In a landmark judgement ( EWHC 3235 (Fam), Case No: MA06C01125) His Honour Judge Haydon outlined a series of steps that solicitors need to consider when dealing with cases involving DNA testing.
Make sure the company you choose is accredited.
They have experience and customer service back up.
Give the laboratory clear instructions.
A paternity test can be an emotional roller-coaster raising complex moral issues that often end up being settled in court. The legal practitioner now needs to fulfill many roles. Working with a reliable, experienced & ethical DNA testing service is key.
We are accredited by the Ministry of Justice as a body that may carry out parentage tests as directed by the civil courts in England and Wales under section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969. This means that we comply with the requirements of the Human Tissue Act, abide by the Human Genetics Commission's Common Framework of Principles, our testing service is accredited to the international quality standard ISO 17025 and we market our services in an ethical manner.
For any Legal DNA test, the Chain of Custody of the sample is of utmost importance. Cellmark has developed strict procedures and systems to ensure that the procedures have been followed. DNA samples must be taken and each person's identity verified by an independent sample. The chain of custody of all the samples must be strictly recorded.
The individuals being tested must give their consent for their DNA test. The Human Tissue Act 2004 specifies that it is the treating clinician’s responsibility to seek consent from a parent, person with parental responsibility or relative. Failure to ensure this constitutes the offence of "DNA theft" which is punishable by a prison sentence of up to three years and/or a fine of £3,000.
Cellmark offers a convenient sampling service which allows the samples to be taken by an independent and suitably trained person. We have also introduced a free service whereby we can train key members of your team to become 'Cellmark trained' DNA samplers - to reduce the overall cost of testing and to make sampling more convenient. Please note that the sampler should not be related to the sample giver, nor have any financial or personal interest in the outcome of the paternity test.
Cellmark provides all the relevant documentation and instructions to simplify the case management process. If you have any concerns phone our Customer Services team on 0800 036 2522.
"Thank you very much for getting the results back to us so quick and in time for the hearing...... You’ve all been a massive help!"
"...the service from Cellmark is outstanding and efficient. I will continue to instruct and recommend Cellmark in all future cases"
"I would just like to personally express my thanks to you for all your assistance in ensuring we received the results before the court hearing and all of your hard work."
From ensuring that you have the right information before commencing the process to understanding what the final test report means - we aim to provide assistance every step of the way.