“Are you the father?”
Until the 20th century, people hadn’t turned to science to answer this question. Before the development of paternity testing, you could rely on little other than circumstantial proof to trace paternity.
We’ve come a long way since then. Now, a basic cotton swab carries everything needed to not only determine paternity, but one’s entire DNA profile. This information can even be used to find out entire ancestral lineages.
So, how do paternity tests work? How do DNA tests work? The answer is anything but circumstantial: it all comes down to a science.
Read on to learn more about paternity and DNA testing.
Introduction to DNA Testing
So, how do paternity tests work? To answer this question, let’s take a look at DNA testing as a whole.
Our living tissue and bodily fluids all contain valuable information about our genetic makeup. Examining samples of these provides a deeper look into our “genetic code,” allowing us to learn more about where we come from and who we came from.
The most common samples taken are blood or saliva. By looking at the DNA “code” that is present in a sample, genetic information can be matched with other ancestral lineages.
How Do Paternity Tests Work?
Paternity tests take the idea of DNA testing and apply it to find whether a person’s DNA matches that of the father in question. A baby will have a combination of both the mother’s and father’s unique DNA. If the baby does not have any of the father’s DNA, then they are not the biological offspring.
Other Methods for Proving Paternity
Surprisingly, modern science has also provided a method to determine paternity without using the father’s DNA at all.
In situations where either the father or mother is unavailable for testing, a sibling DNA test provides an alternative. These tests involve analyzing the DNA between the child in question and their siblings.
If there are any known children of the father, then paternity is determined by testing the DNA of the known child alongside the DNA of the child in question. Then, provided the DNA profiles bear a match, both children will have the same father. So, by proxy, we can look at other offspring of the alleged father and use that information to find whether (or not) that same father’s DNA is present in other alleged offspring as well.
The Accuracy of DNA Testing for Paternity
We know that siblings and parents can be determined by DNA testing, but how accurate is it? After all, we could argue that siblings have similar DNA and could skew test results.
However, this isn’t the case. DNA testing has nearly 100% accuracy for determining ancestral lineage as well as paternity. So, if you’re looking to get a DNA paternity test, you can trust that the results will be reliable.
Determining Paternity with DNA Testing
Before the development of DNA testing, it was impossible to determine paternity. Today, though, anyone can find out information regarding paternity and ancestral lineage. Now that we’ve looked at the answer to the question, “how do paternity tests work?”, anyone can test with confidence.
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