Studies on exclusion of paternity

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The application of the inheritance of blood groups to disputed paternity studies has been an accepted practice throughout the Western world for the past 40 years. In the United States, blood group studies have somewhat less application than in Europe, and particularly Scandinavia; but nevertheless these tests are widely ordered and play an important part in courtroom decisions pertaining to paternity suits. Complaints in bastardy and domestic relations cases comprise the majority of such suits. These tests were ordered by judges and established as common law before specific statutes were enacted to provide for this type of evidence. The first court decision in which the blood grouping data were requested was in 1932.

The first state law making such tests mandatory was in passed by New York State in 1938.1 The Ohio law, which was enacted in 1942, is typical of these laws. In part it provides that: “Whenever it is relevant to the defense in a bastardy proceeding, the trial court on motion of the defendant shall order that the complainant, her child, and the defendant submit to one or more blood-grouping tests to determine whether, by use of such tests, the defendant can be determined not to be the father of the child . . .” 2 The law also states who may do the test, how the evidence will be presented, what is to be done if either of the parties refuse to submit to the tests, and what procedure must be followed if there is dissatisfaction



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