Re O (A Minor) (Blood Tests: Constraint) Re J. (A Minor)

[200] 2 WLR 1284



Cliona Papazian


Family Division


Since the only exception in section 21(1) of the Family Law Reform Act 19691 to the requirement of consent to the taking of a blood sample is where a person with care and control gives consent under section 21(3) for paternity purposes in relation to a child under 16, there is no power to compel a mother to give consent to samples being taken of a child’s blood to establish paternity (post, p. 1290F-G ).

Where, therefore, in two cases a preliminary issue was ordered to determine what order, if any, could be made to enforce a direction under section 20(1) of the Act of 1969 that a sample of blood be taken from the child to determine paternity after the mother refused her consent to a sample being taken: –


Held , that any power to direct the taking of blood under the inherent jurisdiction had been abrogated by the statutory scheme under Part III of the Act of 1969; and that, therefore, each case would be remitted to the judge for further directions on the merits (post, pp. 1295A-B , 1298G ).

Dicta of Balcombe L.J. in  In re F. (A Minor) (Blood Tests: Parental Rights)  [1993] Fam. 314, 321, C.A. and of Ward L.J. in  In re H. (A Minor) (Blood Tests: Parental Rights)  [1997] Fam. 89, 100, C.A. applied.

In re R. (A Minor) (Blood Tests: Constraint)  [1998] Fam. 66 not followed.

Per curiam . It would be an abuse of process to make an interim care order to vest parental responsibility for the child in the local authority at the same time as ordering a report under section 37 of the Children Act 1989 as a means of enabling a direction for blood tests under section 20(1) to be implemented (post, p. 1298C-D ).


Reproduced with kind permission from Justis Logo_justis20x50