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Medical experts worry about testing DNA to reunite families

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR and ELLIOT SPAGAT
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Medical experts worry that testing the DNA of immigrant children separated from parents could damage the family fabric by revealing a parent doesn't actually have a biological connection to their child.

The Trump administration insists that DNA testing is faster than authenticating documents to reunite families separated at the southern border after crossing illegally. Officials also argue that DNA testing protects children from being handed to someone who may not be their biological parent.

But a federal judge in California says DNA testing should be limited to cases in which the parent-child relationship can't be established through documents.

Medical ethicist Arthur Caplan of the New York University School of Medicine says it would be irresponsible to test for DNA without competent counselors used to dealing with genetic discoveries.

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