DNA Technology Roots out Paternity Fraud
The term “paternity fraud” defines the action of a mother who names a man to be the biological father of a child, often for the purpose of collecting child support, when she suspects or knows he is not the biological father. Victims of paternity fraud are numerous and include the non-biological father; the child deprived of a relationship with his/her biological father, as well as the biological father.
Reports of paternity fraud occasionally make the news, but the public at large is unaware of the rampant problem occurring worldwide. Dr. R. Vincent Miller, Technical Leader at Chromosomal Laboratories estimates that “Nearly 30% of the tested paternity cases in our laboratory result in an exclusion of the “alleged father” presented as the biological father.” He goes on to add that “When you apply that percentage to the tens of thousands of cases we process annually the numbers become epidemic”.
A common ploy seen today is accomplished by sending a surrogate male to stand in for the “alleged father, or intentionally substituting a random child to be swabbed for DNA in place of the actual child in question. As stated by Bellis in an article on public health consequences on paternity irregularities, most at risk are those born to younger parents, to unmarried couples and those of lower socio-economic status. Although this may be the norm, the cases most often seen in the news do not fit that stereotype.
There is nothing quite like financial success to draw out civil claims from the woodwork. A recent claim reported by TMZ comes from a Washington D.C. attorney, Leicester Bryce Stovell. Mr. Stovall has filed a lawsuit alleging he is the father of NBA All-Star LeBron James. He seeks a paternity test which will prove the likelihood that he and Gloria James are the lawful parents of LeBron. If the DNA testing proves his relationship, he intends to seek $4 million from an alleged cover-up by Ms. James. Previous testing for paternity had been reported as “negative”, but Mr. Stovell seems to be objecting to the paternity process.
Tiger Woods may also be caught up in a challenge to prove he is not the father of alleged mistress Devon James’ nine year old son, as reported by Radar Online. The court process will attempt to ascertain parental responsibilities and child support. To date, the court has not ordered paternity testing to be performed.
The American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) defines the process under which the samples are collected for legal purposes, how sample custody is maintained and the laboratory processes and protection of samples. DNA testing today falls into two main arenas. One is the private or peace of mind test, and the other is a legal test. A legal test requires strict adherence to collection by a disinterested third party administrator (TPA), government identification, photographs of all parties, and strict adherence to sample handling and shipping while maintaining constant custody of the samples. Any exclusionary result must be retested.
The peace of mind or private test can be performed with little or no regulation. This activity is not controlled by the AABB, and there is no regulation barring any individual from performing lesser quality testing in an unsecured facility. Samples may be mailed directly from the tested individual. This obviously creates a far greater potential of error or deception. Results may or may not be of known quality.
The good news is that with modern DNA technologies and following well established AABB protocols for collecting and processing samples, you can be assured of knowing the truth.
About Chromosomal Laboratories, Inc.
Chromosomal Laboratories, Inc. is a full service analytical testing company that specializes in providing advanced DNA analyses for a variety of industries, which include forensic DNA, CODIS databasing, infidelity and paternity testing. Chromosomal Laboratories also provides DNA consulting and expert witness services. The company is based in Phoenix, Arizona.
Chromosomal Laboratories participates in a number of national and international accreditation programs, including the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), Forensic Quality Services – International (FQS-I), ISO 17025 and the New York Department of Health for Paternity and Forensic Testing. Chromosomal Laboratories’ state of the art 10,000 square foot facility is equipped with advanced instrumentation for genetic analyses.
- Contact Information
- Jim Bentley
- Vice President
- Chromosomal Laboratories, Inc.
- Contact via E-mail
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