Establishing Paternity Before Birth

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C posted in Paternity on Wednesday, December 19, 2012

For unmarried St. Louis people, establishment of paternity can be very important. It can enable a mother of a child born outside of marriage to make the father help support his child financially.

It can help the father, too. After establishing paternity, he can make the mother share child custody or agree to visitation.

For those who find themselves in one of these situations, news of a way to determine paternity before the child is born will probably be of interest. The new procedure analyzes fragments of the fetus’s DNA carried in the woman’s blood to determine paternity as early as the first trimester (the first three months of pregnancy).

One of the ways establishing paternity might be helpful is that it could encourage a father to be supportive of the mother both emotionally and financially during the pregnancy. That support can be crucial not only to the well-being of the woman, but studies have shown that it can also be beneficial to the health of the baby.

Some proponents of this new prenatal procedure say it might one day prompt a change in law. Right now, child support can begin at the birth of the baby. But it’s possible, proponents argue, that states might someday pursue support before childbirth.

A company called Raygen developed the paternity test, it reported in May of this year, claiming that in 30 cases it had used the test, the father was correctly identified in all. Some observers noted that the sample size was small.

So much can depend on the outcome of a dispute over paternity. It’s wise for those involved to secure legal protection of their interests with the aid of a family law attorney.

Source: mlive.com, “Kalamazoo lab first in West Michigan to conduct new prenatal paternity test,” Dec. 4, 2012
Our Missouri firm handles these kinds of family law matters both here and in Illinois. For more information, please visit our St. Louis paternity page.