What is A Paternity Test?
A Paternity Test is a medical test which can be either a blood test or a DNA test to determine the biological father of a child.
Interpretation of the Paternity test results:
Paternity testing or DNA testing, as it is popularly called, refers to the procedure of DNA profiling. This is also known as genetic fingerprinting. The purpose of a paternity test is to determine whether the individuals undergoing this test are the biological parents of a child or not.
Presently, the procedures being used for carrying out paternity tests include polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). Now, it is also possible to perform a paternity test on a pregnant woman with the help of a blood work.
The DNA paternity testing is regarded as the most sophisticated and precise technology for determining the parentage. If an individual is not related biologically to the child the result known as the probability of parentage will be 0%. Likewise, when the individual is related to the child the probability of parentage will be 99.99%.
Re Paternity Test Accuracy, usually most human beings are known to have a single and diverse set of genes, and the paternity test gives accurate results when performed on them. In extremely rare cases, there are some individuals who possess two different set of genes, if a paternity test is performed on them, the likelihood of a false result can happen.
Paternity Test Procedure:
The testing is usually performed at a laboratory. The basic steps of paternity testing involves the extraction, replication and analysis of DNA. The emphasis for analyzing the DNA profile is given in specific regions, referred as genetic markers or “loci”. These are the DNA sequences with an exact location on human chromosomes. For each of these loci, there are 2 alleles that are expressed in the paternity test result. These alleles belong to the father and mother respectively. The allele of the father and child are compared and determined if they correspond. The lab exclusively tests a total of 20 genetic markers. Each of these 20 genetic markers is needed to be tested to confirm a biological match.
The paternity test result is provided on a single page. It contains the DNA profile for all the individuals who submitted their DNA profiles. The columns will have the numbers in respect of the loci and allele as mentioned above. There is also a paternity index in the report, here, a relationship index is referred, where calculations are made at a locus on the basis of males having a fixed set of allele and loci sites. The combined paternity index is a summation of all the tested alleles. The degree of the DNA of the father consistent to the child leads to the result. The terms excluded and non-excluded are written in the report.
Reading the Paternity Test Report:
Excluded, indicates that the father is not the biological father, while Non-excluded will indicate the possibility of the father being the biological father is very high. Paternity tests results can never be 100% accurate. For this, it would be necessary to test the entire DNA profile of the individual. This is not performed anywhere in the world. An accuracy of 99.99% is convincing enough to determine the paternity test results.
Check out this Video on How to read the Paternity Test Results: