Abortion fears over cheating women who use paternity tests to identify their baby’s father
25th January 2009
Hundreds of British women who have had affairs are carrying out paternity tests on their unborn babies and aborting them if they turn out to be their lover’s child.
The ‘prenatal paternity test’, which can increase the risk of miscarriage, is seen as unethical by some DNA laboratories and pro-life groups.
The tests are becoming increasingly popular in Britain, where academics estimate around one in 25 fathers are unwittingly raising the child of another man.
Controversial issues surrounding paternity were in the spotlight last week after the High Court heard how Elspeth Chapman spent 17 years believing an unrelated man was her father.
When she discovered her biological father’s true identity from her mother’s diary, she carried out a paternity test in 2004.
Miss Chapman, now 22, said of the man she thought was her father: ‘He was really hurt that I wasn’t his daughter, his pride had been damaged in the worst way for a man. He felt humiliated. He was a broken man.’
Mark Webb, 47, who brought her up as his own child, lost a legal battle to claim back money he spent on Elspeth’s upbringing.
DNA Solutions, a firm that claims to be the biggest provider of genetic tests in the UK, acknowledges some women who use its prenatal test