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New paternity testing procedure could provide needed answers

Paternity questions are classic examples of oxymorons at work. They are very simple, yet complex questions that carry a host of emotional, legal and financial implications. They can make people act irrationally and bring out their best at the same time. Most of all, the wait times for results from such quick tests are often too long, which only adds to the strife between potential parents and their families.

ARCPoint Labs, a South Carolina based paternity testing company with locations in Texas, is now using a procedure that can stem the discord associated with long-awaited paternity questions. Essentially, the fetus' DNA (which is commonly found in the mother's blood) can be tested along with a cheek swab sample from a putative father, which can be used to establish paternity as early as the mother's first trimester.

Currently, amniocentesis is used for prenatal paternity determinations, but the process is highly invasive and could harm the baby. The test is a new innovation created by Ravgen, Inc., and such a non-invasive procedure can quickly confirm (or exclude) a potential father. Like traditional paternity tests, the new prenatal paternity test is 99 percent accurate and is admissible in paternity hearings.

Also, the advance notice will likely be a relief to potential fathers and grandparents because it will give them peace of mind as the baby comes.

The new testing may lead to changes to Texas' paternity adjudication process, which can take months (if not years) through the legal system, since testing is usually not conducted until the baby is born.

Source: Yahoo News.com, ARCPoint Labs introduces new prenatal paternity test, December 4, 2012

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