In this video we talk to Cellmark Paternity Testing, the biggest DNA testing in the UK, about paternity tests.
Read the full transcript »
Catrina Skepper: Recent research suggests that, as many as one in 25 dads is unwittingly raising another's man child. with figures like these, its no wonder that more women are approaching DNA testing companies to make sure that their child really is their our flesh and blood. David Hartshorne is from Cellmark, one of the leading UK DNA testing companies and Vanessa Lloyd Platt is a family lawyer. Welcome to both of you. David, I wanted to start just by defining what exactly is a DNA paternity test, because we know all about DNA testing now from the lab things like that. What is paternity testing? David Hartshorne: Well, it is a conclusive way of finding out who the father of a child is. And that information is stored in a persons DNA, and if we take a sample from a mother, a child and the alleged father, we can look at the DNA in a child, because half of it is been inherited from either parents. Catrina Skepper: Fifty, fifty? David Hartshorne: Fifty, fifty. We can conclusively say that a man is or is not father of the child. Catrina Skepper: But if you any have one only the father's DNA, can you still? David Hartshorne: We still can do a DNA test and we still can demonstrate whether or not he is the father or not. But the most conclusive way of doing this sort of analysis is to make sure that they have all three parties tested. Catrina Skepper: Why don't we just look at the tests? It's very easy and simple to do. Its nothing too graphic, which you can actually demonstrate it right here. Can't you for...? David Hartshorne: Sure and what we are demonstrating here is that actual test, but we are taking a samples so that we can actually do it. Catrina Skepper: How do you take a sample? Now this would be done by yourself, by your doctor, what are the rules? David Hartshorne: Well, when we have a DNA test carried out, what's important is that we can certain when we produce the result, that we know who the samples have come from so that the report we produce is actually a legal document. And because of that, what we arrange is for the samples be sent to your local doctor. You would just go along and have a sample taken and what we are looking for, to get DNA is to collect a few cells from the inside of the your mouth, using a mouth sob such as this. I will do it. Catrina Skepper: So you are dipping yourself? David Hartshorne: -- the seconds here. It's wiped around inside of your mouth. It collects some cells and then what we do is, we have the doctor transfer those cells on to this collection card that you see here. Catrina Skepper: Yeah David Hartshorne: And this is designed so that the collection card turns white so... Catrina Skepper: This, this area here. David Hartshorne: That's right. This sob can then just get thrown away. But what you have there is a card which will protect the DNA and that card could be stored for 10, 20, 30 years. They can be stored to room temperature. Does not to be refrigerated. And when we come to analyze, that will take a whole punch out, that about the size of the end of this, about a millimeter for a single DNA test. So it means, from not sample there, we could test 10, 15, 20 times if you wanted to. Catrina Skepper: That's incredible. and obviously, is it the responsibility of the why you said, when you said you will tested by your GP or you go along, you can't just do this at home and send it on to you. David Hartshorne: It is possible for people to have the tests carried at home. but if you want a test that is of legal volume, that in the end, actually can be used in a court of law if necessary and although many people may start off a process, not thinking at last what's happen going to happen, there we often that's where it ends up. Then you need to have an independent medical practitioner taking those samples. Catrina Skepper: Who would also be able to certify that you are the person or the child is the person that you are taking the DNA sample from or that you are the person who is giving