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DIY paternity tests advertised in Italy
An Italian businessman has advertised paternity test kits offering ‘peace of mind’ for men who wish to determine whether they are the biological father of a child. For around £470 ( 700) a kit is provided for taking swab samples from the child and putative father; these are sent to a laboratory for testing and results sent out by post or email. Such kits are already available in the US and some European countries including the UK, but they are banned in France and in Belgium strict regulations exist to ensure that consent from both parents is obtained. The Italian Society of Human Genetics has posted a response to the advertisements condemning the use of such tests, citing the necessity for informed consent of all parties and, in the case of children, the consent of both legal parents. Consent of both parents for paternity testing of children is not legally required in the UK. The Human Genetics Commission (HGC) is currently collating information on paternity testing services in the UK and how far they comply with the Department of Health’s Code of Practice and Guidance on Genetic Paternity Testing Services.