Britain’s first over-the-counter paternity test kit has gone on sale, reports the Daily Mail. The £30 pack allows a man to check his DNA against a child’s to find out whether he is the biological father.
The new kit contains six swabs to collect samples of cells from inside the cheek. The swabs are then placed inside prepaid envelopes and sent to a lab in America for testing, for an additional fee of £119. The results are posted, emailed or phoned back anonymously in just one week.
Although paternity tests have been available on the internet for some time, this is the first time a kit has been sold on the high street. They will be available from 11 Clockwork Pharmacy chemist shops in the South East.
But concerns have been raised about the launch, as the tests could encourage DNA theft or upset children. Dr Helen Wallace, from Genewatch UK, said, “It’s going to be devastating for a child to be treated differently just because of a test. People need to sit back and ask themselves whether taking a paternity test is in the best interest of the child.”
A spokesman for the manufacturers has defended the tests, “International Biosciences takes the responsibility of paternity testing very seriously, and has taken advice from all recognised religious groups and organisations involved in family and child welfare.”
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