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Surprise twins with two fathers

14778860_L.jpgDNA has helped solve many issues. In criminal law, it can be used to identify individuals at crime scenes and has been used in numerous cases to exonerate individuals who have been wrongly convicted of crimes they did not commit.

In the family law area, it has been helpful in exonerating some putative fathers who are accused of fathering a child. When a woman requests public assistance in most states, the state agency responsible for child assistance will look to the father to pay child support. Here in Missouri, that would be the Department of Social Services. 

Because in many cases, the father is not forthcoming on issues of paternity, often a DNA test will be ordered to confirm or deny a particular man's paternity.

But an unusual case from New Jersey illustrates that DNA can help confirm and deny one man's paternity of a set of twins. In a biologically rare event, a woman gave birth to twins with different men for their fathers.

The woman had sex with the two men within a week, which doctors point out makes it possible for two eggs to be fertilized by separate fathers, and is known as superfecundation.

For the putative father, this can be very important, as without DNA verification of the separate genetic make-up of the two children, he would likely have been named as father of both and would financially be responsible for child support for both.

Child support is an obligation that is virtually impossible to remove, so you want to be absolutely certain with regard to paternity.

If you suspect that you may not be a father of child being held out to be your own, it is essential that you have a paternity test performed to obtain a conclusive answer.

Source: nytimes.com, "Paternity Case for a New Jersey Mother of Twins Bears Unexpected Results: Two Fathers," Benjamin Mueller, May 7, 2015

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