DNA paternity testing is a scientific process that compares the genetic information of a child with that of the alleged father to determine the likelihood of paternity. The test works by analyzing specific regions of DNA, called markers, that are passed down from parent to child. A DNA paternity test compares the child’s markers with those of the alleged father to see if they match. If they do match, the man is likely the biological father of the child. If the baby is not yet born and it is necessary to identify the father, prenatal DNA testing can be performed. This type of test involves either analyzing the DNA of the fetus through a sample of the mother’s blood or by testing a sample of amniotic fluid obtained through amniocentesis. This is a safe and non-invasive way to determine paternity before a child is born.
The results of a paternity test are usually reported as a probability, such as 99.99% or 0%. A probability of 99.99% or higher is generally considered to indicate a positive match and that the tested individual is the biological father of the child. On the other hand, a probability of 0% means that there is no biological relationship between the tested individual and the child. Since nowadays there are DNA tests that can be performed at home, you should be aware that the results of such tests cannot be used in a legal proceeding. In these cases, it is necessary to perform a legally valid DNA test. In addition, DNA tests do not take into account social, legal, or emotional relationships between a child and a putative father. For example, a man may be considered the child’s legal father even if a DNA test shows that he is not the biological father.
One of the most frequently asked questions by many people is why the results never reach 100%. In simple terms, this is because a very small part of the DNA is unique and therefore, it is almost impossible for a result to be 100%. It is also important to know when and what the DNA test results will be used for. For example, it is not the same if you want to know if you are the father of a child from the comfort of your home as if you want to obtain your parental rights in a legal process. Finally, it is important to hire the services of a recognized laboratory to ensure that the results are reliable.