It seems like every other day we read in the tabloids that a male celebrity is having to take a DNA test to determine if they are the father of a child. But what happens in the “real” world? What options are available when it comes to testing?
Before we move onto that it’s important to know certain key facts:
- DNA is a complex chemical found in most cells within the body
- It is inherited from each parent – 50% from each and is arranged as 23 pairs of chromosomes
- It constitutes genes: the instructions to make every component of our bodies
- It presents itself in sets of repeat patterns
- It is unique to each individual (with exception of identical twins)
With that in mind there are a number of options available when it comes to DNA relationship testing.
The most commonly requested test is a PATERNITY test. This test examines the DNA profile of the mother to determine the maternal DNA. The remaining areas will have been inherited from the father. At AlphaBiolabs we will examine 24 areas of DNA known as Short Tandem Repeats (STR). Most other companies will only test 16 as standard. When both the mother and father are tested would expect to see and accuracy rate of at least 99.999%.
Life is never straightforward though, so if you are in a position where the father is either unwilling or unable to provide a sample then all is not lost. At AlphaBiolabs we offer a number of alternatives.
AUNT/UNCLE DNA testing is when we test the alleged aunt or uncle and an alleged niece or nephew. A SIBLING test allows us to establish whether or not a brother and a sister have the same father or the same father and mother. When a sibling test is conducted, the DNA laboratory will determine the genetic profile of the alleged siblings and will confirm the probability of whether they are related or not. Another commonly used option is GRANDPARENT testing which will establish a biological relationship between the child and one or both of their alleged grandparents.
Another factor to consider when testing is to establish why the test is being done and what you want to achieve. Remember that:
- Peace of mind testing is for information purposes only and will not be accepted in court. The sample kit will be sent to donor and no identification is required. It provide the donor with confirmation on whether they are the father of the child.
- Legal DNA Testing means a strict chain-of-custody will be followed to ensure results are legally admissible. The sample will be taken either by AlphaBiolabs collector or registered GP and identification of all donors will be required. All samples are sealed with tamper proof tape at the sample collection appointment and either hand delivered to our laboratory or by post or courier. Once the samples are logged into our laboratory they are thoroughly checked to ensure accuracy.
At AlphaBiolabs we pride ourselves in being the 4th largest DNA relationship testing laboratory in Europe, including the UK (2013) AND the 3rd fastest growing DNA relationship testing laboratory in Europe (2013). We appreciate that testing can be an stressful and emotional process therefore our team are well experienced in answering any queries you have on all types of testing available.
For further information please call us on 0333 600 1300.