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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

18 APR 2013

PARENTAGE: Elliott v Ratcliffe [2013] EWHC 806 (Fam)

(Family Division, Holman J, 1 February 2013)

The man sought a declaration of parentage pursuant to s 55A of the Family Law Act 1986 in respect of the child, now 24 years old, for whom he had paid thousands of pounds in child support over the years after being pursued by the Child Support Agency. The man believed that at the time he had sexual relations with the mother she was already pregnant and that he was not the father. He sought to recoup the child support he had paid.

The court directed that a DNA test be performed by Dadcheck.com. A letter of instruction was sent to the solicitor for the man which requested that the mother, the man and the child provide cheek samples for analysis and that they were to take two passport photographs of themselves in order for a GP, solicitor or other health professional to warrant their identities. The photographs would then be attached to the consent forms and sent to Dadcheck along with the swabs.

The man duly attended Dadcheck premises with two photographs and provided the sample. However, he was unaware of the circumstances in which the other two samples were provided. Dadcheck were only able to confirm that the individuals donated cheek samples for analysis and had their identities warranted at the time of sampling by an independent third party.

In those circumstances the court did not have sufficient information upon which to make a declaration of parentage due to the lack of proof of the chain of the actual people and the samples taken.

The application was adjourned to enable Dadcheck to provide further evidence.


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