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How Accurate Are DNA Tests? Can A Paternity Test Be Wrong?

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Many people often wonder how accurate is DNA paternity testing? “DNA paternity testing is reputed to be 99.99 percent or higher accurate when done properly,” according to Salami Abiodun, Senior Geneticist with DNA Centre for Paternity Test, Nigeria.

Father Holding Newborn Baby Son

He noted that DNA paternity testing (sometimes called parentage testing) uses DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid), the biological basis of inheritance, to prove or disprove the relationship between a child and an alleged father.

Noting that paternity can even be established before the baby is born using a prenatal paternity test, he said the test can also be performed even if the alleged father is missing or deceased.

Read Also: Half Of Men Who Take Paternity Test Are Not The Real Father – DNA Clinics

As explained by Abiodun, “If two possible fathers are related as full brothers or father and son, they may share many of the DNA markers used in paternity testing. This means that if proper precautions are not taken, both men could test positive as the child’s biological father.

“DNA testing is strong enough to determine paternity in a case involving related alleged fathers, but the laboratory must be aware of the situation before the testing process begins.”

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He said DNA Centre offers two options for cases involving alleged fathers who are related.

“Option 1: Test both alleged fathers, the child, and the mother at the same time. By comparing both alleged fathers’ DNA profiles with the child’s DNA profile, our expert laboratory staff can achieve accurate and conclusive test results.

“Option 2: Test one alleged father with extended analysis. This option can be taken when only one of the alleged fathers is available for testing. To produce a conclusive result, we must perform extended testing and statistical analysis. There is an additional fee for the extended testing and analysis.”

Read Also: 5 Other Ways To Identify If A Child Is Yours Without DNA Test

Explaining the difference between legal DNA test and informational DNA test, Abiodun said both tests are exactly the same.  “The difference is that legally-binding tests require a witness, proof of identity, and special chain of custody procedures. The Peace of Mind test is for informational purpose only, therefore is not legally binding. It is intended as a discrete and private way whereby families can resolve questions without involving outside parties.

“Whether for legal or personal purposes, the DNA test results and testing are the same. When testing for legal purposes, a third-party must witness the DNA collection process and verify the identity of each person being tested.”

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DNA Facts

DNA doesn’t change. It is set at conception and generally does not change, a paternity test can be performed on a person of any age—even on a sample from an unborn child (through prenatal testing). At birth,buccal swab can be collected from the newborn.

Looks alone are never proof of paternity. Many parentsinsist that their child looks just like an alleged father and so they can’t understand why a paternity test would show that the possible father and the child are not biologically related. A child could be biologically related to a possible father when they look nothing alike.

A child gets half of their DNA from each parent.

The traits of a child are determined not only by what their parents look like, but all the genomes that came before, on both sides of the family.

This genetic soup either can create a child that looks exactly like one or more parents, or a child that looks like neither, or something in between.

The way DNA is written is such that it is the arrangement that changes. “When it is specific for you, your brothers DNA can look like yours but will never be the same all through the sequence even if you are twins. it is even better than fingerprint. DNA testing is very accurate except those carrying out the analysis are not experts.

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There are no age restrictions for DNA test participants. When collection is performed by an adult as directed, the cheek swabs are even safe for infants.

If the father isn’t available for a paternity test, paternity can still be determined by testing relatives of the deceased father, such as the possible father’s parents. Testing can also be done for a brother or sister of the child or a brother or sister of the possible father.

It’s a fundamental right to know where one came from. Paternity is a question of identity; it helps someone to form their personality.

Photo Credit: Getty

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