The advances in DNA testing have become crucial in establishing paternity. Prior to DNA testing, a man could be declared the legal father of a child only to find out years later that he was not the biological father, after paying thousands of dollars in child support and investing his heart in a child. A recent case here in New Jersey put a spotlight on the importance of verifying that a man is the biological father of a child.
A woman and the local Board of Social Services filed a petition for the mother to begin receiving child support payments for her twins from one man. When paternity testing was done, the results indicated that he was the father of only one of the children. Due to a rare biological phenomenon, the woman's twins each have a different father.
Within a week, the woman had sexual relations with two men. She had released two eggs during her cycle, and a different man's sperm fertilized each egg. Sources indicate that the number of "bipaternal" twins is on the rise due to societal changes. Moreover, scientific advances are now more readily able to identify when this occurs.
The New Jersey judge presiding over the child support case ordered that the man only be held financially responsible for one of the twins since he only fathered one of them. A separate action will need to be filed against the second man in order for the woman to receive support for her other child. In cases of unwed parents, paternity testing is part of the process, but any man who has reason to doubt he is the biological father of a child may ask for verification through DNA testing.
Source: CNN, "New Jersey judge rules twin girls have different fathers", Haimy Assefa, May 8, 2015