Establishing paternity after death

Establishing paternity after death

Establishing paternity after death can be necessary for various reasons. You may have suspicions and want to determine whether the man who brought you up, really was your father. You may want to prove that a deceased individual was your father in order to contest a will. A child’s grandparents may want to know whether their grandchild is truly related to them.

DNA testing after death

In all these cases, alternative DNA relationship tests can be performed with other family members to establish a direct biological relationship to the father.

Grandparent DNA tests can prove a link between a child and one or more of their father’s parents. Since a child inherits half of his or her genetic profile from each biological parent, when a child’s father is deceased, our scientists can look at the grandparents’ DNA profiles to determine if they contributed DNA to the child’s genetic profile.

In the same way, DNA aunt testing or DNA uncle testing 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.

Y chromosome testing is another option that is used to prove that alleged male relatives share a common paternal line. 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.

Viability studies after death

If the father has only recently deceased. 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 a profile can be retrieved, the DNA will be analysed in the same way as with our other DNA relationship tests.

All these DNA tests and viability studies can be either Peace of Mind or Legal, depending on what the results are needed for. Legal tests are performed under chain of custody conditions to ensure the results are legally defensible. Our legal DNA testing can be provided with next day results that are accepted in UK courts and can be used for probate purposes.

For more information about establishing paternity after death

To find out which DNA relationship test is right for your particular case, please call our Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300 or email us at