What You Need to Know About Paternity Testing

Paternity tests can provide a highly accurate determination of whether there is any sort of biological relationship between a man and a child. The procedure is a straightforward one – DNA samples are taken from both the child and the alleged or prospective father, usually by swabbing the inside of the cheeks of both individuals – and subjecting both samples to testing in order to determine if the genetic fingerprint of both is similar enough to point to them being related to each other.

Using DNA to determine paternity is one of the most accurate methods for doing so. DNA is a nearly unique determining factor when it comes to identity, as only identical twins share identical DNA. Each parent contributes 50%of his or DNA to the child at conception, making it easy to determine if the genetic fingerprints of both child and prospective father have enough commonalities to indicate that the man passed on his genes to the child. A typical DNA paternity test is more than 99.9%conclusive in terms of matching father to child.

In many situations, you might not even need to show up at a lab testing facility to undertake a paternity test. Many labs will offer home DNA testing kits that allow you to collect your own samples and then send them in by mail to the testing facility to be processed. These home testing kits are often called “curiosity DNA testing kits” because the results of such a test can’t be used in a court of law to prove or disprove parentage on the part of the father; this is because the validity of the samples can’t be verified as the chain of custody, a legal term that denotes whether evidence has been subject to the possibility of tampering, cannot be confirmed.

In cases where a legal determination has to be made, the only way to do so is to have all DNA samples taken for both child and prospective father at a facility that complies with chain of custody procedures. This means that you and the child will have their identities verified prior to having your samples taken by a professional and neutral third party who will then ensure that the specimens will be transported safely and securely to the lab for testing.

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