The New York Times reported yesterday that Ravgen, a company specializing in prenatal diagnostics, has developed a test to establish paternity prior to a child’s birth. Currently, a child’s paternity may be determined before birth but the available tests carry a small risk of miscarriage. The new test takes blood samples from both the pregnant mother and the presumed father. The test analyzes the mother’s blood which has fragments of the fetus’ DNA. The company is offering the test on a limited basis and charges between $950 and $1650.
The test has not been certified by the AABB which under Georgia law is required for use in child custody and paternity cases. O.C.G.A Section 19-7-45. If the Ravgen test and others like it are accepted by the AABB, it might provide finality earlier in certain instances of domestic litigation. For example, if a couple divorce while the Wife is pregnant, the Husband is presumed to be the father of the child. A divorcing Husband could use the test results to establish that he is not the parent without having to wait for the child's birth. It would also allow mothers to seek child support or recovery for actual pre-natal expenses from the child's father prior to the child's birth.