Fatherhood has, in the past, been a very grey area for many people; having doubts over a child’s paternity but not being able to prove it.This is no longer the case, since, thanks to advances in genetic science, the paternity test has never been easier to use and more reliable.With a probability figure of 99.999% children no longer have to remain in the dark about the identity of their biological fathers.
Take the recent and highly publicized case of Dannielynn, the late Anna Nicole Smith’s baby daughter.Four men stepped forward claiming to be her father and it was only through the use of DNA paternity tests that her biological was identified.
It was also announced last week, that DNA samples would be taken from the body of the late James Brown.The “Godfather of Soul” has had so many alleged children step up to claim some of his estate that his immediate family felt there was only one way to clear up the issue.His body has been exhumed and DNA will be extracted and compared to those claiming a biological relationship.In cases such as these, as well as the well being of the child in question, there are also major legal and financial connotations to consider so the accuracy of results is of vital importance.
Advances in DNA technology have led to paternity tests becoming cheaper and more accessible, easier to use and more accurate.It is now even possible to prove paternity without an alleged fathers DNA sample by testing siblings and grandparents.DNA samples can be extracted from discarded items like used tissues, chewing gum, hair fibres and toothbrushes.With technology moving so fast, it will soon be possible to determine a baby’s paternity through noninvasive pre natal tests.
Issues of paternity really hit the headlines back in 1943 when Charlie Chaplin was sued by actress Joan Berry who claimed he was the father of her child.At the time a blood test proved he wasn’t the biological father of the child, however, since this type of evidence was not yet admissible in court, he was ordered to pay child support.
His case sparked a change in laws regarding paternity cases and blood cases, but it wasn’t til the late 80’s that DNA testing made its entrance.Now, it is almost fool proof with further testing available to raise the odds even higher.