Fathers with doubts can buy over-the-counter checks
Fathers who have doubts over the paternity of their children will soon be able to use a £30 over-the-counter DNA test to check.
The packs, which will soon be available to buy in chemists, will contain three sets of two mouth swabs, to collect cheek cells from the uncertain father and the child in question.
They are being made available in Britain by a company called International Biosciences, based in Edenbridge, Kent. Ian Meekins, its chief executive of the company, said he anticipated ‘huge demand’ for the kits based on experiences in America.
He told BBC Radio Kent: ‘What you will buy in the pharmacy is the kit that you need to collect the DNA. Those samples will be returned to us, and we will profile them and provide the result directly to the customer.’
While the packs will sell for £30, there is then an additional £119 to pay in laboratory fees. The packs are already available to buy over the internet.
Mr Meekins said: ‘Our internet business has seen immense demand. The experience from America [to buy them over-the-counter] is huge demand.’
Almost half the tests which his company carries out proves the man is not the biological father, he said. ‘Whilst the results of our tests sometimes cause upset they sometimes cause immense satisfaction,’ he commented.
He stressed the company was simply providing the service and did not stand as ‘moral guardians’. He added: ‘From a legal point of view a parent, someone who has responsibility for a child, can collect their DNA and provide it to us up to the age of 16.’