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D.N.A. Testing

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Where a child is allegedly born outside of marriage to a Jewish mother and paternity is in question, is there any policy or principle that applies about whether the alleged father should participate in genetic testing?

Paternity D.N.A. Testing
Yes, when the mother is Jewish and married to a Jewish man, the courts will almost certainly not suggest /order D.N.A. testing to establish paternity, for fear of tainting the child with being illegitimate , or a Bastard (‘mamzer’). In Jewish law a child born out of a prohibited relationship – such as that of a married woman with a man other than her husband – has the inferior status of a ‘mamzer.’ Even if the mother is Jewish and married to a non-Jew , where the risk of illegitimacy does not arise, the courts will probably still be reluctant to allow D.N.A. testing to establish paternity to avoid the risk of the child losing a ‘psychological’ father should the results reveal no biological link.
In contrast, where the mother is single, and the alleged father is either single or married , there is no inbuilt bias against paternity testing . However , where the alleged father objects to D.N.A. testing, the court can regard him as concealing evidence . His refusal to undergo testing can be used against him and the court can give a judgment declaring him to be the father even though he has not taken the test.

Can a paternity test be made on an foetus ?

Paternity D.N.A. Testing
Yes, although this is exceptional, and permission and testing is usually applied for after the birth of the child. In February 2004 Haifa Family Court gave permission for genetic testing to establish paternity of a foetus which was over six months old.

What steps should a person take if he/she thinks that there was something wrong in how genetic testing ordered by the family court was carried out ?

Paternity D.N.A. Testing
Where a party feels that there are serious flaws in how genetic testing was carried out and can back up his/her case, then an application can be made to the family court to order retesting . If the court checks out the accusations and finds that flaws did exist, it has discretion to refuse to accept the results of such tests and to order a retest at a different place.

Where the court orders genetic testing in family law proceedings do the parties have to attend at the same time , or can they avoid meeting ?

Paternity D.N.A. Testing
Practice procedures require that they attend at the same time so that they can identify one another. This forms an additional security measure to the requirement that the staff identify donors according to their identity cards.

Is there need for any prior permission to get D.N.A. testing done in Israel ?

Paternity D.N.A. Testing
Yes. The Genetic Information Act of 2000 states: “ Genetic Testing For Parenthood Will not take place unless according to an order of the Family Court.”

Is there any regulation of D.N.A. testing in Israel ?

Paternity D.N.A. Testing
Yes. The Genetic Information Act of 2000 regulates the whole issue of genetic testing. D.N.A. samples can only be taken and genetic testing can only take place if they conform to the conditions of the act.
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