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Will new paternity testing affect family law in Missouri?

Paternity testing is a major aspect of many family law cases in Missouri. Sometimes these cases involve a child support or child custody dispute, and other times the individuals involved just want to know the truth.

St. Charles residents who have questions regarding paternity will be interested to hear that a new method has been found to identify a baby's father as soon as the eighth week of pregnancy. Previously, 10 to 15 weeks had to pass before such a test could be run.

According to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers have developed a method of isolating fetal DNA from a carefully obtained sample of the mother's blood. The fetal DNA in the blood can then be tested against the DNA of a possible father. Methods prior to this one compromised the structure of the sampled blood cells, and because of advances in technology, the new method keeps the blood cells intact, providing a better sample.

The testing has already been successfully used to prove paternity in court. But aside from legal matters, researchers say the new method will also help in the early detection of genetic disorders and other conditions such as Down's syndrome.

One of the project's head researchers said that he was contacted by a number of women who were anxious to prove paternity, and they inspired him to find a way of speeding up the process of paternity testing. He pointed out that having a faster and safer method of proving paternity is also very important in cases of rape.

"There are so many situations where people need to identify the paternity before the baby is born that are social, medical and legal," he said.

Readers in the St. Charles area may want to keep an eye on how family law disputes are affected by this recent development in paternity testing.

Source: WebMD, "Experts Say the Test Has Important Medical, Legal Applications," Brenda Goodman, May 2, 2012


Paternity testing can effect lives in a negative and a positive way. Coming from the DNA/Paternity testing industry I personally feel that it's not the test that determines a true father, but rather the person that steps up to the plate and takes on that role.

If these tests were to be mandated it could step on toes and cause more strain towards families that had no reason for it to begin with.

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