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DNA Paternity Testing 101

by Melissa Bell
3 minutes read

DNA parentage testing is currently the most reliable and advanced scientific method of confirming or disproving biological relationships. The process is preferred and used for personal, medical, or legal reasons.

Accurate DNA testing is reliant on the accurate analysis of the genetic profiles of the child and alleged parents. The testing helps to conclusively solve questions that would be otherwise difficult to answer, resolve legal disputes, and in some instances, even facilitate medical treatment.

Here’s a full guide on what you need to know about DNA testing and what it means to prove biological parentage.


How Does DNA Paternity Testing Work?

Because of how simple, quick, and affordable the process has become, people nowadays can use the test kits from home. They simply need to buy the kit from a pharmacy and do the sample collection themselves from home. The paternity test cost should be considered carefully, especially for a single home kit.

This process involves taking a swab from the inside of your cheek to collect saliva and cheek cells. The samples are then mailed to a specialized lab for analysis. The scientists will then proceed to look for similarities in the genetic makeup of all parties involved.

If a match is established in the DNA patterns, a probability of 99% or higher is calculated thus establishing that a biological relationship exists. If there is no match, then the parties are deemed not to be the biological parents of the child.

Bear in mind that a home paternity test has no legal ramifications. It’s solely done so the alleged parents can get peace of mind by confirming if they are the legitimate parents of the child.

Reasons for DNA Parental Testing

Perhaps the most significant reason for DNA parental testing is to establish who takes custody of the child. Courts take this into consideration when establishing who takes custody of the child.

Another reason is for the child to know their true identity. This is usually the case for adopted children. When the child truly knows their roots, they are more accepting of themselves.

DNA parental testing can also be used to establish the medical history of a child. If one side of the parent’s family has a history of a serious medical condition, DNA parental results can give medical experts the hindsight they need to take necessary preventative action.

Why Include the Mother in the DNA Test?

Apart from instances where a surrogate mother was used, in most cases, the biological relationship of the mother and the child is rarely brought to question. However, having the mother submit her DNA samples together with the child and alleged father can actually help solve issues regarding parentage with more conviction.

Testing the mother’s DNA increases the chances for more accurate results. This is because, with both the father and mother’s DNA, scientists can know which of the child’s DNA markers comes from either mother or father.

In Summary

Everyone has their own unique genetic composition that they inherit from both parents. As such, DNA testing involves analyzing the genetic material of either the alleged mother and father as well as the child.

DNA tests are a great asset when it comes to establishing either maternity or paternity of a child and are a great place to start for identifying possible relationships between parents, children, or any other members of the family.

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