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New Michigan paternity test delivers outcomes earlier

There are a number of reasons why someone might request a paternity test. A mother may be seeking child support from the father or a father may want to establish himself as a biological parent. The issues generally only affect unmarried parents, but new technology could play a big role in paternity disputes and other family law matters.

Michigan woman will now be able to use an easy blood test to determine paternity of an unborn child. Three labs offering the test are currently established across the state in Lansing, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.

The procedure is termed a noninvasive prenatal paternity test and only requires a blood sample from mom and a swab of the supposed father's check. The test can determine parentage much earlier in the pregnancy, as soon as the woman's blood begins to contain DNA of the fetus, which is about five weeks into the pregnancy.

The labs outsource the testing but technicians are able to match genetic markers, which indicate the parents of the child.

The potential downfall of the new test is the price. It is three times more costly than the regular paternity test and totals roughly $1,200. The question is whether this price is worth the early news.

Both men and woman may have an interest in this test. Because it speeds up the determination of paternity, it could help with paternity disputes and child support orders. The outcome of the test may have major implications both parents and therefore, parents considering a paternity action may want to speak with an attorney about all of their options before proceeding. Because this determination may have lifelong effects, it is important that both parties legal rights are protected.

Source: Michigan Radio Newsroom, "New blood test can determine paternity before birth," Dec. 5, 2012

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