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Test to Determine the Presence of Sickle Cell Anemia

Historically, many states required blood tests before issuing marriage licenses. The purpose was to screen for communicable diseases and to reduce the risk of birth defects associated with syphilis. Screenings were also used to minimize the risk of genetic disorders such as sickle cell anemia that could be passed on to children. New York no longer requires a blood test for getting a marriage license. However, according to NY Dom Rel Law § 13-aa, certain individuals may be screened for sickle cell anemia. However, a marriage license will not be denied based on a positive test or the absence of a test. If you have concerns about legal issues related to your marriage or any other family related legal matter, contact an experienced New York family lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We can help ensure that your interests are protected.

Sickle cell anemia testing

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited red blood cell disorder in which there are not sufficient healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. Symptoms include infections, pain, and fatigue. While treatment can help, there is not a cure for the condition.

New York Domestic Relations Law states that a test for sickle cell anemia may be given to applicants for a marriage licenses who are not “Caucasian, Indian or Oriental” in order to determine the existence of sickle cell anemia. The applicant will be notified of the result of the test. However, a marriage license will not be denied based on a positive test and the absence of a test will not invalidate a marriage.

In addition, upon applying for a marriage license, the city or town clerk will show the couple a warning about rubella disease.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Marriage licenses: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 13
  2. Time within which marriage may be solemnized: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 13-b
  3. Duty of clerk issuing marriage license: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 13-d
Domestic Relations Law, section 13-aa: Test to determine the presence of sickle cell anemia
  1.  On and after the effective date of this act, such test as may be necessary shall be given to each applicant for a marriage license who is not of the Caucasian, Indian or Oriental race for the purposes of discovering the existence of sickle cell anemia and notifying the applicant of the results of such test.
  2.  No application for a marriage license shall be denied solely on the ground that such test proves positive, nor shall the absence of such test invalidate a marriage.
  3.  The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person who refuses to take such test because of his religious beliefs.
Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Whether the issue involves marriage, divorce, child custody, child support, or any other family matter, it is important that you have experienced representation. The New York family lawyers at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have the experience, skill, and resources, to help ensure that your interests are protected and help you reach your desired outcome. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Nassau County, Queens, Suffolk County, Manhattan, Staten Island, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, and Westchester County.

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