DNA Paternity Testing - Who Needs to be Involved?


The most common type of DNA testing requested is for determining paternity. In order to complete a DNA paternity test, the alleged father and child must both participate. It is not absolutely necessary to have the participation of the child's biological mother to achieve test accuracy at >99.9% or 100%. While outcomes will be the same regardless of the mother's participation, a full paternity test may achieve an accuracy rate of >99.999% for inclusions, whereas a motherless paternity test may only yield accuracy of >99.9%. In instances where the child is a newborn, without distinctive facial features at his/her young age, comparing the mother's DNA may also act as confirmation that the child attending the appointment for specimen collection is indeed the specific child requiring the paternity test.

If the biological parent of a child is not available for testing, a genetic profile of this individual may be reconstructed by testing other relatives (e.g., siblings, grandparents, aunt, and/or uncles).

In special situations, such as criminal investigations, where there may be no targeted individuals for DNA testing, forensic samples are employed in the test as evidence. By testing forensic samples discovered at the crime scene or on the victim, a suspect's identity can be confirmed by matching DNA information obtained from the forensic specimen against the his/her own DNA.

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