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Written authority is needed from all adults whose DNA samples are provided for testing. It is therefore illegal to obtain a DNA sample from a father for testing without his knowledge. Failing to obtain or to misuse consent could result in penalties of up to 3 years imprisonment, a fine, or both.

For legal DNA testing, trained sample collectors follow strict chain of custody conditions. To confirm the correct person has provided the sample, they will inspect ID and check the signed consent forms. Photographic evidence is also required for legal cases, such as immigration. Peace of Mind DNA tests, which are for personal use only, do not require such strict sample collection arrangements; however, signed consent forms are still required.

If a father refuses to consent to a paternity test, alternative DNA relationship tests with other family members can be undertaken to establish a direct biological relationship.

Are other relatives available?

Since a child inherits half of his or her genetic profile from each biological parent, when a child’s father is unavailable for testing, AlphaBiolabs can look to the grandparents to determine if they contributed DNA to the child’s genetic profile. These Grandparent DNA tests involve producing a DNA profile for each individual taking part in the test. A link can thus be proved (or disproved) between a child and one or more of their father’s parents. In the same way, DNA aunt testing or DNA uncle testing (also known as avuncular tests) can be performed on the father’s sister or brother to establish a biological relationship to a child.

DNA sibling testing can establish whether or not brothers and sisters have the same father. If the siblings are both male, another option is Y chromosome testing, which can prove that alleged male relatives share a common paternal line. This test works because all male children inherit their Y chromosome from their father; these children will in turn pass the Y chromosome inherited from their father to their children when they become fathers. A full match between profiles confirms a shared paternal line. If the males have different Y chromosome profiles then they are not related.

If a father has passed away recently. There are two methods that could be used but which would require consent from the next of kin. Viability studies can be undertaken to analyse the deceased’s nail clippings or used toothbrush to see if a DNA profile can be achieved. If DNA can be analysed, a paternity test can be performed in the usual way.  To get more information on viability studies, or to find out which DNA relationship test is right for your particular case, please call our Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300; email: info@alphabiolabs.com; www.alphabiolabs.co.uk.