Home > DNA Fingerprinting > Paternity Tests and DNA

Paternity Tests and DNA

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 1 Apr 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Paternity Dna Paternity Test Genetic

The relationship between a parent and a child is an important one that has lifelong implications. When there is confusion regarding who is the father of a child, it can be a stressful and difficult time for all people involved. In this way, determining the relationship is an important task and must be accurate, reliable and ideally non-invasive. DNA testing – or genetic testing – for paternity has come to be all of those things. This type of testing uses DNA to determine if the expected father is indeed the biological father. It has numerous applications, which range from forensics to law.

What is a Paternity Test?

A paternity test works by examining the DNA of a child so that the identity of the father can be investigated. Since DNA is inherited, the DNA between two family members will be closely related. A paternity test can be carried out for a variety of reasons. If a woman had multiple sexual partners, she may be unsure who is the father of her child. In this case, paternity testing can provide an answer. Also, a father may be denying that a child is his, which means that testing will be required to substantiate his claim. A paternity test might be suggested by the mother of the child, by the father or by the courts in a custody case. With custody cases, paternity testing can allow the courts to confirm who is the father of the child, which then allows for child support payments to be ordered.

Collecting Samples

DNA samples are collected from the mother, the child and the assumed father. Each person will typically need to provide some form of written consent. The consent is important to legally confirm his or her agreement to the test. Many countries have laws protecting children under a specific age. As such, a parent may need to consent on behalf of the child, which will depend on the laws and regulations in that particular country. Still, depending on the circumstances, an older child may still have his or her views taken into account with regards to paternity testing and custody cases.

Paying for a Paternity Test

Most paternity tests are not covered by the government and will need to be self-funded. Even when a court requests a paternity test, costs are still not covered by the government. An exception to this general rule, however, is that if a person is receiving government aid for legal fees, the paternity test will likely still be covered.

Choosing Paternity Testing

Even if you choose to have a paternity test performed privately as opposed to a court-ordered one, it is still best if you speak to your general physician. He or she can recommend a trusted laboratory to perform the testing and you may even be able to have the samples collected through your doctor's office. Costs vary a great deal from one company to another. However, if you have a court-appointed test, the courts will usually have a list of approved testing facilities that you may use when choosing where to have the test performed.

How Accurate is DNA Paternity Testing?

The accuracy of this type of testing is extremely high – approximately ninety-nine percent. Ensuring you choose a reputable laboratory will also help to keep that accuracy high because it means that the laboratory will collect and store samples appropriately.

Prenatal Testing

There are now companies that can offer prenatal DNA testing. Prenatal DNA testing refers to DNA testing that is performed before a baby is born. As with standard DNA paternity testing, you will need a DNA sample from the person you believe to be the father. The expected father must also provide his consent for the test, which means that obtaining the sample without his knowledge is illegal. It is also important to be aware that prenatal DNA paternity testing can slightly increase the risk of a miscarriage or stillbirth. Although the risk is slight, it is something you should discuss with your doctor prior to making the decision to undergo prenatal paternity testing.

DNA testing has evolved dramatically and its use in paternity testing has allowed for successful identification of the relationship between an assumed father and his child. It has also played an important role in many legal cases and it has been integral to confirming a biological relationship where child support payments are an issue.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
i fell pregnan sept 2013 my due dte was 13june 2014 my bf i hd tht time denies da chld we did a patertinity test and it cme bck he's xcluded hw is it posible
Y - 1-Apr-16 @ 3:36 AM
Hi, Im 17 weeks and just completed a prenatal paternity via blood from me & saliva from the father. I havent felt the baby move or anything yet. If for some reason the baby is still born or deceased while test was performed can they tell or will there still be dna from baby in my bloodstream?? I am concerned please help!!!!
Worried2death - 30-Jan-16 @ 3:36 PM
@halfadime. Try the BBC bitesize website that will have a timeline of DNA etc.
Miss - 8-Oct-14 @ 11:30 AM
What date was DNA testing first used, legally, to determine the true parentage of a child?
Halfadime - 7-Oct-14 @ 5:18 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Sin
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Hi, My uncle died over 20 years ago. I found out 15 years ago that my best friends brother in law was raising a child, that was supposedly…
    15 July 2018
  • Douchkniexeye
    Re: An Overview of DNA Functions
    This was awesome fun to read! Good information! Loved it!
    14 July 2018
  • Squibbs
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    After his death in 1965, my friend discovered that the father who loved and raised her had been living under an alias. No trace of him is to…
    10 July 2018
  • Sean McCleary
    Re: Non-Coding DNA in Humans
    Hello, my name is Sean McCleary. I am going through a very powerful experience and have been for the last 7 years and it's increasing.…
    9 July 2018
  • duck
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    I need to know if the ashes I have are my husband, because the ashes I that was given to me smell something awful, so I would like to talk to…
    8 July 2018
  • ExploreDNA
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Minisol - Your Question:Hi I know this is probably a weird request but I was wondering if anyone could tell me with this matter I was…
    2 July 2018
  • Minisol
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Hi I know this is probably a weird request but I was wondering if anyone could tell me with this matter I was pregnant and had an abortion…
    29 June 2018
  • geofan
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    What test kit can be provided to a mortuary 24 hours after death? Family and estate executor want this done. Mortuary does not know. They…
    26 June 2018
  • ExploreDNA
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Sanju - Your Question:I want some question about DNA test when a Lady diez in accidente but fathers denied about his paternity
    25 June 2018
  • Tink
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    My brother recently passed away very suddenly. Before the cremation I asked the funeral home to take swabs using cotton swabs and I placed…
    24 June 2018