(Received 2 June 1975; accepted 23 June 1975)
Published Online: January
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Until recently, serologists confronted with a forensic problem of disputed parentage limited their tests to a few blood group systems only, especially the A-B-O system, M-N types, and Rh-Hr system. The tests were used mainly for providing evidence of exclusion of parentage, that is, if one or another of the blood groups of the respondent in a paternity action did not match with that of the child, the accused man could be excluded as father and exonerated of the charge of paternity by the court. If, however, the blood groups of the accused man matched, within the laws of heredity, those of the mother and child, the serological findings were interpreted as inconclusive. Because of the limited number of blood types such findings were not generally considered admissible by the court as evidence. There were occasional cases in which the accused man and the child shared a rare blood factor which the mother lacked; in such cases, the findings were usually considered circumstantial evidence though not absolute proof that the respondent was the father.
Director of the Serological Laboratory of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City; professor, New York University School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.
Research professor, Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates, New York University School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.
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