Hair Strand Analysis in Family Law Cases – Judge Reviews Pros and Cons

Drug addiction and parenting are rarely a good mixture and toxicology tests using hair strands is a growing area in childcare cases. The High Court also questioned the findings as demonstrated in the following case.

A woman acknowledged that some time before her daughter’s birth, she had an addiction to cocaine, but had broken her habit before she was born. A hair strand analysis disputed this and suggested that she had been using drugs at a low level throughout her pregnancy, and on that evidence the baby was given to foster carers as soon as she was born.

A trichologist gave evidence at the mother’s request and criticized the original tests undertaken by private organizations. He explained that there may have been contamination from the environment and ther was no concrete evidence to support the claim that the mother had deliberately taken cocaine.

The Court asked questions and delved into the processes used and the trichologist had been adamant and strong in his responses. Despite that the Court were satisfied that the results were dependable.

As there had been a number of tests carried out throughout the period, which all showed positive to cocaine, the court did not believe the mother’s protestations and acknowledged that she had indulged her habit on a low level scale, despite her claims to the contrary.

The woman had however been clear of drugs since the baby’s birth and she had taken herself away from a toxic relationship and was trying hard to make a new life. The Court decided that the girl should be given to the mother’s care and be subject to a 12-month care order.

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