Genetic paternity testing dates back as far as the 1920s when blood types were compared in order to determine relationships between parent and child. Although not very effective and primarily inconclusive, this was the beginning of genetic testing as we know it. In the 1960s, a new genetic test with a 80% success rate using the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) system was develpoped and used to determine paternity for many years. In the 1980s DNA testing, boasting a 99.999% accuracy rate was discovered and has been the gold standard in paternity testing ever since. Aside form the historical facts of genetic testing, the 5 most important things you need to know regarding DNA Paternity Testing are the following:
1. Do It Yourself (DIY) vs. Legal Paternity Testing
Do It Yourself or DIY tests allow for buccal cheek swab specimen collections that are collected by yourself, at your leisure and privacy. The specimens collected are then sent to a laboratory for analysis and testing. Results are typically mailed or emailed to the person submitting the specimens within a week or two. It is critically important to note that DIY tests are not legally admissible in a court of law for any reason and are only beneficial for your own personal knowledge.
Legal Paternity Testing is also a buccal cheek swab collection. The specimen is collected by a third party professional following strict chain of custody guidelines and procedures which provide legally admissible results that can be used for child support, inheritance, social welfare benefits, immigration, or adoption purposes. To satisfy the chain of custody legal requirements, all tested parties are properly identified using state or federal identification, birth certificates and/or social security cards. Copies of identification and photographs of the subjects are collected at the time of the specimen collection. Specimens are sent to the laboratory via courier service that tracks the specimen from the collection site to the lab where two independent teams of DNA analysts run every legal DNA test twice. Results are verified and certified by a trained scientist with a PhD degree and then notarized before reporting the results to the parties tested in 3-5 days.
While legal paternity tests are more expensive, it is usually worth the extra cost if the results will possibly ever be needed to be legally admissible.
2. Pre-Natal Paternity Testing
Until recently, the only way to determine paternity before a child is born was through a very uncomfortable and invasive procedure to collect the child’s DNA through amniocentesis or CVS sample which could present the risk of miscarriage. Now a revolutionary, non-invasive pre-natal paternity test can determine paternity before the child is born with a simple blood draw specimen collected from the mother after at least 9 weeks of gestation. The standard buccal swab collection is collected from the alleged father. Specimens are collected, packaged and sent to the laboratory for extensive testing with certified results returned within 7-10 days. This type of test provides peace of mind and closure to any paternity related questions before the child is born allowing parents to focus on the baby and not the questions.
3. What If The Alleged Father Can’t Be Tested?
Sometimes, the alleged father is unable or unwilling to be tested. In these cases, the alleged father’s mother and/or father (grandparentage test) may be tested to determine paternity of the child. Specimen collection is the standard buccal swab cheek collection fro all parties and provides certified results within 7-10 days.
4. Does The Mother Need To Be Tested For A Paternity Test?
The short answer is no. However, having a specimen collected from the mother will allow for faster and more accurate determination of paternity – especially in the case of a grandparentage test or if there is more than one alleged father who may be biologically related, such as brothers. In any case, there is never any additional fees to have the mother’s specimen collection unless there is a need to test for maternity.
5. What If The Alleged Father Lives Out of State?
Certified collection sites for DNA Paternity Testing are available worldwide and collections can be arranged with any willing party anywhere. Additional fees and longer turnaround times may result, but the testing is still quite possible.
Carolina Testing is a certified DNA collection facility located at 1709 Husted Rd Ste. #2 in Conway, SC. For more information about DNA Paternity or other genetic testing services, please contact them at 843-972-3287 or firstname.lastname@example.org