Understanding the Notion of Paternity and DNA Testing

The notion of paternity is hard to pin under one clear definition. It does essentially refer to the state of being father but this state itself carries many legal and ethical implications. To begin with, paternity is not always necessarily conferred onto the biological father. Paternity testing has helped bring closure and clear doubts when the issue of biological paternity is called into question. Given the century old fact that formed a basis for Roman law, pater semper incertus est – we cannot be sure about the father.

shutterstock 109976480 Understanding the Notion of Paternity and DNA Testing

Upon conception, half of our DNA was given to us by our mother and the other half by our father. DNA testing is used to determine who the biological parents of a child are through a DNA matching process between the DNA of the parent and the child. Paternity testing is used to establish whether there is a biological father-child relationship and maternity test is used to establish the biological relationship between mother and child.

For a paternity test, DNA from the child and the alleged father must be provided in order for the laboratory to extract what is called a DNA profile – this is basically a map of the unique DNA sequence of every person. It is not a necessity for the mother of the child to get tested in paternity test although you will read many laboratories prefer to also test the mother’s sample in a paternity test. A test inclusive of the mother is called a standard paternity test, while a father-child test that does not include the mother’s sample is called a motherless paternity test.

If the father is not present it may be possible that a close direct relative of the father may be tested, however the results may not be as accurate as a paternity test. It is possible to test paternal uncles and their nephews or paternal aunties with their nieces and nephews. Even siblings can take part in various types of sibling tests which will ultimately conclude whether or not the people tested have the same biological father or not (click here for info about these tests).

Why choose paternity testing?

Over the years the popularity and demand for paternity tests has increased. With high accuracy levels of 99.999% or more and results given usually within 10 days of collection, paternity DNA testing tends to be a good all round choice. It is in fact used in legal cases, where the paternity of a child is contested. If the judge deems it fit, he or she will request the results of a paternity test in order to fully establish who the father of the child is.

Paternity testing is a useful tool for several reasons such as: cases of criminal investigation, litigation, family reunification and immigration. DNA paternity testing may be chosen in cases of adoption where people may want to find biological relatives. Moreover, it is also a popular choice for simple peace of mind where people foster doubts about whether they are the biological father of a child and take a test to clear those doubts and move on.

It is important that your DNA paternity test of choice is up to standard and is certified in nationally and/or internationally acclaimed laboratories. If the quality is not up to scratch, the risk is that results may be inaccurate. Reliable and safe our DNA paternity tests are AABB accredited as well as ISO 17025 certified.

What does it involve?

A DNA sample for this test can be done in a totally non-invasive. Testing is easy and pain free using what is known as the buccal swab technique- a swab inserted into the inside of a person’s cheeks and gently rubbed. The buccal cells are then collected and sent to a laboratory where they are analyzed in order to determine whether there is a parent-child DNA match. There are no grey areas with a paternity test result – it is either the tested man is the biological father or he is not.


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