In the UK, the removal, storage, use and disposal of any human tissue is regulated in the UK by The Human Tissue Act 2004. This includes the use of bodily samples for the purpose of paternity or relationship DNA testing. Under the act, it is a requirement that the person or donor gives their written consent for their sample to be tested. The donor of the sample must also be aware of how their DNA sample will be used. Failure to comply with The Human Tissue Act can result in up to 3 years imprisonment or a fine, or both
Paternity For Life operates in accordance with The Human Tissue Act and the Department of Health’s Code of Practice and Guidance on Genetic Paternity DNA Testing Services. As such, we will not accept testing if we do not have written consent from all persons to be tested. Testing will be put on hold until we obtain the necessary consent from all individuals.
To ensure we comply with these regulations, Paternity For Life will only accept buccal (mouth) swabs, where consent has been obtained from the donor. We do not process hair samples, toothbrushes, nail clippings or bodily fluids (such as semen) as we cannot be certain that express consent has been given by the donor. Furthermore, such samples are highly likely to be contaminated or give an incorrect or inconclusive result.
To read more about The Human Tissue Act, please click here.