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Issues on Methods of Identification in Court Ordered Paternity Testing - The Case of Portugal | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2157-7145

Journal of Forensic Research
Open Access

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Research Article

Issues on Methods of Identification in Court Ordered Paternity Testing - The Case of Portugal

Helena Machado1* and Susana Silva2

1Institute for Social Sciences, Department of Sociology, Campus de Gualtar, University of Minho 4710-057 Braga, Portugal

2Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Predictive Medicine and Public Health, University of Porto Medical School & ISPUP - Institute of Public Health, University of PortoRua das Taipas, nº 1354050-600 Porto, Portugal

*Corresponding Author:
Helena Machado
Institute for Social Sciences
Department of Sociology
Campus de Gualtar
University of Minho 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Tel: ++351253604212
Fax: ++351253678850
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: October 24, 2011; Accepted Date: January 30, 2012; Published Date: February 02, 2012

Citation: Machado H, Silva S (2012) Issues on Methods of Identification in Court Ordered Paternity Testing -The Case of Portugal. J Forensic Res S2:007. doi:10.4172/2157-7145.S2-007

Copyright: © 2012 Machado H, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Official technical and scientific recommendations on standard procedures and quality control in the field of testing of paternity do not cover issues relating to methods of subjects’ identification in the processing of paternity investigations that are compulsory for the individuals – parental testing ordered by courts. The aim of this paper is to explore the main issues posed to forensic laboratories when collecting samples for court ordered paternity investigation and therefore contribute to the ongoing debate on social and ethical implications of parental testing and open up new dimensions of this practice. The data was collected from a qualitative study carried out in forensic laboratories in Portugal, based on interviews conducted with forensic experts. The methods for identifying individuals during sample collection are unspecified and heterogeneous and raise several concerns that need to be addressed by common recommendations and an ethically informed code of conduct. Our results indicate that it is needed to start an interdisciplinary discussion about subjects’ identification in that context. These practices demand a more effective coordination between courts of law and forensic laboratories and national guidelines for good practices in the case of paternity testing in judicial proceedings.


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