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An ordinary paternity case became more interesting when DNA testing revealed that the alleged father was genetically related to only one of a set of twins. To be more exact, the results showed that there was a 99.9 percent chance he was the genetic father of one twin, and a zero percent chance he fathered the other.

In an earlier day, we might never have known the true paternity of these twins. Just as we might not have discovered whether a married woman’s child was conceived in adultery—even though studies over time have shown that 35% of the children of married women are not fathered by the woman’s husband. But technological developments have led to the discovery—and near perfection —of DNA testing, which can tie or exclude an alleged parent to a child almost infallibly.

With answers come questions. Must law defer to science in matters of parentage? In this case, a New Jersey court held that, as long as the scientific analysis was done properly, the DNA results relieve the defendant of parental obligation to the twin with whom he has no genetic tie.



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