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Number of paternity test rises by 80%

The Irish Times

“Number of paternity test rises by 80%”

Paternity Testing Company says one in three lab results show the father is not the biological parent of the child. 

(Eithne Donnellan – Health Correspondent) 

More and more fathers are requesting scientific proof of parentage, a Dublin company offering DNA testing said yesterday. 

Ormond Quay Paternity Services (OQPS) said the number of test it has been asked to carry out in the first three months of this year is up 80 per cent on the same period last year. 

OQPS is just one of a number of companies in the State providing paternity testing, and has carried out more than 70 tests in the first three months of this year alone. 

Following a review of the results of Paternity Tests carried out by the company over the past 18 months, it revealed yesterday that up to 35 per cent of them returned a negative result. 

This means one in every three fathers tested is not the biological parent of a child whose parentage is in question. 

Brian O’ Dwyer, operations director of OQPS, said the increase in request for paternity tests may be related to the growing culture of binge drinking in the Republic, where people may not necessarily recall after a night out if they may have fathered a child or not. 
He said some 88 per cent of the 279 paternity tests it conducted over the past 18 months were carried out between parties of different surnames, suggesting that they were unmarried. 

“On average, we conduct six paternity tests each week and we receive an average five requests for information every day, through our website or by telephone, and this is increasing steadily”, he said. “Our clients are taking the tests to provide peace of mind and, in other cases, as part of a court process”, he added. 
The results of these tests, which cost from €350 upwards, can be provided within 36 hours. 
Paternity testing involves taking cells, either through a blood sample or, more commonly, with an oral swab, from the mother, father and child and then testing to see if the DNA bands match. Children can be tested from birth. 

Treoir, the national information service for unmarried parents and their children, has received so many requests for information on DNA testing that it has produced a Determining Paternity leaflet, which can be viewed in its website at www.treoir.ie. 

The website also provides a list of DNA testing centres across the State.