Ross Hearing Kansas
The trial court in Ross (In re Marriage of Ross, 245 Kan. 591, 602, 783 P.2d 331 (1989)) ordered that the parties submit to blood tests and determined paternity on the basis of those tests without determining whether it was in the child's best interests to determine his parentage.
The Supreme Court reversed the trial court's decision and said:
"Under the facts of this case, the district judge abused his discretion. the mere filing of a paternity action does not automatically imply that the action is in the child's best interests.
A court must reach this conclusion independently based on the facts in the record. McDaniels v. Carlson, 108 Wn.2d 299, 313, 738 P.2d 254 (1987).
We realize, of course, that Charles' paternity has been determined and cannot be undone; however, our decision in this case will have meaningful application to similar cases in the future.
"The district court's order requiring the parties to submit to blood tests is reversed. the district court's determination that Charles is the biological father of R.A.R. is also reversed.
While we realize that blood tests have already been performed in this case, the court shall not consider the result of the tests until such consideration is determined to be in R.A.R.'s best interests." 245 Kan. at 602.
A Ross hearing must be held prior to ordering the blood tests to determine if the presumed father is the biological father.
"Prior to ordering a blood test to determine whether the presumed parent is the biological parent, the district court must consider the best interests of the child, including physical, mental, and emotional needs.
The shifting of paternity from the presumed father to the biological father could easily be detrimental to the emotional and physical well-being of any child." In re Marriage of Ross, 245 Kan. 591, Syl. P5, 783 P.2d 331, 338.
"The mere filing of a paternity action does not automatically imply that the action is in the child's best interests. a court must reach this conclusion independently based on the facts in the record." In re Marriage of Ross, 245 Kan. 591, Syl. P6, 783 P.2d 331, 336.