The DNA test is the most reliable method when checking paternity. The result is 100% sure. The test is conducted in a specialised lab and consists in comparing genetic materials of the child and alleged father.
The DNA test requires samples; saliva or other secretion, a piece of hair or a fragment of epidermis. The two latter materials are called non-standard samples and can be used without knowledge of the person that we want to examine.
The samples are marked in a lab and, using specific enzymes, cell membranes are dissolved and DNA isolated. Indispensable reactions are conducted next in order to multiply genetic material. Next step it is reading subsequent sections of DNA with the aid of specialised equipment and then confirming the compatibility between the child and the father. Finally, by comparing genetic profiles generated after determining the sequence of nucleotides in DNA markers, paternity is confirmed or denied.
Tests for parenting are quiet complicated
If the negative result is to be presented at a divorce case, the person who orders the test should bear in mind that it is to be conducted by qualified staff and an expert appointed by the court is supposed to give his/her opinion.
The procedure must be strict enough as the man planning to leave his partner is likely to present false samples to a private lab. Fortunately, such results can only soothe the fears or be the basis for undertaking official measures.
Do advertising slogans lie?
„Only every Xth child is not brought up by its biological father.” Some labs advertise with this kind of slogans but they are not credible as these statistics take into consideration only labs` clients.
There is no official research presenting the number of paternity tests conducted in England – this way it is not known how many mistrustful husbands reinforced their convictions.
Is it possible to do the test at home?
Yes – you have to order domestic paternity test. The testing is performed by collecting buccal cells found on the inside of your cheek… It is all what you can do. You pay for the first part of the test. After you properly collect and secure the samples, you have to send them to the lab which will analyse the material.
Paternity tests and betrayals are even subjects of talk shows, for example British The Jeremy Talk Show…
What does a set of a home paternity test look like?
Every set contains an easy instruction and:
- Sterile hygiene swabs with wooden or plastic stick handles – The collector rubs the inside of a person’s cheek to collect as many buccal cells as possible. In the set there are several swabs: for father, for child, for mother and spares. Collecting a sample from the mother is not needed. Generally speaking, the action is unethical since it is conducted secretly. However, the question appears if betrayal is ethical at all?
- Packaging for samples.
- Disposable gloves– help keep samples clean.
- Forms to be filled in – one with exact data and the other one anonymous. You choose which one to fill in.
- Return envelope – to send the form and the samples. The mail is already paid.
After collecting samples and filling in the forms, it is recommended to send the envelope as quick as possible. It is good to know that samples should be kept in room temperature in a dark and dry place. The quicker we deliver the material to the lab the better, though.
If you order the test online, you do not have to worry about discretion. Producers take care of delivering their mail as discreetly as possible.
Testing paternity using non-standard samples.
Collecting buccal cells from inside of person`s cheek is, at times, impossible. It occurs that the parent cannot find any opportunity to be with the child with no witnesses. Sometimes the child is too mature and may ask questions or tell the parent about a weird behaviour of the other one.
It happens that another person wants to check who the father of the child is; a grand-parent, a relative or even a family friend.
Non-standard samples have a shortcoming and it is the lack of sterility. Labs staff makes a reservation which samples will be taken into consideration and which are too impure to be tested. What micro-traces can be admitted for DNA testing:
- Hair – The hair taken from a brush cannot be taken into consideration because it is required to test hair with roots.
- Blood – a full test tube is not needed. A stain will do, but it should be dried on a sterile swab, on a clean and not perfumed tissue and s.o. Glucometer strips can also serve as micro-traces.
- Secretions – similarly to blood stains, other secretions like sperm, mucus, rheum cannot be collected on perfumed tissues. Sometimes not washed underwear can be used. What is important, secretion samples should dry before being sterile packed up!
- Tooth brush – a brush should be put in a clean plastic bag. You need to be sure that it had been used by one person.
- Butt-ends, chewing gum – abs recommend to store those in urine containers … Butt-ends should be stored just after being smoked because they tend to degrade quickly.
- Razors – some people use disposable razors … more than once, so this – provided that it is use regularly and only by one person – may be a sample. It is easier to explain its disappearance than an epilator or a shaver.
- Cotton buds for cleaning ears– with visible traces.
- Worn-out sanitary napkins, tampons.
- Not cleaned teethers, pacifiers and other toys, intensively used by the child.
How can you secure samples for DNA testing?
- Put on disposable gloves, preferably non-latex.
- Do not touch the parts of samples with secretions. Tooth brush can be only grasp by handles, a tissue by the clean fragment, cigarette butts by their proper ends.
- If the sample (nasal discharge, sanitary napkin, tampon, bloodied tissue) is damp, you should leave it to dry in a shady, dry place, because the rays of the sun could destroy the sample.
- Samples should be placed in clean envelopes, bags, sterile containers for urine, which can be purchased at pharmacies.
Some labs offer a free samples delivery.
You should also find out what happens in a situation where at DNA testing, one sample is not enough – if the lab will undertake further tests against an additionnal fee.
If you have questions about DNA testing for paternity, call the lab and ask which non-standard samples are the best, how to collect and secure them- such advice costs nothing and the final outcome depends on properly collected and packaged samples. Find out an alternative method of investigating paternity with our paternity calculator.