Provider Profile: Assure DNA
The Assure DNA paternity test is one of the only tests where you can buy their DNA testing kit on the UK high street. As well as being stocked in Boots stores, the kit can also be purchased from Chemist Direct, Amazon, and a range of other pharmacies. Once the DNA testing kit is returned, Anglia DNA, a Norfolk-based provider, conducts the paternity test on Assure DNA’s behalf.
The Assure DNA paternity test was developed by Anglia DNA in 2009, with Boots first stocking them in 2011. It was the UK’s first paternity test to be available on the high street.
The Assure DNA website has a page dedicated to supporting those who might buy a paternity test, providing contact details for charities and organisations that can help. They cite research that 1 in 25 fathers are not the biological father of their child, and suggest that the availability of their test has allowed more families to achieve peace of mind than ever before.
Despite the ease of availability, Assure DNA encourages customers to think carefully about the impact of the test before buying. They encourage people to call first to discuss their circumstances, and can recommend counselling services if required.
The test itself
The science behind the Assure DNA paternity test is not dissimilar to those on sale by other providers. The kit contains consent forms, terms and conditions, and cheek swabs. The cheek swabs allow buccal DNA samples to be collected painlessly, and it’s possible to request that the results are processed within 24 hours.
Assure DNA adhere to strict UK regulations throughout the DNA testing process, ensuring all relevant parties have provided consent. High security standards are maintained to prevent DNA theft, and reduce the likelihood of samples being contaminated.
Where the Assure DNA paternity test differs to other paternity tests, and not just in regard to high street availability, is that the kit comes with instructions on DVD – something no other provider includes. Another difference is that Assure DNA require proof of identity to be returned with the DNA samples, such as a photocopy of a passport, driving licence, or bank card – no other provider requires this.
The Assure DNA paternity test cannot be used for legal purposes, as this requires that the DNA collection process is professionally observed, to guarantee the identity of the individuals tested.
Assure DNA are one of the strongest brands in paternity testing, due in part to their relationship with Boots. When we reviewed the Assure DNA paternity test, it was disappointing to note that 17 pages of documents and instructions were provided in the kit, far more than any other provider. However, we were later informed that this was minimum amount of paperwork required by Boots, to ensure both themselves and their customers were protected.
Assure DNA have pioneered DNA testing on the high street, and despite the dangers associated with improving ease of access, they are paving the way for greater accessibility to all types of DNA test.