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New paternity tests help determine father even earlier

Not all parents get along with one another. This is underscored by the number of paternity disputes that have occurred in New Orleans. Many mothers and fathers have found themselves caught up in such a dispute, fighting over whether the man involved in the case is the father of the involved children or not. Researchers have been working toward ways for determining paternity for years and until recently, the earliest that the father of a fetus could be determined was nine weeks into the pregnancy. But thanks to technological advances, a new test can determine this as early as five weeks.

The new tests require that the blood of the mother be drawn so that DNA from the fetus -- which floats in the mother's blood -- can be analyzed for more than 300,000 genetic markers. The father's DNA is also required for this test to determine paternity, as the genetic markers between the fetus and the potential father are compared.

These tests and the accompanying results can be extremely important during a paternity dispute. If a mother does not want the man to be a part of her child's life, she may say that the man is not the father without any grounds speaking to the contrary. She could say that she was sleeping with another man at the time of the child's conception, but this may not be true. Mothers may have their reasons for stating that the biological father of the child is not who it really is. Some are worried about violent behavior, others are worried about substance abuse, and in some instances, the couple just may not get along. Whatever the reason is, most fathers will still seek to have paternity established.

If paternity is established and the mother gains full custody, the father may be tasked with paying child support. Child support cases that involve a father who refuses that a child is his can also use paternity tests to determine if a man needs to make child support payments. If you are involved in a paternity dispute for any reason at all, reach out to a lawyer to talk about your case.

Source:  Laboratory Equipment, "Prenatal Paternity Test Works at Five Weeks" No Author Given, Jul. 08, 2013

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