Frequently Asked Questions about Paternity DNA Analysis
What is DNA paternity testing?
A DNA paternity test determines the relationship between the child and the alleged father.
Everyone's genetic or DNA profile is made up from DNA that we get from our parents: 50% from our mother and 50% from our father. Every cell in our body contains DNA that can be traced to our parents.
In a paternity test, a DNA sample is taken from the child, mother, and the alleged father and examined to determine if the child's DNA contains DNA from the alleged father.
How do you determine if the child's DNA is from the alleged father?
Trinity DNA Solutions' Paternity Test kit uses the buccal swab collection method, the industry standard. The buccal swab is a cotton-tipped swab that is inserted into the mouth and gently rubbed against the cheek. The specimen may be collected in our laboratory or in any of the hundreds of certified collection labs nationwide.
The sample is processed using the latest DNA analysis technology. A four part procedure is used:
Extraction/Purification: the DNA is removed from the cotton swab and the DNA is purifified to remove any interfering substances.
Amplification: exact replicas of the DNA is produced using a technique known as PCR, Polymorphic Chain Reaction. This step ensures there is enough DNA present to accurately test.
Electrophoresis: the DNA is analyzed using a laser that measures the size and amount of DNA at 16 different points or markers.
Evaluation: the DNA profile of each parent at each marker is compared and analyzed using a sophisticated computer program that calculates the probability that the child's DNA profile could have come from this alleged father.
A complete legal report is written by a forensic scientist that describes the likelihood of the paternity in terms of either inclusion, a positive match; or exclusion, no match. In the case of inclusion, a statistical ratio is calculated that determines how much more likely the alleged father is to being the biological father than a random man from a given population.
Can a paternity test be performed without the mother?
Yes. Trinity DNA Solutions can perform a motherless test at no additional charge. Trinity DNA Solutions prefers having the mother's DNA available, but it is not necessary. A motherless paternity test involves a more extensive DNA profile analysis. Regardless, the results will provide a complete and accurate analysis based on the child and alleged father's profiles.
How long does it take to get results?
Trinity DNA Solutions prides itself on accurate and quick results. Typically results may be obtained in 5 business days.
What if the mother, child, and father live in different cities?
Trinity DNA Solutions will make an appointment for you to have the sample collected in a certified facility near your home or place of work and sent to directly to our laboratory. This procedure ensures a Chain of Custody for the sample has been established.
What does Chain of Custody mean?
Chain of Custody is legal documentation that tracks the sample from beginning to end. It proves the sample belongs to a specific person and it was obtained under the direction of an authorized individual and has been in the possession of an authorized person at all times. Providing Chain of Custody documentation is vital in all court room related paternity tests.
How old does the child have to be?
Any age. A DNA sample may be taken at birth. Prenatal testing, testing on an unborn child may be conducted with permission from your Obstetrician. In order to obtain a sample from the fetus, the mother must have an obstetrical procedure called amniocentesis or a chorionic villus sampling (CVS), a test where a small sample of tissue is removed from the placenta. The genetic information in this tissue is the same as the baby's.
What do I need to get a paternity test?
All test participants must bring a valid photo government-issued ID (i.e. driver's license, state ID, or passport). For minors, a birth certificate, social security card is sufficient and the child's legal guardian must sign a consent form that gives permission for the minor to be tested.
What if the father or mother is missing or deceased?
A DNA test can still be conducted however under these circumstances the viability of the DNA is crucial. Testing samples such as stored blood or a tissue sample is possible if the DNA found in these samples is viable.
If no biological samples from the father exist, grand parentage testing can be conducted. Under these conditions the biological parents of the deceased parent is required. The results from this test establish only the relationship of the child to the grandparents as indirect evidence of paternity.
Do I need authorization from an attorney to have the paternity test done?
No. Private individuals can request a DNA test without a formal request from an attorney.
Can the results be used in court?
Yes, the results and final report are legal and binding provided that the samples and tests were handled properly by establishing a chain of custody and the testing facility is accredited.
How accurate is DNA paternity testing?
The probability of paternity is a statistical measure of the likelihood of the biological relationship. DNA paternity testing is 99.999% accurate when done properly.
A complete legal report is written by a forensic scientist that describes the likelihood of the paternity in terms of either inclusion, a positive match; or exclusion, no match.
In the case of inclusion, a statistical ratio is calculated that determines how much more likely the alleged father is to being the biological father than a random man from a given population.
An exclusion result will always report 0% probability because if the genetic profiles of the child and alleged father do not match, there is statistically no chance that the two to be biological related.