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‘EASTENDERS’ PLOT-LINE COINCIDES WITH NEW RESEARCH INTO PATERNITY TESTING WHICH REVEALS THE REAL ‘HOW AND WHY’ BEHIND PARENTS WANTING TO KNOW THE TRUTH

QUESTIONS OVER THE PATERNITY OF BABY YASMIN FUEL THE PATERNITY TESTING DEBATE

• A huge relief: Almost 2/3 of tests reassure parents that ‘assumed fathers’ are the ‘biological father’
• Younger mums most likely to need to know: 53% of testers are mothers under 25
• Early testing desirable: 76% of tests relate to children under 2 years
• Reassuring older dads: older Dads most likely to want to be confident it’s their child

[LONDON, 26th October 2011] New, confidential research3 into the home paternity market reveals that two out of three fathers are the real daddy. The research follows the launch of home paternity test kit, AssureDNA, onto every UK high street via Boots earlier this year.

Many UK families are uncertain about the paternity of their children, and every year, the father’s name is left blank on approximately 50,000 birth certificates. Research has estimated that 1 in 25 assumed fathers in the UK are in fact not the biological father. Unlike the secret DNA test set to take place in ‘Eastenders’ this week to establish the paternity of little Yasmin Masood, the assuredna paternity test requires consent from all parties - the mother, ‘assumed father’ and the child - and is designed to offer peace of mind to families and accurately resolve misattributed paternity.

“Knowing the truth can have life-changing results,” says Relationship Counsellor, Joyce Walter. “It’s therefore crucial that all parties consent to the test and discuss the consequences with a trained professional before going ahead, which is the case with the assuredna test. No parent wants to be in a position where they have to do a paternity test, but the reality is that today’s families are far more complex than ever before. Any feelings of doubt can seriously disrupt family life and cause bigger problems in the long term. Our relationships, in order to be healthy ones, need to be based on honesty and trust.”

Now, test analyses conducted by the makers of the assuredna testing kits, Anglia DNA, reveal some interesting statistics from individuals who have used the assuredna kit.

AGE AND SEX
• 76% of tests are carried out by couples when the child is aged 0 to 24 months (of which, 53% relate to babies aged 0-6 months)
• Demand for paternity testing from women peaks between the ages of 22-25 and then declines
• Demand from men sees a sharp increase from the age of 25, with almost half of tests carried out when men are aged 26-40
• In 84% of cases, the mother or father is stated as the ‘nominated person’ (the person to whom the Test Report should be sent and with whom the results may be discussed) however, in the remaining 16% of cases, this person is someone else, e.g. a relative or family friend
• Younger women aged 15-18 are almost twice as likely to do a paternity test than men of the same age (This pattern may denote the fact that men start to become more interested in ascertaining paternity only after they have reached the ‘settling down’ age.)

SEX, MARRIAGE & CO-HABITATION
The research in question highlighted the fact that only 7% of assumed fathers and mothers shared the same surname, and only 16% shared the same address.

CERTAINTY EQUALS PEACE OF MIND
“Couples come to assuredna because they want peace of mind,” says Dr. Mandy Hartly, Technical Manager at Anglia DNA – the makers of assuredna. “We understand that there are families out there living with doubt and uncertainty, and are struggling to move on with their lives because of this. By doing a consensual paternity test like the assuredna test, couples can put an end to those feelings of doubt and move on as a family.”
[ENDS]

MEDIA ENQUIRIES
Heather Mullins at ROAD Communications heather@roadcommunications.co.uk
Tel: 020 8995 5832 / 07545 536147

INTERVIEWS
Dr Mandy Hartley, Technical Manager at Anglia DNA is available for interview, upon request.
Case studies are available for interview upon request.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
assuredna is the only DNA test currently available to consumers which processes the tests in UK regulated labs. Labs abroad are not regulated to the same standard: UK labs have stricter regulations (e.g. conform to The Human Tissue Act) than overseas laboratories to ensure the correct participants have been sampled, and that consent has been obtained for all the individuals participating in the test. Tight regulation also avoids the potential for ‘stolen DNA’ and prevents individuals from trying to provide false samples. It may also reduce the risk of contaminated samples.

The assuredna test kit, available from high street chemist chain, Boots (and online) is easy to use, safe, and reliable with accuracy of results typically in excess of 99.99%. The test is available to anyone aged 16 or over, and retails at £30.65 after which there is an additional lab fee payable of £129 for the standard 5 day service. Before samples are taken, consumers must first call the Anglia DNA helpline and speak to a trained member of staff to find out if the test is suitable for them. Families are encouraged to contact support groups, and all customers are offered an aftercare call, post results. Customers are also able to call the helpline at any stage during and after the testing process.

Samples are taken from ‘assumed father’, child and mother with a cotton swab which is rubbed over the inside of the mouth to remove cells containing DNA. The swabs are then placed in the appropriate colour-coded envelopes, sealed and posted to Anglia DNA for analysis. Results are given over the phone, via email or by post in one to five days. The assuredna paternity test requires signed consent from father, child, and mother in order for the test to be processed. (If the child is under sixteen years old, the mother must consent for the child to be tested.) assuredna provides paternity testing for peace of mind purposes – not ‘stealth testing’. For this reason, the test cannot be conducted without the mother’s consent.

assuredna is produced by Anglia DNA Services Limited, one of the fastest growing DNA testing laboratories in the UK. The laboratory specialises in paternity, maternity, sibling and family relationship testing for personal or legal purposes such as immigration, child support issues, amending birth certificates and probate. The laboratory is also accredited by the Ministry of Justice to carry out parentage tests directed by the civil courts in England and Wales.

UK labs adhere to:
• The Human Tissue Act 2004
• Blood Test (evidence of paternity) Regulations 1971 (as amended)
• Codes of practice for various government departments and organisations such as:
o Human Tissue Authority
o British Medical Association
o The Department of Health
o Human Genetics Commission
• Mental Capacity Act 2005
• Code of practice and guidance for genetic paternity testing service (2001)

REFERENCES
1. Office for National statistics, Who is having babies? 2008, Statistical Bulletin 2009, 1-3

2. Bellis, M. Hughes, K. Hughes, S. Ashton, J. Measuring Paternal Discrepancy and its Public Health
Consequences, J Epidemiol Community Health 2005;59:749–754

3. Randomised sample of 400 tests out of several thousand sold over a period of 6 months in Boots

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