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Children increasingly falling victim as demand for DNA surges – Police

Police spokesperson SCP Fred Enanga said Monday that the increased demand for DNA Testing Services has made children fall victim of the outcome which endangers their rights.

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Police spokesperson SCP Fred Enanga said Monday that the increased demand for DNA Testing Services has made children fall victim of the outcome which endangers their rights.

Enanga revealed this in a weekly press briefing at Police Headquarters in Naguru where he warned the public to be cautious as some results could be fake and or doctored by crooked medical practitioners.

“As you are all aware, there has been a steady increase in the demand for paternity test at DNA testing centres, medical centres and hospitals. The common relationships that utilise DNA testing, includes paternity, maternity, full siblingship or half-siblingship. Others are using the tests to establish whether they are susceptible to certain types of genetic diseases like cancer,” said Enanga.

According to Enanga, “This is simply because, DNA testing has become so accessible, results are retrieved within 3-5 working days, the preferred collection techniques are by buccal (cheek or mouth cavity) swab, which is easy to collect, painless and non-invasive.

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“In addition, the industry standard of 99.5% or greater degree of certainty, with respect to paternity or maternity is sufficient to support a biological relationship between a parent and child.”

The spokesperson revealed that typical customers for the rampant DNA Testing Services are men who are engaged and want to confirm off springs from a past relationship, father’s seeking reassurance that they fathered their children, fathers in distant relationships, women inquiring about paternity on behalf of their children, relatives from the paternal side, women seeking child support, and even children who want to know who their biological parents are.

“Of course, for those whose results cone out positive, they are always happy to receive the results, because of better proof,” remarked Enanga.

“However, we have witnessed clients whose results have come out negatively evoke strong emotions, with potential of altering their lives,” he added.

Mr Enanga further warned that the media hype and alarms, over DNA results is to much and affecting, the privacy of children, whose welfare becomes uncertain, because the alleged father will no longer have a legal obligation, to pay child support or any legal rights to child custody or visitation.

“We would like to warn the public against recording children at a loss of a relationship or theoretical biological link. Negative results have easily devalued past family relationships, when new biological conclusions are disconnected,” he said.

“We therefore, urge all DNA testing centres, to be very transparent with the information they give to clients. They should inform them fully about the possible outcomes pf the results. It could be surprises about unknown siblings, others learn their father is not their biological parent and in worst case scenarios, fathers have even dated their hidden biological daughters, in other instances, siblings have unknowingly dated each other and even married off.”

On the side of Families, Enanga said they should be careful and properly prepared for the paternity results or other biological connections.

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In addition, Enanga advised families to identify DNA testing centres that are certified, because they have trained genetic counsellors. Some of the home DNA kits, can be subject to contamination and can lead to inaccurate test results. Its important therefore, to have DNA testing performed at a reputable testing facility, that is certified. They have strict standards for testing and accuracy.”

“Where a parent, mother, have evidence that proves that a paternity test is not accurate or fraud, we advise them to file a complaint with Police or consult a lawyer. You can also request a second test, if you are concened about falsified or inaccurate paternity test results,” he concluded.

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