What Are Paternity Tests?

A paternity test is a test to determine the first-degree upward relationship between a person of either sex and a man, i.e., his alleged father. The methods that exist to determine paternity evolved over time.

From cohabitation with the mother, the comparison of traits and the mother to the blood type ABO and the analysis of proteins and antigens was passed on to the comparison of traits and of the mother to the blood type ABO and to the analysis of proteins and antigens. However, today the effective test is the genetic test.

The genetic paternity test is basically the comparison of the nuclear DNA of both. The man, having sexual reproduction inherits one allele from the father and one from the mother. A child has for each locus an allele that comes from the father.

Thus, 13-19 locus of the genome of the child, the presumed father and the mother are compared in various territories called STR (Short Tandem Repeat).

How are the tests performed?

The paternity test consists of the study of the cells of the alleged father and those of the child through DNA tests that allow us to know if there is a genetic relationship between those two people because of the similarity that must exist between the two samples and confirm or deny paternity.

DNA is defined as a spiral staggered molecule that contains all the hereditary information. It is found inside each of the cells, is constituted from the moment of conception and remains the same throughout life. This sample is provided in the same way by both the father and the mother and is fundamental when analyzing paternity.

Types of paternity tests

For informational or legal purposes, paternity tests are available. Tests for legal purposes require custody of identity samples. In some countries, the legal interpretation of some constitutional rights holds that there must be voluntary consent for sample donation to carry out DNA testing.

Can paternity tests be done in public places?

DNA testing for paternity, maternity, and other degrees of kinship became routine with the advancement of molecular biology and genetics. The general public can access DNA testing both to confirm paternity and to present evidence at trial.

There are now paternity testing methods that do not require the use of blood samples as a DNA source. An appropriate sample for testing is obtained through the use of a cotton-coated stick rubbed on the inner cheek wall where a DNA sample is obtained. The DNA extracted from the cells in the cavity is as effective as the blood collection method.

What are the advantages of this test?

This high-tech test has numerous advantages such as simplicity. It is also harmless as no blood collection is required. It can be performed on young children or babies without the need for specialized assistance. Thus, the sample made can be sent to the laboratory by mail. In short, this type of sampling is done with total discretion and convenience.

When to do a paternity test?

A paternity test can be done for several reasons. There are usually two types of motives that lead a man to perform a DNA test to determine paternity:

Personal reasons: When there are doubts about biological paternity in adoption cases as well as when the couple is new or has gone through a temporary separation.
Judicial Reasons: Judicial problems such as fights over legitimate children, divorces, custody, inheritance, adoption and visitation rights are often resolved with a paternity test. This test is also required in health insurance cases, immigration cases, Social Security benefits, and to resolve problems such as the exchange of newborns in hospitals.
What results can a paternity test give?

Paternity tests give two results:

– The man is not the father: the test indicates that the man is excluded as a possible father.
– The man is the father: the test will indicate that the man cannot be excluded from the test as the father of the person who was tested.