Dad with doubts can buy paternity kit over-the-counter


    Dad with doubts can buy paternity kit over-the-counter

    By Tim Christie The Register-Guard
    Published: Nov 28, 2007 09:16:39AM

    For years, women who wondered if they were pregnant have trekked to their local drug store to buy a home pregnancy test.

    Now, men who are wondering if they’re the father can make the same trip.

    DNA paternity tests are being test marketed at more than 900 Rite Aid stores in Oregon, Washington and California, as well as at Meijer stores in the Midwest.

    The Identigene kits, made by Sorenson Genomics of Salt Lake City, are the first genetic tests of any kind sold over-the-counter to consumers, the company says.
    Sorenson Genomics has been selling DNA genetic tests on the Web for the past 10 years, said Doug Fogg, the company’s chief operating officer.

    “We felt there was another segment of the market that may be more inclined to purchase from the local drug store,” he said Tuesday.

    The kits have a list price of $29.99 but are selling at local Rite Aid stores for $19.99. The kit is surprisingly low-tech: It includes instructions, consent forms, three packages with two cotton swabs each, and envelopes. The swabs are used to collect saliva from inside the cheek of the child, the alleged father and optionally, the mother, then mailed to Sorenson.

    The lab work that analyzes the swabs and either proves or disproves paternity costs another $119. Results are returned by fax, U.S. mail or via a secure Web site in three to five days.

    The tests are 99.99 percent accurate, Fogg said.

    If someone wanted the test to be admissible in a court of law, they could pay an extra $200 to have an independent party collect the swabs and establish a chain of custody for the samples, Fogg said.

    Testing raises ethical questions

    The Identigene tests can’t be used to establish or disprove blood relations for siblings, aunts and uncles or grandparents, but the company does sell such kits on its Web site at, he said.

    Because the drug-store marketing of paternity kits is unprecedented, Sorenson isn’t sure how well they’ll sell. But Fogg said the company is optimistic and expects to market the product nationally by the first of the year.

    “A surprising number of people have questions or are curious to verify the paternity of a child,” he said.

    He likened the DNA paternity tests to home pregnancy tests, which are widely available and popular. “Early on, they were not readily accepted, but over time they have proven to be quite an inexpensive, reliable and convenient way to determine pregnancy,” he said.

    One selling point of the DNA test is that it’s discrete, and does not require lawyers or doctors to be involved, he said.

    Robert Naslund, a veteran family law attorney in Eugene, said he could envision scenarios where the test could avoid conflict and hurt feelings. If a man wants to confirm he’s the father, “here’s a way you could do it without upsetting mom,” he said.
    “I see a real benefit if the dad could just go satisfy himself without letting mom know,” he said.

    Patricia Backlar, a Portland bioethicist who teaches at Oregon Health & Science University and Portland State University, said the home DNA paternity kit raises a host of ethical questions, such as, who does the information belong to? Who would benefit and who could be harmed by knowing? Will the information benefit the child?

    “There are lots of mischievous things that could go on which are an invasion of another person’s privacy,” she said.

    Some see possibility for misuse

    A home DNA paternity test is different than one ordered by a judge, she said.

    “This is kind of surreptitious,” she said. “Anyone can get a swab of saliva. You don’t know how it might be misused. It might have nothing to do with the father wanting the information or even the mother wanting to know which man is the father. It could be someone wanting to get something on you.”

    Ashley Flower, a Rite Aid spokeswoman, said the chain wants to see how the kits sell in the West to determine if there’s enough demand to sell them nationwide.

    Rite Aid does not disclose product sales figures, she said.
  2. that is so sad.
  3. Yup. I can see it now. Man holds up a letter and screams at wife, "He's NOT MINE!"

    In the end, it's the child who suffers the most.
  4. ^^ exactly!!

    people need to be more responsible and just have one partner if you can help it.
  5. I am going to put a different spin on this. After seeing the family court system up close, both professionally and personally, I think this is a good thing. There are a lot of women who lie about paternity so that the man who makes the best living will have to pay. When men are being faced with child support payments of 40-60% of their incomes, I think they have a right to know if the child they are being asked to support is really theirs.

    There are literally thousands of men who have proven with DNA that children are not theirs who are still being forced to pay. Pennsylvania is pretty much the only state in the USA that has a law on the books about paternity fraud. It is rampant.

    I personally think DNA tests should be done on EVERY BABY when they are born and before a birth certificate is issued. I've read a statistic that 15% of children born are not the biological children of the fathers on the birth certificate. By the time most of the men find out the truth it is too late.

    It is true that children suffer but they will suffer MORE in the long run when they discover that a deception has been perpetrated on them about their paternity.
  6. 2 things here I'd like to comment on:

    1. The drugstore thing doesn't really make it so strange or weird....anyone can go online and purchase a DNA kit and then mail it in. This just takes out the wait or makes it available to those without technology.

    2. Sometimes a Dad just wants to know. My husband loves his son....and is conflicted by this every single day. He does not know with 100% certainty that his son is biologically his (she was sleeping around on DH, he found out after he voluntarily established paternity in court). It torments him because he wonders If his son turns out to not match his DNA will he still love him? but at the same time he just wants to know. It's not even about the money (will have paid 16 years of child support the majority higher than court ordered amount). His son even started wondering in his teen years too because he looks nothing like his Dad (the first child is a girl and looks soooooo much like hubby)......

    So it is tough! I think it should be like Roo said and be done in the hospital if both parents are there!!!
  7. Roo, I agree that it would solve a lot of paternity questions, but I think that by taking this into one's own hands and removing court, it will be abused.

    I just REALLY, REALLY find it a shame that my own species, (women) DO lie to men about who the father is. The fathers of my children never ever had reason to doubt the kids belonged to them too.

    God, I am OLD.
  8. ^^

    Speedy, it is indeed a sad state of affairs.

    IMO these tests would not be a marketable product if men were not on the losing end of the family court system. Unfortunately paternity fraud is a growing problem because the court system, as it is set up now, rewards women for fingering the highest earner as the father. They only need declare who the father is for the name to be placed on the birth certificate, no other proof is required. Men are getting tired of being put through the meat grinder that is this system and are fighting back. Some smart person has seen the opportunity to make some money. I think this test is useful in that if it comes back that a child is not a man's biologically, they can then ask for a court-ordered test.
  9. Oh, I agree with you hon. Totally. And I agree that paternity fraud should be punished harshly. Maybe I see too many people abusing this, using it against the women, etc. Even causing more Domestic Violence problems.

    My oldest brother often speaks about how he has doubts our father was his sperm donor (he hated him with a passion, worse than I did) and I hated to tell him he was not only the spitting image of our father's father, but a lot of his mannerisms were just like Father's, and he only met the man twice as a small child. It really disturbs him that he was his sire.

    But I agree, some women will claim the highest earner as the father, and the courts should make DNA tests available for men who question thier involvement in the child's exsistence. But I feel it should be done under properly regulated labs.
  10. HaHa. I was registering for my baby shower on and they have a list of suggested items... and this thing was actually on there. I showed DH and we were just cracking up. Can you imagine?
  11. OMG!!! :roflmfao::wtf:
  12. ^^^ Ditto!
  13. I think that paternity testing should be easy to get, but I don't think it should be able to be done by a layperson. I can just see a man picking some random person as the "child", sending it in and then "proving" to the girlfriend/wife that the child isn't his when in fact the child could be, but he didn't use the child's DNA!

    Of course, don't think that only men will use this. I'm SURE there will be women who will secretively gather a cotton swab sample of her "suspected" father too and send it off with the child's DNA just to be sure...

    I remember when I had my youngest son in the hospital, they came and told me my son's blood type. They don't do it while the father is in the room! They told me because I'm RH negative, and if the baby is positive, I need another shot of Rhogam. Anyway, It was several hours after my son was born and I didn't know yet, so I asked the perinatalogist the bloodtype and she said "O" and I said, "Oh, I know it's O, but is it negative or postive? I need to know if I need a rhogam shot or not." And then she said something like "Oh, I see, you would be surprised at the number of mothers who ask because they want to see if it matches the fathers! Of course, I have to tell them that this isn't a proof or disproof, but of course, if a father has O and a mother has O and baby has A or B, well, SOMEONE isn't a parent of this child!" She said in her years of working she's seen plenty of cases where it was obvious the father, who thought he was the father, was indeed NOT!

    DH and I have talked about that too.. Imagine as a woman KNOWING or suspecting that the man who is acting as the father is not and you've just deceived him? i couldn't do it even if it were in the best interest of my child!
  14. I think these are a great idea, I know it's a sad state of affairs but a woman can put anyone's name on a Birth Certificate. I guess the problem is that it is open to abuse, a father who wanted to get put of parenthood could get a friend to do the swab...

    Totally agree with you Roo, I suggested this to someone just last week and they thought I was being ridiculous but compulsory DNA tests at birth/registration would prevent so may poor saps who end up paying for another man's child
  15. Oh, but it's not that simple. I remember my MIL telling me how her grandmother and grandfather really wanted a child and it took a LONG, LONG time to get their only.

    YEARS later, this "grandmother" told her granddaughter who was suffering years of infertility this, "Maybe it's time to change the gander". She was basically telling her to find a man who could give her a child - not to leave her husband, but to find one that could possibly make a baby possible. A baby they BOTH (husband and wife) wanted desperately. After that statement they all wondered, was granddad REALLY granddad?

    We have to remember, there are things we don't know and we can't make decisions for all people. Privacy is a good thing too