A paternity DNA test has become the most established means of determining the biological relationship between a father and child. Despite its widespread use, there are still some myths on this kind of testing which should be explained and dispelled.

Normally, a DNA paternity test requires blood

This is no longer the case. In the past it was the principal means of establishing paternity but today it is no longer used. One needs a doctor to draw the blood, an unpleasant injection, a post-injection bruise and the ordeal of getting children to take injections without tantrums and tears. The most up-to-date way of doing a DNA paternity test is through the use of mouth swab. These are a method a collecting DNA from cheek cells and drawing up genetic profiles using these cells. One must add that DNA is the same throughout all cells except for red blood cells, in which no DNA is found. Mouth swabs are painless and provide equally accurate results in this kind of test.

One has to wait till the child is born to do a paternity DNA test

This is not true. It is possible to gather DNA from an unborn child. This is normally done through an invasive procedure and involves either getting cell samples from the placenta, an organ responsible for providing the fetus with oxygen and nutrients, or gather loose fetal cells. This however, carries a small risk; the unborn child can be harmed. Most DNA testing companies have dropped this type of testing. It is very costly as it involves surgeons, and more over, it imposes time constraints as and cell samples have to be analyzed within a short time span. This can be a problem in a number of cases, for example, if one lives in a country which does not have the adequate laboratories, or the laboratories are located at a distance and samples would take time to arrive. Ethical issues have been raised by some who believe such a test might encourage individuals to abort the fetus should they find the results contradict their expectations.

You can’t do this kind of test if the father is absent

This is not true. There is what is known as avuncular testing, a type of DNA testing used in just usch cases as when the alleged father if not available for the DNA test. In such cases, the child’s paternal aunts, uncle or grandparents are tested and their DNA profiles matched to that of the child. This type of testing is a reliable means of determining paternity. Sibling DNA testing are also another alternative way of establishing paternity indirectly. Brothers and sistes can confirm whether they have the same father via these tests.

The test is not really confidential

Any company supplying this type of service will have confidentiality on top of its agenda. Doing a DNA test is psychologically stressful and can create a lot of tension. Confidentiality is a must. Once someone receives the results for their DNA paternity test, then what they do with the results is their business, however, the company who supplies the results is bound to professional secrecy. Should someone need to undertake a legal paternity test, things are somewhat different. Results of such a test will be read by judges and lawyers alike and thus, become a public document.

The test takes a long time

The actual laboratory analysis of the DNA samples is quick and under the right circumstance the whole process from receiving the home-kit to returning the DNA to be analyzed and the return of the final results establishing or excluding paternity can be a matter of less than 7 days. However, postal issues come into play in countries with bad postal service, where there might be a strike and whether the purchaser of the kit opts for courier male.


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