DNA Paternity Testing and Why It’s Accurate

A DNA paternity test is important when it comes to making determinations between whether a man and a child are linked biologically through the relationship of father to child. Our DNA is like a fingerprint in that it’s almost completely unique – it’s only in cases of identical twins where two people will ever have the same exact DNA – and nothing can change or alter a genetic fingerprint once a child takes shape in its mother’s womb.

This makes DNA testing one of the most accurate and conclusive methods for determining if there’s a biological link between a man and a child. DNA is passed exclusively from parents to children, with 50% coming from the mother and the other 50% from the father, and DNA paternity tests will compare the genetic fingerprint of the child with that of the man to see if there’s evidence of the child inheriting half of the prospective father’s DNA.

DNA paternity testing is incredibly accurate. In many labs that conduct such testing, results are scientifically conclusive with either a 0% chance of a man being the father of a particular child or a 99.9% chance that the man is indeed the father. Data analysis doesn’t even require the participation of the mother of the child; while it certainly makes analysis easier to have the other source of genetic information for the child, DNA paternity tests are just as conclusive – and just as accurate – if only the prospective father’s DNA is compared to that of the child.

However, while the scientific accuracy of a DNA paternity test is widely regarded as conclusive, if there’s a legal question as to whether or not a man is indeed the father of a child there are extra steps that need to be taken. In order for the paternity test to be used as a piece of evidence in any legal proceeding, it needs to be subjected to the same rigorous controls as any other piece of physical evidence – and that means taking steps to maintain that the chain of custody for the test samples and the results of the analysis remain intact at all times. This means that a professional third party has to remain in control of the test materials from collection all the way up to submission to the courts – it’s only then that a DNA paternity test result can be considered legally binding.

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