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~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

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~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

Old 01-14-19, 04:50 PM
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~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

Since this is DNA Testing Monday, here's another one I have had as an open browser tab for a couple of days and meant to post:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ests-soar.html

Sales of ‘secret’ paternity tests are surging, according to suppliers of DIY home kits.

The DNA tests, which can be carried out with simple cheek swabs, are leading to growing numbers of men discovering they are not the biological father of children they had been led to believe were theirs.

AlphaBiolabs, the leading British home test supplier, says up to 30,000 paternity tests are being performed in this country every year – and that the figures are rising by ten per cent per year.

‘Of these, around 20 per cent of men will learn they are not the father of the child they are testing,’ says the company’s director, David Thomas. He added that in some regions the figure is higher, including the North East, where it is 30 per cent.

The explosion in demand for the tests has been fuelled by the ease with which definitive DNA paternity results can now be obtained. For about £99, testing kits which promise 100 per cent accurate next-day results can be bought online.


Instead of requiring the physical presence at a clinic of both parties being tested, they involve only swabs taken from the inside cheeks of father and child, which are then packaged up and posted to the company.

As long as the man is named on the child’s birth certificate, or has parental responsibility, no permission is required from either the mother or child, meaning the tests can be carried out in total secrecy.

Some websites suggest DNA can be taken from children while they are asleep, to avoid awkward questions, particularly if the children are older.


In some US states, concern over this has led to a recent ban on DIY home DNA testing, with all tests now having to be ordered by a doctor or court official and conducted under their supervision. In Britain, there is no such legislation currently being considered.

Experts warn that the shock of learning a child is not biologically theirs can lead to severe emotional distress for some men, for which they may not be prepared. Laura House, a genetic genealogist, said that the boom in simple and quick DNA testing has overwhelmed the small number of trained genetic counsellors in the UK.

‘There is a profound shortage of trained counsellors who can help people deal with what can be a devastatingly shocking discovery,’ she said. ‘People now get life-changing results via email while sitting alone on their sofa and they are often totally unprepared to navigate the fallout.’

Last week, The Mail on Sunday revealed the case of Moneysupermarket.com co-founder Richard Mason, who discovered the three sons he had raised as his own with his ex-wife Kate were not biologically his.

Mr Mason’s devastating realisation was the result of his being diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, which led doctors to inform him he had been infertile since birth.

After the diagnosis, he confronted his ex-wife and uncovered the truth that his sons had been conceived by another man with whom she had conducted a four-year affair.

The rising numbers of men turning to paternity testing suggests there are many who feel they may have been duped by women.

Mr Thomas said: ‘Sometimes men will be delighted to learn they aren’t the father – usually when a woman with whom they have been having a casual relationship tells him he has fathered a baby and he can prove otherwise. In other cases it’s the mother who’s ordered the test to “shut the father up”.’
Obviously, a man most likely have some suspicion before he ordered such a test so the 20% rate is hardly reflective of UK society overall. That said, this is still a shockingly high rate.

I looked into the "in some US states, concern over this has led to a recent ban on DIY home DNA testing" claim and it appears that the "some U.S. states" are New York and Maryland, which require tests to be FDA-approved. So, for example, 23andMe is legal in both places since it received FDA approval last year. This prohibition appears to be about combating spurious claims by some of these testing companies in terms of what genetic markers, diseases, etc. they can detect, and not for the purpose of preventing fathers from performing paternity tests.

I could certainly see someone trying a "for the children" argument for banning these tests, although that seems unlikely to be successful. That said, this sort of testing undoubtedly leads to at least the occasional serious violent crime or murder. That many family courts will often force a man who discovered he is not the biological father to continue to pay child support anyway doesn't exactly help either, although I certainly understand why the courts sometimes take this view.
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Old 01-14-19, 05:00 PM
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Re: ~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

So, a lot of women are screwing around, and a lot of men are easy to emotionally master by those women? Nothing new there! Takes passive-agressive to a whole new level! I guess the comment that I made regarding Mr. Bezos in the Store forum isn't too far from truth after all? Wow! Real-lfe imitates comedy. Or, Brits take infidelity to a whole new level. Or, something...
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Old 01-14-19, 05:12 PM
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Re: ~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

Sounds like Daily Mail's finest.
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Old 01-14-19, 06:51 PM
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Re: ~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

Luke, I'm not your father!


Nah... woudn't work.
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Old 01-14-19, 09:35 PM
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Re: ~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

I think I read somewhere that one in ten of us has a father who isn’t who we think it is.
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Old 01-14-19, 09:44 PM
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Re: ~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

Originally Posted by jfoobar View Post
I could certainly see someone trying a "for the children" argument for banning these tests, although that seems unlikely to be successful.
The kind of people who use that argument typically don't fool around. But TIL that UK girls do.
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Old 01-15-19, 07:50 AM
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Re: ~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
I think I read somewhere that one in ten of us has a father who isn’t who we think it is.
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Old 01-15-19, 07:52 AM
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Re: ~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

I don’t have anything to base this on ... but I would question that 20% statistic considering its source: the company selling the tests. Plant a seed, sell more product. Why else would they come out and say that?
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Old 01-15-19, 08:06 AM
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Re: ~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
I don’t have anything to base this on ... but I would question that 20% statistic considering its source: the company selling the tests. Plant a seed, sell more product. Why else would they come out and say that?
True, and I had that thought as well. On the other hand, they (and competing companies that have the same incentives) are the only actual sources of the information so we kind of have no choice but to roll with it.
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Old 01-15-19, 09:47 AM
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Re: ~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

There's a lot of fooling around going on.
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Old 01-15-19, 10:35 AM
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Re: ~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

Seems to me that if you suspect you're not the father to the point of getting a test, there's an 80% chance you're wrong, and a 20% chance your right. How often men suspect this and how that matches up with everyone else, I have no idea. I don't think they should ban these tests though--I think they should require them at the hospital at every birth before creating a birth certificate. Just to make it fair to people counting on getting away with it, we could say this new rule starts in 2020. So no more cheating, people! (Yes, I bet this would be some sort of illegal search, but it puts men and women on an equal footing for knowing where the baby came from. It will all be common knowledge eventually once junior signs up for tests like 23 and me in middle school. Might as well rip off the bandaid and test early.)
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Old 01-15-19, 10:54 AM
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Re: ~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
Sounds like Daily Mail's finest.
Yeah, really. The Daily Mail is barely a step up from the National Enquirer.
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Old 01-15-19, 01:22 PM
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Re: ~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

I think these numbers are similar for American Women but people are saying it's a myth. Who knows...
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Old 01-15-19, 01:42 PM
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Re: ~20% of UK dads who do paternity tests find out they are not the father

Originally Posted by cultshock View Post
Yeah, really. The Daily Mail is barely a step up from the National Enquirer.
The premise of the article is this:

AlphaBiolabs, the leading British home test supplier, says up to 30,000 paternity tests are being performed in this country every year – and that the figures are rising by ten per cent per year.

‘Of these, around 20 per cent of men will learn they are not the father of the child they are testing,’ says the company’s director, David Thomas. He added that in some regions the figure is higher, including the North East, where it is 30 per cent.
Unless AlphaBiolabs is actually not the leading British home test supplier or its company director never actually said what the article quotes him as saying, the relative journalistic reputation of The Daily Mail is kind of immaterial, isn't it?
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