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New paternity tests could resolve child support issues faster

Statistics show that more than half of all children born to women under the age of 30 today are the products of non-marital relationships. In many of cases, pregnant mothers cannot even be certain of the father's identity due to having had more than one sexual partner during the conception period.

However you may feel about this development on a personal level or moral grounds, it has made child support issues undeniably more difficult for both unmarried mothers and unmarried fathers in Tennessee. Fortunately, those difficulties might soon be a thing of the past thanks largely to new blood tests that can determine paternity of an unborn child as early as the eight week of pregnancy.

Better still, the new paternity tests are considered to be simple, non-invasive, safe and accurate -- unlike existing methods that are more invasive, riskier and unable to produce results as quickly, and the notoriously unreliable paternity tests that have been available on the Internet for a decade.

Thus far, in fact, the tests appear to have only three potential drawbacks: (1) limited availability at this time; (2) cost (estimated to be about $950 to $1,775 per test as opposed to $500 for traditional paternity tests given after a child is born); and, (3) potential fathers must consent to provide a blood sample. Having said that, the availability and cost issues should become less of a problem over time while the consent issue is likely to be a problem in only a small percentage of child support cases.

Source: The New York Times, "Before Birth, Dad's ID," Andrew Pollack, June 19, 2012

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