic Center (KCRFC), you must have permission from the deceased person’s next-of-kin, and have selected a laboratory to perform the testing. Next-of-kin includes the spouse, adult children, parents, and adult siblings of the person who is deceased.

If the decedent’s next-of-kin is unavailable, or refuses to consent to the release of a specimen, a court order is required to release any samples. If unsure who the next-of-kin is, the order of precedence is as follows:

  1. Legal spouse of the deceased person
  2. Adult child(ren) of the deceased person (must be 18 or older)
  3. Parent(s) of the deceased person
  4. Adult sibling(s) of the deceased person (must be 18 or older)

(For paternity testing: Please note that the mother of the child is not considered next-of-kin unless she falls into one of the categories above.)

In order for the decedent’s DNA sample to be released for analysis, their next-of-kin is required to complete a Consent for DNA Testing form and select a laboratory to perform the testing. That form can be found here.

How to submit a Consent for DNA Testing Form

Print and fill out the Consent for DNA Testing Form. Mail it, or bring it in person to:

Knox County Regional Forensic Center

2761 Sullins Street SW

Knoxville, TN 37919

If hand-delivered to our office, the form does not require notarization but will require proof of identification. If mailed in, the form must be notarized.

The lab chosen to perform DNA testing should contact the KCRFC with any questions at 865-215-8000. Once we verify that consent (or court order) and a specimen collection kit has been received, we will release the specimen for testing. The KCRFC does not receive any DNA testing results.

For more information on establishing paternity please visit the Tennessee Department of Human Services site.

To view Tenn. Code Ann. § 24-7-112, the Tennessee law pertaining to establishing paternity, click here.