5 Ways of Establishing The Father of A Child

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There are many different types of tests which can be done in order to confirm whether a man is the biological father of a child or not. Whilst before it was essentially impossible to ascertain paternity in a way that was scientific and incontrovertible, nowadays there are a range of DNA tests which can help confirm whether an alleged father is the biological father of a child.

child holding father hand

Paternity DNA testing

A paternity DNA test is simply a direct comparison of the alleged father’s DNA and that of the child whose paternity is being questions. A paternity test compares the genetic profiles between an alleged father and child to see whether these are the same. It is easy to know whether the tested many has fathered the child as if he did, he and the child will share the same DNA profiles. Standard paternity testing samples such as the ones offered by homeDNAdirect, easyDNA, International Biosciences or other online based companies are usually collected using oral swabs which are rubbed inside the mouth of the father and child and are then sent back for laboratory analysis. Paternity testing can be used in court cases to prove parentage and acknowledge paternity.

Prenatal Paternity Testing

In some cases paternity may have to be established whilst the mother is still pregnant. A paternity test carried out in pregnancy is called a “prenatal paternity test”. The suffix “pre” signifies “before” or “prior to” whilst the word “natal” is from the Latin word “natale” meaning birth. Prenatal paternity tests are often carried out but are rather more complex than those tests carried out after a child is born (see here). The challenges with prenatal tests lie in the fact that a sample of DNA from the unborn baby must be available in order to compare this with the DNA of the alleged father. Fetal DNA samples may be collected by a qualified OBGYN who can collect these from inside the womb or from the womb lining. Procedures used include amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling and non invasive testing in pregnancy.

X chromosome testing

In some cases siblings may have a desire to know if they have the same father. This situation may arise in cases of adoption or simply suspicions aroused due to family rumors or lack of resemblance. If siblings are female, their X chromosomes can be compared in a DNA test to know if they were born from the same father or from different fathers. The only hitch with this test is when females have the same mother- in this case, the test will only be successful if the sample of the shared mother is included in the analysis.

Y chromosome testing

A Y chromosome test is a test carried out between males for the exact same reasons as an X chromosome test – male siblings who for some reason or other think they may or may not share the same birth father can confirm this with a simple Y chromosome test.

Sibling testing

So we have just discussed DNA tests aimed at confirming paternity between same-sex participants. But what happens when siblings are of different genders? When we have a brother and a sister who want to determine whether they are born from the same father? In this case, scientists can still confirm the whether the siblings are full or half siblings or perhaps no siblings at all. By comparing the DNA of the people taking part they can determine the percentage probability that the tested people have the same biological father.