Science Information

Paternity Testing Regulation: Help or Hindrance?


Introduction

The internet has opened up opportunities for many DNA laboratories to distribute free paternity test kits in hopes of a sale from returned samples. In Europe, France is the only country that regulates how paternity tests are conducted. Citizens of other European nations are free to satisfy their own curiosities and nagging doubts, while French citizens jump through hoops. Regulation and red tape protect some while hindering others.

Society Perspective

Pro: In 1941, the French government adopted a law called "Accouchement Sous X," or Childbirth Under X. This law allows a French woman to enter a hospital anonymously by signing her name as an X. Her identity and her child's identity are both kept anonymous. For a mother who has given birth anonymously, for whatever reason, a paternity test would surely break the anonymity. Mothers seeking refuge under the X law will undoubtedly seek the same protection under Article 16.

Alleged fathers will also benefit from this law because assessing paternity usually means child support payments. Years of due arrears may be charged to an alleged father if it is found that he is the biological father. Having a lawyer involved in the process for each case's beginning will give greater credibility to the test and its results. The transition from results to court decision is also smoothed and hastened by having a court-appointed lawyer.

Con: It's hard to say just how many people have forgone a paternity test because of the red tape involved. The majority of single mothers are in a less-than-favorable financial condition and probably can't afford to hire a lawyer.

Placing restriction on business operations shrinks the market, decreases competition, and drives up prices.

Business Perspective

Pro: DNA laboratories are able to sell a state utility service to virtually anyone through the postal service. The margin on DNA tests is high, and free home kits can be sent across international borders at a very low cost. French labs are much fewer than the number of labs in other countries, and the likelihood of business being conducted outside France is quite high. Large international laboratories could predatorily price their tests to the point where conducting a DNA test can no longer be done locally. DNA labs that are set up inside France will benefit from this legislation because French citizens are not permitted to conduct a test outside of the country. Although industry protection was not the reason for adding this article to the civil code, French labs capture the entire national market for paternity testing.

Con: Article 16 almost creates a public sector for paternity testing. The market size is reduced because fewer people will be willing conduct a test because of the increased complexity. In other countries, such as the UK and Germany, an individual can conduct a test almost whimsically. Having this new technology available to the general public at an affordable price has expanded the market size and allowed businesses to grow. In France, prices are relatively fixed. Consumers make choices based more on location than on price and quality.

The legislation also creates an entry barrier for other companies to enter the French market. In order for a laboratory in the UK to compete in France, it would need to expand operations and build inside the country. This infeasibility deters many businesses from expanding into France.

Conclusion

To some, red tape is an annoyance; to others, it is due process. Although Article 16-11 forces French citizens to undergo a more lengthy process when conducting a paternity test and hinders business competition, the article serves the best interest of the people. To make this legislation less burdensome, the court-appointed lawyer should be paid for by the state. This will allow more citizens to find the answers to their family-relation questions.

Tom LeBaron is a marketing representative of DNA Bioscience. Receive your own free home paternity testing kit, or learn more about DNA paternity testing in the UK.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Science Magazine

NASA to pay private space companies for moon rides
Science Magazine
Scientists are lining up for a ride. "It really feels like the future of lunar exploration," says Erica Jawin, a planetary scientist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. She and other attendees at the ...
Space: how far have we gone – and where are we going?The Guardian
NASA Will Attempt Its Eighth Mars Landing in One WeekSmithsonian

all 60 news articles »


Scientific American (blog)

Learning About Science Is a Human Right
Scientific American (blog)
But with the complex connections between emerging technologies and social systems, everyone also should have the opportunity to engage with the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and 21st century skills that make those ...

and more »


Scientific American (blog)

The Twilight of Science's High Priests
Scientific American (blog)
A high point of my career, and faith in science, was a cosmology workshop I bulled my way into in 1990, when I was a staff writer for Scientific American. Thirty leading physicists gathered in a rustic resort in northern Sweden to swap ideas about how ...



Science Magazine

Massive star system primed for intense explosion
Science Magazine
... fast wind at the pole and slower gusts at its equator. If the scientists are right, and this is a rapidly rotating Wolf-Rayet star, it could be the best candidate yet for a gamma ray burst in our own galaxy, although it may not blow for many ...

and more »


EurekAlert (press release)

Scientists discover new 'pinwheel' star system
EurekAlert (press release)
An international team of scientists has discovered a new, massive star system--one that also challenges existing theories of how large stars eventually die. "This system is likely the first of its kind ever discovered in our own galaxy," says Benjamin ...

and more »


Daily Beast

Why Is a Climate Change Skeptic Headlining Science Conferences?
Daily Beast
That's odd, since the role of greenhouse gas emissions as the primary cause driving climate change is universally backed by scientists. Ward sent a press release publicizing the talk, adorned by the logo of the GSA, photographs of the meeting venue ...



Wall Street Journal

Novartis CEO Bets on Cutting-Edge Science to Remake Drug Giant
Wall Street Journal
Dr. Narasimhan acknowledged at the event that risks were higher than with conventional drugs but added that “there's a risk in not pushing into new technologies and new areas of science to find breakthrough medicines.” In October last year, Novartis ...

and more »


Science Magazine

Norwegian billionaire funds deluxe deep ocean research ship
Science Magazine
In October, he promised an additional $150 million to REV Ocean in Fornebu, Norway, to operate the ship for at least 3 years, giving scientists free access. Røkke started the foundation last year to find solutions to climate change, ocean acidification ...



Science News

Hemp fields offer a late-season pollen source for stressed bees
Science News
O'Brien urged crop scientists now developing the pest fighting strategies for outdoor hemp to be mindful of bee health. Pest management techniques for hemp are still a work in progress. There are even questions about which insects are truly hemp pests ...

and more »


CleanTechnica

The Challenges Journalists Face Covering Climate Science
CleanTechnica
Science journalists who cover climate change face many challenges. From the competition with social media to reader skepticism, there is an immense pressure on journalists to produce content at a much faster pace, while keeping high quality standards.


Google News

home | site map | Xray Photography
© 2006