Great Britain Proposes Outlawing Secret DNA Paternity Tests

In response to a handful of bizarre cases, the United Kingdom is proposing outlawing DNA tests without the consent of all parties involved, which could make it very difficult for men who are suspicious about the paternity of their children.

This seems like an extreme position to take and the Human Genetics Commission chair Baroness Kennedy QC completely dismissed the position of men who are concerned about establishing whether or not they are really the father of their children saying,

A person may say, ‘what is wrong with a man knowing whether he really is the father of a child?’, but there are real repercussions for a family when that is done.

That is an outrageously patronizing attitude that would never be uttered in this day and age about women’s rights to know (or if it were, this woman would have faced immense pressure to step down immediately).

The cases of people trying to take DNA of celebrities or public figures can be handled without a blanket ban on all such private tests. Besides which the cost of genetic testing is falling so rapidly that it is doubtful such a ban will really prevent someone determined to do DNA testing from going forward.


Secret testing on ‘stolen’ DNA to be outlawed. Colin Brown, The Daily Telegraph (London), June 16, 2003.

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