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
  • spearmannbails
    Re: DNA and Criminology
    no. deoxyribonucleic acid is to be for biology, and biology only.
    24 June 2019
  • Casey
    Re: DNA Testing for Pets
    Hi, I was wondering if there was any chance you could do a DNA test on my dogs ashes, for a long time we suspected he wasnt full Siberian…
    18 June 2019
  • Vee
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Can I text my 4 month old baby ashes, there is pieces of her bone,
    12 June 2019
  • Cami
    Re: DNA Viruses
    Are you able to give me an explanation of how prescribed medicines may cause DNA mutations? As far as I know they can bind the DNA strands…
    11 June 2019
  • Yanagi
    Re: Evolution of DNA
    Dear Ian Murnaghan BSc Passive genetic mutations and recombination with survival of the fittest are impossible, mathematically. Many benefit…
    5 June 2019
  • Banda
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    My daughter was born stillborn and was buried. I don’t want to disturb her resting place. Is there anything the hospital would have saved to…
    29 May 2019
  • Sherel
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    I had a dna sibling test done and there seem to be a problem with the test that the lab have not told me about yet and I know that my four…
    29 May 2019
  • nc dh
    Re: DNA Studies and the Evolution of Birds
    hfgewvfd hbcdhbchd hdvbhvbhd udfbheir dvudgv
    22 May 2019
  • Afia
    Re: Evolution of DNA
    A section of the DNA that can be delimited according to the function of it's product is called?
    18 May 2019
  • Afia
    Re: Evolution of DNA
    A section of DNA that can be delimited according to the function of it's product is called?
    18 May 2019