Paternity Test

Accuracy of DNA Testing

There are two types of DNA testing, one is called PCR and the other is called RFLP. Before you start to educate yourself on DNA testing it is important to know what these tests are and how accurate they are. This will enable you to understand the process more completely.

RFLP DNA testing was the first type of actual DNA testing performed. RFLP stand for restriction fragment length polymorphsim. RFLP testing typically requires a blood sample, but a swab of the inner cheek can be used in some situations. RFLP testing is considered to be more accurate than PCR testing in some cases. This is because this type of testing presents more information regarding paternity.

PCR DNA testing is the method most commonly used today. PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction. In most cases this form of testing only requires that a swab from the inner cheek be provided as a DNA sample. This is the preferred method because it is much quicker. However, this type of DNA test only looks at between six and nine genetic markers. This means the test provides less information than its predecessor RFLP.

Since PCR testing is used more often than RFLP testing it is important to know how it works. PCR testing takes the DNA sample provided and examines it very carefully by magnifying and multiplying it. This method is the preferred method when a small sample of DNA is all that is available or when the sample has been contaminated or damaged. During the process the sample is heated, primers are added, then the sample is cooled.

Most labs no longer offer RFLP DNA testing. This is because in most cases PCR DNA testing is just as accurate in most cases and the results are provided more quickly. RFLP testing is only used cases in which DNA needs to be examined more closely.

Adoption DNA Tests

Adoption is a very tricky person, can be a tedious process for the most prepared man. The courts can take a long time to declare you a happy family and the emotional turmoil in between can be very hard. Each day, increasing number of families is resorting to DNA testing for adoptions. Ascertaining the biological identity of the boy or girl that you plan to adopt can be very helpful in alleviating the stress and uncertainty.

DDC has a target of helping the adopting families, and in easing the adoption process for them. they understand that their services are of immense help in clarifying many things, which can help the mind to be at peace, while an adoption process is under way.

DNA testing can be very helpful in cases of domestic adoption, international adoption and reunification.

If one is ready for testing of DNA, the number to call is 1-800-681-7505, to reach an adoption specialist under DDC.

A few things need to be said about DDC. DDC (DNA Diagnostics Center) is the number one provider of DNA tests. DDC performs the majority of private DNA tests, and has partnered with the adoption community to aid in adoption cases. Parentage, testing as well as family identification are the specialties of DDC. DDC has a immensely experienced and qualified Adoption Team which is available any time, to reply to queries. Since DNA test results can have a huge bearing on people�s lives, strict confidentiality is maintained.

So, clients need not be afraid of imparting their personal information to DDC. DDC has gained many accreditations and certifications, which include the AABB for DNA testing, ISO/IEC 17025, certified by ACLASS, for the high, international standards of its laboratories, and also has a JCICS affiliate membership.

Ancestry DNA Testing

In most situations DNA testing is used to determine parentage. That said, it can also be used to determine a person’s genealogical roots. Ancestry DNA tests can be done because there are aspects of DNA that remain consistent through generations. These aspects create a genetic link between the various generations of a family.

It is important to understand that there are limitations when it comes to ancestry DNA testing. For instance, you can’t map an entire family tree, but it can determine whether you are related to someone with the same last name. In other cases it is used to confirm or refute research that you have done into your genealogical history. It can also determine your ethnic roots. Ancestry DNA has been available for some time, but it wasn’t affordable to the masses until recent years.

The testing for ancestry DNA testing is done using one of two methods. It can be done through mitochondria DNA , which means the DNA you get from your mother. This DNA is passed from mother to child without mixing. It stays the same generation after generation from mother to child and so on and so fourth. If two people have the same mitochondria DNA most likely they are related. Men inherit mitochondria DNA from their mothers, but it does not pass to their children.

Y chromosome DNA is also used in ancestry DNA testing. It is commonly referred to as Y DNA or Y-Line DNA. This type of DNA testing can only be used for males. Y chromosome DNA only passes between a father and his son. The Y chromosome is identified by patterns called haplotypes. If haplotypes match an ancestral link can be assumed. This type of ancestry DNA testing is used more often than mitochondria DNA testing.

Many people used ancestry DNA testing because they want to know more about their ethnicity. Many DNA labs offer can tell you what percentage of your genetic make-up comes from which of the four major ancestry groups including, North American, Indo-European, African and East Asian. What’s more, is that people with a high European percentage can determine a more specific European ancestry. Newer developments in DNA testing called STR DNA test allow scientist to compare your genetic finger print to up to 19 different regions worldwide.

Chain of Custody

If you are involved in a paternity dispute you may have heard the term chain of custody used. The following information will help you understand what the chain of custody is and how it is used to help you. This information will be extremely useful if you are in the midst of a custody or child support dispute.

When people use the term chain of custody they are referring to the paper trail that shows how fact was determined and established. Chain of custody can refer to a number of different documents and evidence. It can refer to evidence both physical and electronic. This evidence is used for the purpose of determining whether or not certain allegations are true or false. It can be used in crime situations to prove innocence or guilt and it can be used in situations of child custody to determine parentage.

To use a chain of custody in a court of law effectively it has to be established in the right way. Establishing a chain of custody effectively requires the parties involved to follow a set of procedures. The procedures require that each step during the chain of custody be documented in writing. These requirements and procedures must be applied to each and every step during the process of establishing the chain of custody.

When the chain of custody is not established properly the evidence collected during the process may be questioned. In fact, in many cases evidence collected without following proper procedural guidelines in not admissible in a court of law. In a case of child custody this would simply mean that DNA testing would have to be repeated from the beginning. If the case is criminal the evidence that was collected improperly would be inadmissible and it may not be able to be retested or collected.

The chain of custody is of particular importance when it comes to child support and paternity cases. If you are trying to prove you are not connected genetically to a child or you trying to prove someone is the father of your child you must use a lab that is familiar with the chain of custody. Chain of custody paternity results are the only paternity results that are admissible in a court of law. If you get a  cheap DNA test done and it doesn’t contain the chain of custody it will not be accepted and you will have to pay for retesting.

Cheating a Paternity Test

Paternity testing is a widely used and hugely respected area of modern forensic science. The results of an inclusive paternity test give 99 to 99.99% accuracy and exclusive testing 100% and it is therefore, by far the most reliable way to find out if a man has fathered a particular child.

Of course with this kind of testing comes considerable importance a high levels of emotion attached to DNA results. Whether a blood sample, buccal swab or hair follicle is being tested, the results could have incredible implications for all involved, not to mention a great deal of money for those in custody. As a result, some fathers and indeed some mothers too, try to cheat on a paternity test to get the result that they want. This could be because the father is desperate to have custody of the child and are worried they will lose the case if they are not the biological father. Alternatively they may want to escape the financial responsibility of fathering a child and give evidence to the contrary. A Mother might cheat a paternity test in order to show a man who is not the biological father actually is.

What isn’t widely known is how difficult it is to cheat a paternity test and that it is impossible to cheat one if it is done under legal supervision. A paternity test that is to be used as evidence in court has to follow specific procedures; that is, a third party must be present when the sample is taken, to vouch that it is indeed that person’s DNA that is sent off. It is all too easy for home paternity tests to be cheated, when a party obtains a DNA sample from somebody else entirely. Mothers who attempt to ‘frame’ a certain man for their paternity often take a buccal swab of their own mouth because (of course) their own DNA is guaranteed to match the child’s. However, laboratories test a certain part of the gene which codes for gender (the amelogenin gene) and this way they find out that it is the mother’s DNA involved.

We hear all the time of people trying to cheat urine tests for drugs by drinking huge cocktails of water with cranberry and grapefruit juice, but none of this works on a DNA test. DNA is DNA; it cannot be diluted or changed. It can only forged if you try to give another person’s sample. The only way to guarantee this doesn’t happen is to get a third party involved, either for your own peace of mind through a home-test or lawfully with a legal professional so that the results can be used as evidence in court.

Cheating on a paternity test is something that is very rarely seen in the courts. Thankfully, it seems that people have more sense than to try and obtain someone else’s DNA for testing. Over the years it seems that in general, mothers have a strong idea of who the biological father of their baby is, yet that man is denying it, or another is claiming that they are the father instead. If these instances, if DNA samples are forged and a different result to the one the mother was expecting arises then she will demand a re-test, where she sees the sample being taken and sent. Of course for the laboratories they can always tell if it is the mother’s DNA that has been sent off, or even that of an animal rather than a human (it has been done in the past)!

The only possible way that a DNA paternity test could possibly give erroneous results when the samples are taken from the correct potential father and child is if either one were a human chimera. A human chimera is a person who has two sets of DNA and these can exist in different parts of the body. It seems impossible, but chimeras are in fact born when two fraternal twins become one being in very early pregnancy, when the embryo is just a cluster of cells. This is incredibly rare, but there have been court cases of children being taken from their biological mother because their DNA simply says that they are not her children. In this way the erroneous results are not a result of cheating, but of coincidence.

In summary, there is no possible way to cheat a paternity test if there is a third party present to ensure that the swab or blood test is taken from the correct individual(s). Of course, a mix up in the laboratory is possible, but re-tests can always be carried out multiple times with third parties always there. Cheating a paternity test through scientific means, such as contaminating the sample or diluting it, is completely impossible. Overall, salvia, blood and hair paternity testing is an almost foolproof way to prove paternity. Its 99.99% accuracy for proving a man is the father and 100% accuracy for proving a man is not, is better than any other method of paternity testing that science can offer. As time passes, the science behind these methods is developed to be stronger and more reliable, meaning that parents, children and the courts have more peace of mind than ever before.

DNA Blood Test

Do you know your blood type? Every human has one of four blood types: O, A, B, or AB but there’s no way of telling what blood type you are unless you take a DNA blood test, also known as ‘blood typing’. While it’s not essential for everyday life it’s a good idea to know your blood type so that if you need an emergency blood transplant, or even give one, the right match can be made.

Before 1901 when the DNA blood test was discovered blood transfusions very often went wrong, causing serious problems and even death in patients who desperately needed blood. This is because medical professionals were unable to match the right blood types together (they didn’t even know different blood types existed!) and so blood ‘clumping’ often occurred between incompatible types. Blood types A, B, which contain A and B antigens respectively, are incompatible together, but blood type AB can accept blood from any type. Blood type O has no ‘antigens’; cells provoking a specific immune response, and can therefore be used for donation to any other person. Clumping is an immune response to blood with different antigens, so if the two blood types’ antigens match then there will be no response.  

The test itself involves taking a simple blood sample and then mixing that sample with samples of blood from each of the groups. Using a chart, scientists or medical professionals can determine which blood group you are, depending on which of the samples your blood clumps or doesn’t clump with. This is often kept on record so that if you are found unconscious, medical professionals can start looking for a blood transplant donor as quickly as possible.  

Today, blood typing or DNA blood tests are far more in depth and can identify more than four blood types. Within those four other types can be found, such as Duffy A and B or rhesus positive or negative. They’re used for a huge number of reasons too, besides working out a person’s blood type for donation or transplants, so find out your blood type and hang on to the knowledge; you never know when it will come in useful.

Paternity Test Accuracy

100% seems like the benchmark for accuracy in our modern world. After all, a pregnancy test can detect  pregnancy with 99% accuracy rate. Through in some cases DNA can be determine near 100%, there is no way to prove paternity with 100% accuracy and in some cases even 99%.  

The best way to understand why DNA cannot be measured more accurately is to compare it to the lottery. The chance that one person would choose all six winning numbers is slim, so more often more than one winner is picked. A person has unique genetic make-up, so the odds of that person sharing that DNA profile are slim to none. That said, the genetic markers used to test DNA are limited, so it is possible ,though it would be extremely rare, for two random people to have enough similar markers for a false report to happen.  To account for this rare occurrence  labs test more genetic markers so they can say that the possibility of a second party being the paternal father would be extremely small.  

It is important to understand that even when a lab finds and exact genetic match between a child and father, there is always a theoretical possibility that another possible father mat exist. However, that theoretical father would have to be someone with similar genetic markers, which in itself is rare. When the lab has determined the probability of paternity to an extremely high degree most courts disregard the possibility of another father unless proof is brought fourth that would suggest otherwise.  

For this reason, when you read a DNA report and it says that John Doe can’t be excluded as a child’s father of the child in question, but paternity has been established with 99.99% probability, these results should be considered 100% accurate.

Paternity Testing Rights

Paternity test are performed to determine paternal parentage of a child. Commonly referred to as DNA testing, a paternity test shows the genetic make-up that is inherited from a child�s biological parents. The test compares the child�s DNA with any potential fathers and their known mother. One of two things can happen when a DNA test is done, a potential father can be excluded as a possible parent or they can be included as a likely parent. If they are included they will most likely be given a result of 99.99% likelihood of parentage.

Many at-home DNA test exist, but these at-home DNA test kits are not admissible in any legal proceedings. To guarantee proper custody of a child is established and ensure financial support of a child it is best to have paternity testing done at a medical testing facility. This will ensure any results that are determine are admissible in a court of law.

When a paternity test is done DNA samples are collected from the father, mother and child. Most DNA testing centers use a swab of the participants cheek to gather a sample. The swab is pain free and quick. It looks like a cotton swab and it is just slide against the inside of the cheek to gather loose cells that will be used for testing.

Most often the results of a DNA test are available within a weeks time. However, this depends when the testing is done and where the testing is done. If you have not recieved DNA test results within one week it is best to schedule a follow-up with the lab. When you get the results you will know for sure whether the potential father tested is indeed the child�s biological father. This will help you gain child support and settle any custody issues.

It is important to understand that is both legally and emotionally important for a child to know both their biological parents. Having an absent parent or not knowing the identity of a parent can cause a child much distress throughout their childhood and adult life. Even if that parent is absent it is important to establish paternity so a child has answers to questions should they arise. A father can also use DNA testing to establish legal rights and visitation with their child if a situation becomes problematic.

If paternity of a child has not been established or is in question it is important to speak with an attorney or contact a medical professional about testing. It is important to speak with a professional before proceeding with any testing.

Paternity Hair Testing

Also known as forensic hair analysis, paternity hair testing is a scientific method of determining whether a man is the father of one particular child, or not. This kind of testing is carried out on a daily basis throughout the world, for both personal and legal reasons.   Paternity tests which use hair as as a DNA sample work in much the same way as ones which use blood samples or buccal swabs do. The sample is obtained, sealed and sent to a laboratory where it is tested both inclusively and exclusively to either determine the paternity of a man or to determine that he is not the father of a child, respectively.

It is not actually the hair itself that laboratory DNA testers use in paternity hair testing, but actually the hair follicle that the hair grows out of. Often when a few (say, three or four) hairs are removed from the head, or indeed any other part of the body, usually one of those will have pulled the follicle with it. This part of the hair contains genetic information and the DNA strands which are compared in both individuals. In some court cases men shave their heads in order to prevent a hair sample being obtained, yet hair from any part of the body can be used; even downy hair from the arms and legs.

Paternity test samples are very different to hair samples needed for legal drug testing. Hair is good for testing for drugs as it grows slowly and in each part contains the drug taken; therefore it acts like a time line and there is no need for the follicle to be included. If you are carrying out a home paternity hair test then you should always pluck the hair before you send it, or you could invalidate an expensive testing kit.

Hair testing is one of the simplest DNA tests that can be carried out and because of this, individuals should only need to wait around one, possibly two weeks for results. It’s always a good idea to contact the laboratory to give them your phone number, so that if they obtain results early they can let you know via phone call.

Kinship DNA Testing

Kinship DNA testing is the umbrella term which describe all DNA testing used to determine a genetic relationship. Examples of kinship testing include siblingship tests, maternity and paternity tests,  grand-parentage tests and tests to see if an individual is an aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or cousin.

Each of these tests are carried out in laboratories which first require a DNA sample from the two (or more) individuals who would like to determine their biological relationship. In contemporary genetic science the preferred method for collecting this sample is for both parties to give a cheek swab, sealed and sent via post. If the kinship test is being carried out for the results to be used as legal evidence then the swabs will need to be obtained and sent by a medical practitioner to ensure that the sample is reliable.

Once the samples arrive at the laboratory they must then undergo one of several possible methods to analyse the DNA. The most common of these is STR analysis which uses electrophoresis gel or capillary electrophoresis to multiply the relevant DNA strands, extract them from the rest of the DNA and compare them to the Cambridge Reference Sequence (CRS) to find any gene mutations or those sequences which are unique to those individuals. Once these ‘unusual’ sets of strands have been identified then the two samples are compared to see the likelihood of there being any biological relationship. Forensic scientists are professionally trained in this area and can spot a genetic relation almost straight away.  

Kinship testing is a branch of DNA testing which takes place in order to determine the biological relationship between two humans. It happens on a daily basis all over the globe and for a huge variety of reasons, from twins wanting to know if there are identical or fraternal (non-identical), to the legal system wanting to determine who a child’s paternal father is. Whatever an individual’s reason for having a kinship test carried out, there is no denying that this process is one which is indispensable within modern science and one which is bound to change in method in the future.

History of DNA Analysis

We all know that DNA testing emerged as the premier method of proving the truth in the past few decades. What many don’t know is that DNA science has been around for far longer than they are aware. Learn the history of DNA science from its discovery in the late 1800s to its more modern uses in the courtrooms of the 21st century.

DNA first started to play a role in the 1800s when a child was born and didn’t have either parent’s eye color. At the time it was believed that children had a mix of their mother and father’s traits. This lead to the eye color paternity theory, which was based on that mixed trait belief. In 1865, the father of genetics Gregor Mendal came up with a foundation for which inheritance and genetics determined a child’s traits. Mendal’s laws would become the foundation for modern DNA testing.

When scientist discovered the four different blood types in the early 1900s it lead to more advancements in DNA testing. In the 1920s the genetic component of blood typing was discovered and scientist realized that they could determine a child’s blood type based on the blood type of their parents. This information led to paternity testing based on blood typing. However, this was a flawed system because it only determined if blood types matched or were compatible. In other words, it narrowed down what blood type a child’s parents could have, so in some cases it could eliminate a person, but not in all.

A decade after people started to use blood typing to determine paternity scientist discovered proteins in the blood that could uniquely identify a person. This is when serological testing was developed. Using serological testing scientist were able to determine the blood group of a child based on the blood group of their parents. However, like blood typing, this method of testing was not very accurate and only served to exclude certain people.

Progress kept rolling on and in the early 1950s a team of scientists in England discovered actual DNA. X-ray diffraction was used to analyze DNA molecules. The analysis determined that DNA was actually resembled a ladder with molecules being paired at the rungs of the ladder.

Two decades later in the 1970s scientist began tissue typing and discovered the HLA protein. Scientist found out the HLA protein was present everywhere in the body accept the red blood cell. They also determined that HLA was highest in concentration in white blood cells, and that there are different types of HLA that varied from person to person. HLA testing was able to determine paternity with an 80% accuracy.

DNA testing kept advancing through the 1980s and 1990s. In the 80s scientist discovered a technique for DNA testing called restriction fragment length polymorphism. This technique was the first genetic test to use actual DNA. The standard for DNA testing changed in 1990 when scientist began to use a new technique called polymerase chain reaction or PCR. This method produces quicker and more accurate results.

Genetic Profiling

Genetic profile, otherwise known as DNA profile or ‘genetic fingerprinting’ is the term used to describe the general practise of observing an individual’s genetic information and compiling a DNA profile for them. Genetic profiling is also a term used to describe the method of looking at genetic profiles to find evidence of other information, which may be used in familial health, to determine lineage or for legal purposes.   Take, for example, a Woman who has a relative with Downs syndrome. She knows that in her DNA there is the gene for Downs syndrome and that there is a chance she could carry it. Before she gets pregnant with her partner she might want to find out if both her partner and herself carry the gene and what the chances are of her child also being born with the condition.

The first step in obtaining this information is to go through genetic profiling. Firstly she would need to give a DNA sample (usually using a sterilized cotton swab rubbed against her inner cheek, or alternatively a blood sample) which is then sent to a laboratory and is analysed using one of several different methods (for example STR analysis which uses either gel or capillary electrophoresis to extract and multiply the relevant DNA strands). From the information which this tests provide a DNA profile can be generated and compared to the genetic information of others or to the regional haplotype (typical or ‘universal’ genetic information used as a reference) to find any gene mutations, irregularities and of course similarities between relatives.

Genetic profiling is used in a huge range of situations, from crime scene investigation to determining maternal and paternal relationships. It is carried out on a huge scale, with genetic information held securely in DNA banks for use at later dates. While the keeping of genetic profiles within these banks is controversial (some claim that it is in violation of basic human rights to anonymity and is a step towards a totalitarian society), some argue that the lives of some patients can be saved if their relatives’ DNA profiles are available to test and to indicate the likelihood of an individual carrying a gene for a specific condition.

Choosing a DNA Laboratory

If you need the services of a DNA testing lab it is important that you choose the right one. To choose the right DNA test lab you need to know what to look for. The following advice will help you find an accredited, and reputable DNA testing lab.

  1. Never base your choice of DNA testing center on money. Cheap DNA testing centers provide less than reliable results and even if their results are accurate they won’t usually stand up in court.

  2. Find a lab that specializes in DNA testing. The lab should collect the samples themselves and they should do the work in their own testing facility.

  3. Ask the DNA testing lab what their track record for accurate results is. Find out if their DNA test results have stood up in a court of law. Along with this line of questions, find out if they repeat testing on each sample to ensure the accuracy of their results.

  4. If you are considering an online or mail order DNA testing lab you must be very careful. First, check the online or mail order DNA testing lab out just a thoroughly as you would a lab that you visit in person. Then, make sure that the company has an actual address and not a post office box. This ensures your dealing with an actual lab and not a broker.

  5. The most important thing to check before selecting a DNA testing lab is their accreditation. This is the case regardless of whether you are looking for a lab to use in person or a lab to use remotely. A reputable DNA testing lab should be accredited by a third party organization. The most common accreditation for DNA testing labs comes from the American Association of Blood Banks.

DNA Banking

Although genetic fingerprinting and [[DNA Profiling]] are most commonly used for scientific research into animal species and for medical advances, they can both produce incredibly sensitive and very important information. For instance, many individuals who are suffering from an unknown illness require genetic information from relatives to find out what’s wrong with them. The only way that this can be done is if the relatives DNA has been stored in what we call ‘DNA banks’.  

DNA banking involves storing the DNA sample given by an individual in perfect conditions to prolong its longevity (i.e. in perfect light, temperature etc.). Another part of the DNA banking is known as DNA profiling, which gives forensic scientists visual data from which they can determine an individual’s genetic make up. The information which is derived from DNA profiling is often stored along side the DNA sample so that if it needs to be used at a later date then the profiling procedure needn’t be carried out again.

In most cases the DNA held at a DNA bank is there to alert family members of their susceptibility to develop serious diseases or pass on congenital or hereditary conditions. If one individual knows that they carry the gene that codes for Downs syndrome, for example, and they want to check if their partner does then they can have a DNA profile carried out, whilst checking their parents and grandparents genetics for the gene too. So much like a standard bank holds our financial information, a DNA bank holds our genetic information, which is available to the individual whenever requested.

DNA banking is an area which has come under a great deal of controversy. This is because some Governments and organizations are keeping the genetic information in DNA banks of individuals who are unaware of this. As a result people argue that we are becoming a totalitarian state and losing our human right to anonymity. It remains a controversial area because DNA banks do so much good work for society too, in medical research into currently incurable diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

For whatever reason an individual’s DNA profile and physical DNA is stored within a DNA bank, it is always stored under the utmost strict security and preserved under top quality conditions. It means that if needed (in medical emergencies and in situations where there is little time) that the genetic information of the individual is readily available.

DNA Frequently Asked Questions

If you are interested or in need of DNA testing you may be interested in learning more about this important scientific technology. Chances are you may have heard some of the common DNA myths. The following are ten of the most common DNA myths and the truth behind the speculation.  

  1. DNA Testing Requires you to Get Blood Drawn

Often when you hear people talking about DNA testing you hear them refer to a blood test. When people refer to a blood test in matters of paternity testing they are misspeaking. Modern paternity testing does not require you to give a sample of your blood. DNA testing uses swabs to collect a DNA sample from the cheek of each of the involved parties.

  1. You Can’t Do DNA Testing During Pregnancy

Contrary to popular belief you do not have to wait until a child is born to get a DNA test. DNA testing can determine a child’s paternal father as early on as the tenth week of pregnancy. There are a number of tests that can be done including chronic villi sampling, amniocentesis, and maternal fetal blood testing.   8. Cheap DNA Testing is as Reliable as Expensive

Going with a service that offers discount DNA testing isn’t always wise. DNA test results will not hold up in court unless they are done in a reputable lab, by an inexperienced staff that follows proper procedural guidelines. If you need the results to prove paternity you may need them for issues regarding child support or custody in court. If your results won’t stand up in a court of law you will have to pay to have them done again. 7. Paternity Testing Takes a Long Time

Paternity testing doesn’t always have to take a long time. In fact, paternity testing can be done within a 24 hour time span if you choose a reputable testing lab. It is important to note that if you need your results rushed it may cost more. The average DNA lab provides the results from a DNA test within five days of collecting samples. That said, if you use a government lab it can take several weeks because of the volume of cases they have and the protocol and paperwork they are required to complete.  

  1. Both Parties Have to be Present for DNA Testing

There are many instances in which a child and mother are the only parties available for DNA testing. In these situations DNA testing can still be performed. You can ask the paternal grandparents to determine paternity of a child if the father is unavailable or unwilling to be tested.  

  1. DNA Testing Requires all Involved Parties to be Tested at the Same Location

Just because you don’t live in the same state as your child’s prospective father doesn’t mean that you can’t have DNA testing. Many reputable DNA labs have offices all over the country. This means that separate appointments can be made to collect samples and they will still be connected to the same case.   4. All DNA Testing Labs are the Same

No two DNA testing labs are the same. It is important that you check the credentials of a DNA testing lab before choosing them. A lab should also double test each sample to ensure accuracy.  

  1. Paternity Testing is Expensive

Paternity testing is far more affordable now than is what even just a few years back. The cost of testing now cost less than $500 dollars on average. Many companies will work out payment arrangements and also allow deposits to start testing. It is very important that cost not be the ultimate deciding factor when choosing a DNA testing lab.

  1. Paternity Testing Causes Fighting Among Family Members

DNA testing actually does the opposite of causing fighting, it resolves disputes between people who question genetic connections.  Once paternity is determined you can move forward without doubt or hesitation.  

  1. DNA Testing Compromises My Privacy

DNA testing is handled with confidentiality. Testing labs are handle each case with privacy and discretion. Results are only released to the parties involved in the case.

DNA Profiling

The process involved in reading data showing the DNA of an individual is known as ‘DNA Profiling’. It is usually forensic scientists who are trained to be able to read this data and extract results from it and it is a process used in genetic fingerprinting, legal proceedings and scientific research into the human genome.

To begin the [[Genetic Profiling]] process a forensic scientist needs a sample of an individual’s DNA. This can be obtained in a number of ways, most commonly through blood tests, taking a hair from the individual or a cheek swab and from this a unique DNA profile can be compiled. This process is very young in the world of science and was only discovered in 1984 by Dr. Alec Jeffreys. Since then it’s become the most widely and commonly used genetic fingerprinting system worldwide.

DNA profiling is not wholly straightforward, however, as upon first look most human DNA sequences look almost identical. This is why forensic scientists must extract the VNTR’s (variable number tandem repeats) which lie on a chromosome, because they band together in a way unique to that individual. The VNTR’s are shown using a number of techniques, including blotting (or ‘southern’ blotting as it’s technically known), amplifying known variations to produce colored spots on cards and ‘multiplexing’ (using fluorescent dye to identify the VNTR’s).

The blotting technique is not used very much today as it can take months to give results, but the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) analysis technique is one which is used before almost any DNA profiling. The system involves adding an enzyme which binds to the DNA and replicates it, then heating the mixture u to 200�C before cooling it and repeating these steps 30 times until enough DNA has been formed for it to be adequately analyzed.  

Genetic fingerprinting or DNA profiling is remarkably reliable, although not 100%. There are rare cases of individuals having to separate yet complete sets of DNA (these individuals are known as ‘Chimeras’) and their DNA can give very confounding, seemingly incorrect results.  

DNA profiling is a controversial process as some DNA banks are holding the profiles of unknowing individuals. Some people argue that this is a breach of human rights and a step towards a totalitarian society, yet others argue that DNA profiling is a wholly necessary and undeniably useful process which can change the lives of individuals who don’t know of their relations or their genetic make up..

DNA Safeguarding

DNA testing technology has been a giant leap for mankind, both in technological and human terms. Since this advancement, much care has been taken for DNA safeguarding. DNA safeguarding is a process which makes sure that genetic information that is stored in the DNA of a person is preserved, so that it can be used in the future. This process is called DNA Banking. The laboratories are greatly helped by this process. Secure and intact samples can be retrieved when it is needed, when there is an emergency.

DNA safeguarding is used for many purposes. This process allows in storing genetic information of people who are n high-risk jobs. These can include police personnel, firefighters, military people, etc. They can easily be identified by their DNA in various cases.

DNA samples can be of great help in cases where the child has been abducted or has run away from home. Preserving DNA samples can also assist in paternity and grand parentage testing.

Inherited diseases can be easily identified through this process.

DNA samples of people belonging to small ethnic communities can be preserved.

DNA safeguarding is not only associated with DNA Banking, but also with the process of DNA Profiling. DNA Profiling helps in creating a STR Profile of a person’s DNA. Thus, the DNA sample as well as their DNA profile can be kept in a record. DNA Profile is used for genetic identification, and while testing family relationship.

Genetic Identification

When a DNA testing laboratory carried out a DNA test they encourage the individual to deposit their DNA results into DNA banking. This is also known as DNA safeguarding which essentially allows access to that person’s genetic information for use in future situations. Using genetic identification a DNA testing laboratory can identify an individual based on the sample they gave in the past.

There are many situations that might warrant genetic identification, such as a person going missing, an unidentifiable body being found and a DNA test being carried out on the deceased. Had they not deposited their genetic information into DNA banking at an earlier time they may remain unidentified, but having that information stored gives forensic experts a direct and reliable reference to use in solving a case. Other situations include testing children of a deceased parent for diseases that they may inherit, or holding DNA of people who work in particularly risky jobs such as soldiers or those in the police force.

Genetic Identification doesn’t necessarily need to rely on DNA banking to be successful. Comparative DNA tests can also be carried out on close relatives of the person who is in question, to see whether they are indeed the person they’re suspected to be. Laboratory professionals simply use the same processes used in paternity testing and all other genetic tests such as RFLP and PCR. Once a dye has been added to the results so they can be read by a member of staff they can then be compared to produce conclusive results.

Maternity Test

A maternity test is a specific type of genetic testing which involves a simple DNA test carried out in a lab using samples from both mother and child, and father if possible. This test is used to determine whether the individual is, in fact, the biological mother and whether the two individuals are blood related.   

The reasons for needing or wanting to have a maternity test carried out are not always pleasant; some mothers suspect that their baby has been ‘switched’ with another infant in the maternity ward shortly after birth and others might want confirmation that it is in fact their biological baby they are carrying after having had in-vitro fertilization treatment. Otherwise, maternity tests are usually carried out for adopted children who want to confirm that they have found their biological mother. In any case, maternity tests involve a straightforward and non-intrusive procedure which give fantastically reliable results.  

Like most other forms of DNA testing, the samples needed to send to the laboratory for a maternity involve a buccal mouth swab or more specifically a sterilized ‘Dacron synthetic’ swab. This specially designed material is used rather than a simple cotton swab because it retains the cheek cells much more effectively. With some tests these swabs can be taken in the home and sent through the post to the laboratory, unless the test results are to be used in legal proceedings, in which case they must be taken by a doctor, nurse or other medical professional. All that is necessary is for the buccal swab to be taken out of its packet, rubbed against the inside of the cheek (most tests will send two swabs for each person, for their left and right cheeks) and packaged in swab storage envelopes which ensure that they are not tampered with or contaminated by confounding DNA.

There are still some organizations and agencies which require blood samples to carry out their maternity tests, but this is a largely obsolete practice. DNA testing or ‘genetic fingerprinting’ is a wholly reliable and much more pleasant way for parental identification to be carried out.  

Maternal tests are different to other DNA tests in one way; it is encouraged for a sample to be taken from the father as well. The purpose of this is for the staff at the laboratory to be able to eradicate the DNA from the father and concentrate on that of the mother. While the absence of a swab from the father doesn’t make the maternal test any less reliable, it simply helps the staff and may enable the results to be returned faster.  

Genetic testing of this kind results in 99.999% accuracy and for whichever reason it is needed or desired, it can prove to be a life changing process. This life changing procedure takes just one week to complete, is remarkably non-intrusive and often very affordable. It may be one of the least common forms of DNA testing, compared to paternity testing or siblingship tests, but that doesn’t make it any less reliable or any less important.

HLA Typing

The term ‘HLA Typing’ refers to a process which determines whether an individual possesses antibodies which will act against a donor organ. HLA stands for Human Leukocyte Antigen, a system which works within the immune system. These antigens regulate the cells of the body’s ability to recognize its own tissue and alternatively reject foreign objects.  

Before any individual can accept a donor organ it is highly recommended that they have the HLA typing process carried out. If it is not carried out and the individual does in fact possess HLAs then the organ transplanted or given via donor will be rejected and premature death could potentially occur.

Today, HLA typing is a highly detailed and refined process which requires a blood sample from the individual to receive a donor organ, blood transfusion, skin graft or bone marrow transplant. The blood sample is separated to reveal the serum which contains that particular individual’s antigens. This serum is then diluted and the antigens can be examined by a professional. Forensic scientists trained in the area of HLA typing are able to determine whether serum contains HLAs and whether an organ will be accepted or rejected by the body.

The Human Leukocyte Antigen is found on the surface of all cells within the body, so if they are found within the blood then any organ transplant surgery will be unsuccessful. Sometimes it is possible to determine the likelihood of an individual possessing HLAs by looking at the cells of their siblings too, as HLAs are inherited from both parents, giving a 1 in 4 chance of an individual also possessing the antigen if their brother or sister does too.  

In rare cases Human Leukocyte Antigens are useful in treating Autoimmune diseases and HLA typing is carried out for this reason. Also, some Women’s bodies reject that of their fetus because the HLAs read the unborn infant’s tissues as foreign and therefore a danger. If a Woman’s mother or another female relative has suffered from this condition then they might want to have HLA typing carried out to determine whether this will happen when they get pregnant too.   The process of HLA Typing is much the same as that of [[DNA Profiling]] and genetic fingerprinting except that it requires a blood sample, whereas many of the others will accept saliva or cheek swabs. It may be a relatively unheard of process in mainstream society but to the individuals and the close relatives of individuals who have HLA Typing carried out, the process is incredibly precious and can even indicate the difference between life and death.

Immigration DNA Testing

Many people move globally living in one country and then moving to another. The United States welcomes thousands of immigrants annually. Many governments require ‘'’DNA testing’’’ to screen immigrants that are relocating to their country. This can be such a costly hassle for an immigrant and the family they have living in the US currently.

When relocating to the United States you need a Birth Certificate or marriage contract to apply for entry to the country. In addition to this, DNA testing must also prove you have relatives in the United States if you want to live there permanently. If you do this you can ten have all the legal rights that come with living in the United States. When you have a green card or visa your rights are limited and you are not guaranteed a permanent stay.

Although the process seems complicated, it is actually fairly simple. You have many options for finding  a test facility to fulfill this requirement. Online DNA testing can help you so you can fill out your applications remotely and have your kits mailed to you. They have customer service available and instructions so you can perform the tests easily and efficiently. Once you have collected your samples you will send your kit in and await the results. However, it is important to note that it is far less expensive to just go to a DNA testing lab for immigration DNA testing.

When you get the results from your immigration DNA testing you can send them to the immigration office. Then you can complete the rests of the tests and applications for the immigration process. The time frame for testing takes between 2 weeks to 2 months. An immigration lawyer can help you speed the process up, but that can be rather costly.

mtDNA Test

mtDNA stands for ‘Mitochondrial Deoxyribonucleic Acid’ or ‘Mitochondrial DNA’ as it’s better known. The mtDNA test basically looks at the DNA found within the mitochondria (an organelle found within all bodily cells which creates ATP; a source of energy) of a cell.  

MtDNA tests are almost the opposite of Y-STR tests, in that they are primarily and in the majority used to determine genetic maternal relationships or ‘lineage’, rather than paternal. Unlike Y-STR testing, mtDNA can be passed from the Mother to both Daughters and Sons, so both men and women can trace their maternal lineage if they have obtained a DNA sample from either their mother or maternal grandmother.  

This kind of test can only be carried out with samples from both the child and the suspected mother or maternal grandmother. Once these are obtained and sent to a laboratory a trained forensic scientist will ‘sequence’ both samples, I.e. he or she will determine what pattern or order the DNA molecules fall into, and then compare the two results. Once these two results have been found they are then compared to the ‘Cambridge Reference Sequence’ or ‘CRS’, which is essentially a universal European typical DNA sequence. The differences found between the CRS and the samples are highlighted and then any of the same differences between the two samples taken from suspected mother and child are observed to find any of the same confounding DNA patterns. This may sound like a meticulous, fiddly and unreliable method but in fact the results are so specific and the way that mother and child share DNA is so predictable that the results are almost 100% correct.

The majority of mtDNA test samples use the HVR1 and/or HVR2 hyper variable regions (locations within DNA whose molecules can be strongly indicative of lineage or mutations). This basically means that laboratory mtDNA tests use the most reliable and clear part of the DNA to extract results. This remarkably popular method of DNA testing is made stronger by the fact that a father cannot pass on mtDNA sequences, so any maternal relationship found is 50% more reliable.

NYSDOH Certification

The NYSDOH stands for New York State Department of Health. There are certain guidelines laid down by the NYSDOH, which have to be followed while testing blood and tissue samples. In-home collection of samples is not allowed for New York residents. Chain of custody procedures have to be followed while performing all the tests.

NYSDOH, along with the Wadsworth Center of New York, is aimed at promoting and protecting the health of the residents of New York, through education, analysis and research.

Laboratories which have NYSDOH certification are only allowed to carry out DNA tests on New Yorkers. The labs which are not NYSDOH certified are prohibited from collecting samples from New Yorkers. NYSDOH standards are superior to that of CLIA standards, and if a lab has NYSDOH certification, it has no need for CLIA accreditation.

NYSDOH is very strict when it comes to meeting its standards by the labs. Validated DNA equipment is to be used for collection of samples, proper chain of custody procedures are to be followed, and patients should be properly taken care of.

Social Security DNA Testing

Regardless of how he dies Lewis Mishkin dead. He will always be remembered by his girlfriend, Lisa Mae Elko, and Lisa�s son Lewis Mishkin Jr. They remembered Lewis as a good man and devoted father, but Lewis is also remembered for Lewis Jr�s birth certificate.  

While getting her life back on track Lisa Mae visited the social security office to apply for her son�s social security benefits. After all, she needed the money to support Lewis Jr in his father�s absence. However, Lisa and Lewis never legally established their son�s paternity by having Lewis placed on the boy�s birth certificate. Without this documentation Lisa was unable to file for the social security benefits that her son was entitled to.  

This is more common than one might think. AABB accredited labs perform DNA testing in scenarios such as this regularly. What does Lisa need to have DNA testing in this situation? Well, a biological relative such as Lewis parents can give a sample to prove that the boy is connected to them. They can also use samples from Lewis�s autopsy to compare to his son. Or, if Lewis and Lisa had any children that had legal paternity established she could have their DNA tested against Lewis Jr�s.

In Lisa�s case, she was fortunate to have Lewis�s parents willing to take part in the DNA test. So, after paternity was established she was able to collect social security benefits for her son. Now, Lisa is living her life complication free.

Y-STR Test

STR is the acronym for Short Tandem Repeats, which occur when two sequences of DNA or RNA molecules (nucleotides) with their patterns identical are repeated parallel to each other. Y-STR’s specifically are STR’s found on the Y chromosome (the chromosome which determines sexual characteristics).  

A Y-STR test is one which is used to read the numbers of STR’s within a DNA sample to get a genetic representation of an individual, or to identify their individual and unique DNA sequence. One example of a test which uses the Y-STR’s of an individual is the paternity test. By comparing the DNA sequences of two men and observing their Y-STR’s, comparisons can be made and if there are significant matches between Y-STR’s then it is highly likely that the two individuals are related. Forensic scientists are professionally trained to read the results of Y-STR tests in order to work out what relationship the two individuals share. Of course, this relationship is often suspected and the Y-STR test is carried out simply to confirm that theory.

SNP markers are also searched for during Y-STR tests as they are extremely uncommon and are an almost definite indication of a genetic relationship. SNP markers are essentially mutations of a gene or a change to a nucleotide within a particular DNA sequence.

Y-STR’s are passed down from Father to Son, throughout generations of a family, yet not through Father to Daughter, Mother to Daughter or Mother to Son and so the Y-STR test is often used by those looking to trace their ancestral history or to research their surname. Any Woman who wants know about her surname can find the information through Y-STR testing if she is given a DNA sample from her brother, father, grandfather or male cousin whose father is the brother of her own father.

Y-STR testing is incredibly popular within the world of forensic science and genetics as it tests a particular chromosome (the Y chromosome) which is exclusive to the male population. In this way, testing for genetic relationships is made 50% more accurate as the female DNA is unable to have any affect on the results found.

What is the CLIA?

The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) was passed by the United States Congress in the year 1988. The aim behind this was to establish standards for quality laboratories, providing diagnostic results and working with human samples. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulates the CLIA.

The CLIA’s standards were formulated for ensuring an accurate, reliable and timeliness test results of patients, without any regard as to where the tests were performed.

The accreditation process ensures that patients who undergo DNA testing at the accredited labs will have guaranteed quality services as well as reliable results, and that too in a timely manner. As it is that CLIA standards are very high, but on top of that, individual states may heighten the standards even more. This can be seen in the case of labs in Washington and New York.

The CLIA standards are focused on labs which carry out medical diagnostic testing. Forensic labs are to follow other standards than that of the CLIA. The process to earn a CLIA accreditation includes proficiency testing all the techniques and procedures that a lab carries out every day.

What is the CAP Accreditation Program?

CAP stands for the College of American Pathologists. CAP demands excellence in the fields of laboratory medicine and pathology, and serves the interests of the pathologists, patients, as well as the common man. The accreditation program was set up as a means to setting high standards across the US, for patients, and DNA and laboratory testing.

The main aim of this program is to look after the betterment of patient safety standards, by bringing about advancement in pathology and laboratory quality, through the means of education, setting standards, and looking after the fact that the laboratories are up to regulatory requirements.

The CAP accreditation program is an international event, and this program works by exchanging professional information. There are multi-disciplinary teams of inspectors, who help CAP in monitoring various health and medical providers. Assessment is done every 2 years by assessors, and it is checked whether te labs are up to CAP standards. CAP sees whether international standards are being met, in the case of DNA testing laboratories. The areas that CAP puts emphasis on while checking are- quality management supplies, sample testing, specimen collection and handling, staffing, test reporting, laboratory equipment and computer services.

There are over 200 and 170 general and pathological standards respectively, and these have to be met by the laboratories who conduct parentage testing.

DNA testing labs are given the chance to take part in proficiency testing. CAP gives the samples, the labs are allowed to run and analyze them, and then CAP reviews the results. Then the testing accuracy and performance of each lab is evaluated.

The significance of the CAP program is that it ensures that the organizations are properly committed to high lab standards and patient care. As for the DNA testing laboratories, they are expected to bring forward high quality results and superb patient education.

What is the History of RFLP?

After reading some of the other information on this website you may be assuming that RFLP history is a relatively new and alternative technique for DNA testing. In actual fact the RFLP technique was first developed by Alec Jeffrey’s in 1985 and was the very first means of creating a person’s genetic fingerprint.

  Of course, over time the way that DNA testing is carried out has advanced. New and faster machines have been developed (for instance the capillary and gel forms of electrophoresis) but through all of those drastic and exciting changes one process has remained the same; RFLP. RFLP stands for Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism and it essentially involves taking a sample of DNA by cutting it and then analyzing the length of the DNA fragments within. Take two DNA samples, compare the lengths of both and if the match in a particular way then you can tell whether two people are related, or whether one person could potentially and successfully donate their bone marrow to another.

This is one of the key processes used in paternity testing. ‘Cutting’ a DNA sample is a little more complex than it sounds. It must first be placed into restriction enzymes which work to cut at very specific places on the DNA sequence. Every piece of DNA contains ‘short tandem repeats’ (also known as VNTRs) which repeat the person’s DNA sequence a specific number of times; a number which is dictated by that person’s individual genetic makeup. Once the restriction enzyme has cut the DNA, it is placed into gel for electrophoresis, then dyed so that it can be analyzed by laboratory professionals.   

Without the discovery and invention of the RFLP technique DNA testing would not be around today. It essentially takes the haystack of the human genome and finds the readable DNA sequence needle within. This process is used to test whether a donor is suitable for another person, whether one person is related to another and even whether a couple’s child will suffer from a particular genetic condition.  It’s safe to say that this discovery is one of the most important and impressive in scientific history.

Paternity Index

The paternity index is a method of calculating the strength of a particular match. This is based partly on the relative uniqueness of the match. For example, the alleged father and the child display an allele value of �12� at marker D2S1338. Here, the paternity index value is 1.845. According to measurements, this is a very strong match. But if the allele value was a more common match, the PI would be much smaller. It would be around .0782. That this matches the two participants, means that one is really the child�s biological father, or it could be so as most people would match with this allele value at this particular location. If it was a known fact the allele value would be �12� at this specific location, the match would become stronger, as it is rarer. In such a case, the PI value could increase and become 3.452, 12.819 or 34.125. This depends on the match�s strength. If the father and the child do not match, then the PI value would be 0.000.