The mother of the child is rarely discussed, and most of the time the probable father of a child is asked to do DNA tests. DNA is inherited from our parents, and half comes from the mother, and the other half from the father. This pattern of inheritance allows the mother of the child, when not discussed, to produce a putative DNA profile of the biological father. The process is relatively simple, as the final profile of the child’s DNA is made up of a series of bands that can only come from the two parents. If the bands of the mother are inferred from the profile of the child, the rest must come from the biological father. Any male who considers himself a father can have a DNA profile produced and compared to the remaining bands in the child’s profile. There can be only two results of this type of comparison. The first is a “no match” scenario in which the remaining bands in the child’s profile could not have come from the sample obtained from the alleged father. This is known as exclusion and eliminates the possibility that this person is the biological father of the child. The second is a “match” scenario in which all remaining bands in the child’s profile could be counted against the alleged parent. If this is the case, the importance of coincidence should be assessed by a DNA interpreter who provides a degree of certainty associated with the likelihood that the alleged male is the biological father of the child. Before performing any paternity DNA test, you should be sure that you have clear answers to the following
5 key questions:
1. Has DNA testing been accredited by a validated external body such as the American Blood Bank Association (AABB). If the answer is no, do not do the tests performed by this company, you may not be able to rely on the results.
2. Does the company conducting the DNA tests have a comprehensive history in this area of work, and have they demonstrated their technology in court? Be careful with companies that outsource their evidence. Interpreting the DNA profile can be a complicated business, and there is a lot at stake when ordering a DNA test, and you want to be assured of the reliability of your service provider.
3. Is it the company that is planning to use an accredited laboratory or just a runner? The runners are simply in this game to earn money, and have no interest in the quality or impact of this life-changing technology. Avoid them regardless of the tempting prices they can offer you.
4. What degree of certainty does the company offer in relation to the test results? An exclusion must be 100% inclusive of at least 99.99% confidence levels. These are the figures expected from a court of law.
5. Does the internal quality standard require duplication of all results before they are communicated to the customer? This is an industry standard requirement that is often overlooked by some of the “cheaper” DNA testing providers. If the answer to any of these questions is unclear, my firm advice is to find an alternative provider. You simply don’t want to rely on such an important piece of work to a company that doesn’t guarantee a high quality product, with excellent customer support. For more information on DNA paternity testing, click the links in the author section below.