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In Utero Paternity Testing Following Alleged Sexual Assault: A Comparison of DNA-Based Methods

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1995
4 pages
Prenatal paternity testing following sexual assault is discussed.
This article compares DNA-based methods of determining pregnancy parentage. Ten pregnancies, referred to this particular prenatal diagnostic program from 1989 to 1994, were accurately identified using DNA- based personal identification methods. The paternity of the pregnancy was determined in all cases in which the consensual partners were available. The DNA-based methods employed were the PCR-based and the VNTR-based methods. Results indicate that in all cases DNA typing using the PCR-based method provided the same conclusion as that from VNTR-based data. High probabilities of paternity were reported with both methods. DNA typing with PCR using short tandem repeat loci provides a reliable method for quickly determining paternity in prenatal cases. The ethics of providing paternity testing in the context of sexual assault are discussed. The issue of providing prenatal paternity testing in consensual relationships is considered. Tables, reference

Date Published: January 1, 1995