Dads ask: 'Is this my child?'
Paternity testing is becoming a booming business in this metropolis as more and more husbands suspect their wives of infidelity.
The Shanghai Institute of Forensic Science and Technology, the first body in Shanghai to provide paternity testing, performed more than 1,000 tests last year.
"The numbers are trending up," said Zhang Gongliang, director of the Shanghai Blood Center, another agency providing individual testing since 2002. It conducted more than 300 tests last year.
According to Zhang, the number of applicants Shanghai-wide topped 2,000 last year.
In all, three organizations now are providing such testing services.
The third is Boistar Genechip Inc Group, funded by Shanghai United Gene Holdings Ltd, which received permission to perform individual tests this year, becoming China's first independent body to do the testing.
"The slackening of faith between couples has contributed to the great need of parent testing," said Wang Weihai, professor from Fudan University.
Wang said the number of husbands suspecting infidelity in their wives has increased dramatically in recent years.
"It is a good step. More paternity testing should be done in independent organizations. That's why we give it permission," said Li Baiqin, an official from the Shanghai Judicial Bureau.
"We will allow more independent organizations like Boistar to perform parent testings for individuals. But we will be careful," said Li.
An organization that wants to get the permission to provide paternity testing for individuals must have minimum capital of 500,000 yuan (US$60,500) on hand and at least six experts with more than two years of working experience in the techniques.
A group of experts designated by the courts will check the test results to see whether they are up to legal standards.
Testing bodies can be found in the country's provincial judicial departments.
"Their testing results are illegal," Li added.
Ninety percent of applicants are male with good educational backgrounds and decent finances. Men in their 30s and 40s make up the majority of applicants.
The testing is expensive, with each costing 1,500 yuan (US$181) at Boistar, while the cost is 1,380 yuan (US$167) at the Shanghai (Red Cross) Blood Center. It takes a week or two for the tests to be completed.