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How Does a Paternity Test Work and Are They Accurate?

Paternity Test Results

Have you ever considered getting a paternity test?

There are many potential reasons why you might want to get a DNA paternity test – but before you do, it’s worth considering whether these DNA tests are accurate and if they might offer a good solution for your needs overall. So, without further ado, let’s consider whether a paternity test is reliable, and if so, how these tests work to determine a child’s parentage overall.

If you would like to make an appointment to have a paternity test carried out you can book online with one of our specialists here at Ultrasound Plus, having provided paternity tests for several years we will take good care of you throughout the process. To find out more, get in touch with one of our team members today.

How Does a Paternity Test Work?

Paternity DNA tests are a relatively straightforward procedure to understand and directly compare the DNA of a child with the parent. Based on statistical analysis and inference of the DNA, the test can compare the child’s DNA against the DNA of the (potential) father, thereby confirming or denying whether the parentage is likely accurate for the child. 

This process is possible since every child receives 50% of their DNA from either parent at conception. Similarly, other DNA tests, such as testing whether two individuals might be siblings or half-siblings, work on similar principles, with full siblings sharing (statistically speaking) 50% of their genetics on average.  

In an ideal world, DNA should also be taken from the child’s mother to increase the ease and accuracy of the procedure. Still, this isn’t wholly a necessity for the test to be completed accurately or quickly, either if the child has requested a paternity request. Still, their mother is unwilling or otherwise unable to get involved with the test. Professional clinics can still perform the paternity test with a DNA sample from just the child and the father (or presumed father).

We should point out that a paternity DNA test should only be carried out with the parties’ authorisation. As such, if you were concerned that your partner’s child wasn’t yours, but either the child (or their mother, in cases where the child is too young to be responsible for themselves) were unwilling, you must not attempt to force them to get involved. Along similar lines, you should also never forcibly take a DNA sample from them without their consent.

Reasons You Might Want to Get A Paternity Test 

There are numerous reasons why you might want to get a paternity test done, and understanding these may help you decide whether these tests might be a suitable approach to consider for your needs. Fortunately, we have briefly summarised a few of the most notable reasons why couples or families might undertake paternity tests as follows to help you make the right choice for your own needs.

In some cases, a paternity DNA test may be required for legal purposes (for example, for legal guardianship of a child). If this is required in your case, you will need to ensure that the test is carried out under supervision at an approved medical facility to be accurate and reliable; otherwise, there is no proof for the courts that the provided DNA samples are from the correct DNA donors.

Genetic Health

Certain genetic health conditions can be passed down from father to child; with this in mind, if the father is aware of a genetic condition within his family or his DNA, a paternity test may help check the child’s chances of carrying this condition. In turn, this may help ensure that the child is given proper care and treatment for the genetic disease at an earlier stage, which may slow the condition’s progression and ensure the child remains healthy and lives a fulfilling life.

Are Paternity Tests Accurate?

Unfortunately, paternity tests cannot provide complete accuracy since they are based on statistical inference of the likelihood of parentage. What’s more, in the case of identical siblings sharing the same genetics, paternity tests will likely struggle to determine which individual is the father of a child. However, overall, paternity DNA tests can provide a massively impressive 99.9% accuracy if the process is carried out accurately.

If you have considered getting a paternity test, there are numerous potential factors you may want to consider. However, if there is doubt about the father of a child, for whatever reason that might be, a paternity test might be a valuable option to consider. 

Offering almost 100% accuracy, they are certainly one of the most reliable forms of testing; so, if you’d like to find out more about the potential, the Ultrasound clinic is here to help.

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