Genes and Money

The growing sensitivity--and falling cost--of DNA technology creates a boom market for paternity tests

Not long after her 19-year-old son was murdered two years ago, Joyce McField of Broadview, Ill., was contacted by a woman who said she was pregnant with his child. McField was inclined to believe her, and when the baby girl was born, she became a doting grandmother. Now and then, however, she wondered if the girl was really her granddaughter. So one day she took a sample of her dead son's blood that the police had kept as evidence and hired a Houston company called Identigene to conduct a DNA paternity test. "I just wanted there to be no question marks,"...

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