Professor Le Dinh Luong, General Secretary of the Genetics Society of Viet Nam and a member of a number of professional associations, has for many years conducted DNA checks to find out blood relationships in the country.
DNA checks in Ha Noi
One day, a man aged around 30 arrived at Prof. Luong’s house in Ha Noi’s Ba Dinh District to ask him to check DNA to know whether the three-year-old child coming with him is his really son. The man said in the days near his marriage, his wife still had some relationship with her ex boyfriend.
The professor, the founder of the Genetics Technology Center in Viet Nam, told the man that the result would be available after 10 days.
The next day, Prof. Luong began DNA checks in his laboratory in Cau Giay District in Ha Noi. He said the lab is equipped with two latest PCR machines, specialized in DNA checks.
He said a DNA check requires DNA of the mother or the father and the child. Just three hours later, the machines can give out the findings.
“I only inform the clients of the result 10 days later because there are many clients, and for cases in which the findings show that the child is not the kid of the mother or father, I have to make more checks for sure,” said Mr. Luong.
The DNA check method always tells the truth, he said.
|Professor Le Dinh Luong (R) and international scientists at an international conference|
Three hours later, the professor, with the findings from the machines, concluded that the man visiting him the day before is really the father of his son.
Asked how he informs his clients when the result shows that a person is not a real child of a father or mother, Prof. Luong said he always tells the truth.
On the way back to his working room, Mr. Luong said these days the two PCR machines have to work 24 hours per day because there are many clients and the number of clients is increasing. Almost all clients are men, and most findings show that the father and the child have the blood relationship.
“This shows that many husbands wrongly suspect their wives of adultery,” he said, adding that about 15-20 among 100 cases show no blood relationship between fathers and their so-called children.
“I’ve checked DNA of hundreds of people for the past 17 years and found that the modern time has resulted in many complicated relations. Every case gives me a tragedy about life; all can move people into tears.” The professor continued, “I plan to make a collection of these tragic stories by late 2006.”
Reasons for DNA checks
He said there are many reasons why people have come to his center to check blood relationship. They may do this under a court’s request, or because members of a family reunited after a long time of separation and they need to know if they have blood relationship with one another. Another reason is during the wars in Vietnam, some French, Japanese and American soldiers had their illegitimate children, so they need the DNA checks.
Prof. Luong said his clients also include drivers of long routes, directors of companies and State officials. “Sometimes, some directors come to me because their secretaries claim that the director is the ‘author’ of a child,” he said.
Mr. Luong continued, “Many men from Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Nha Trang, Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh City and elsewhere, when knowing that they have blood relationship with a child, uttered ‘Do I have to bring up this unwanted child?’ This is why I have had to move my lab to a secret place because many clients have asked me to give out a non-blood-relationship result.”
“Besides, I have many times helped unmask secretaries’ blackmail to their directors,” he said.
Regarding cases in which a person does not have blood relationship with both the father and the mother, he said it is likely that the child may be adopted, or the hospital where the mother has given birth has mistakenly handed her a baby of someone else.
|Professor, Doctor Le Dinh Luong|
Institution: Leningrad State University
Date From/To: 1961-1966 (undergraduate) 1974-1977 (postgraduate)
Membership of Professional Bodies:
Key Qualifications: (relevant to the project): Professor of Molecular Biology
Experience in specific ASEAN / EU countries :