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Acta Clin Belg. 2006 Mar-Apr;61(2):74-8.

The ethical debate on present day paternity testing practices.

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Forensisch DNA Laboratorium, Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen, Edegem.


The last years, the number of paternity tests on buccal swabs sold over the internet as "test kits", has steeply increased. The commercial providers of these services facilitate controversial practices, including clandestine sampling at home, anonymous sending off for analysis, motherless testing and using "stolen" personal objects containing biological material (combs, cigarette butts). This has led to concern on the consequences on the family unit--especially the child--which may suffer emotionally, physically and financially. In reaction, legal initiatives are appearing throughout Europe. The UK Human Genetics Commission has advised that the non-consensual obtaining and analysis of personal genetic information should be a new criminal offence. The German Federal Court of Justice has ruled that paternity tests performed without the mother's knowledge are inadmissible as evidence in lawsuits. French law strictly forbids the application of DNA testing without the involvement of the court system. In Belgium, a proposal for law has been laid down where the offering to.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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