DNA paternity testing is often used as concrete evidence in a court of law cases associated with child custody and child paternity. Legal Paternity Testing determines the fatherhood of a child or adult, with very low margin of error. The assessments can be done by collecting samples from blood tests or cheek swabs inside the mouth. It’s recommended that the paternity test must be done in a medical setting, particularly when one needs the results for legal purposes. One might be surprised to know that paternity tests can be conducted during pregnancy as well to determine fatherhood.
Ways to Perform Paternity Assessment
There are two popular ways you can accurately determine the fatherhood of a person:
The child in question and the potential father give blood samples at a medical testing center. The center or medical facility sends the samples to a certified and recognized laboratory for DNA sample analysis.
The samples from the child and the potential father are collected from inside their cheek or buccal cells. It is recommended to give the samples in a medical facility so that the swab applicators are used correctly by the collector. The medical center then sends the samples to the designated laboratory for analysis.
Determining Paternity During Pregnancy
When one wants to determine paternity during pregnancy, there are three tests to choose form. The results are as accurate as those executed after the child is born.
NIPP or Noninvasive Prenatal Paternity Test
This Legal Paternity Testing assesses the fetal DNA found in the blood of the pregnant mother during the first trimester. A certified laboratory expert compares the fetal DNA with the buccal cheek cell sample of the potential father.
CVS or Chorionic Villus Sampling
A certified healthcare specialist will collect a tiny tissue sample from the placenta. To execute the paternity testing, the sample needs to be collected through the cervix of the mother. The laboratory compares the sample DNA from the womb’s placenta and the DNA from the potential father. The procedure is usually not recommended as there is a chance of pregnancy loss in the first trimester.
In this prenatal paternity testing, a certified sample collector will draw a tiny amount of amniotic fluid from the pregnant mother. A small needle is inserted into the abdomen of the mother to collect the fluid. The laboratory compares the DNA from the amniotic fluid with the potential father and matches the analysis.
Key Differences Between Legal and Non-legal DNA Paternity Tests
The most prominent distinction between Legal Paternity Testing and non-legal DNA testing lies in the outcomes as evidence in courts. Legal DNA paternity testing can be utilised as proof of evidence for several legal proceedings in the court of law, unlike non-legal DNA testing. The prime reason for the difference is the chain of custody. The chain of custody assists the court to verify the tested individuals and how the DNA samples were collected and processed. Without the presence of chain of custody, the court doesn’t approve or accept the DNA paternity test results, and is considered an invalid test.
Choosing The Type of Paternity Test
The type of paternity testing that one needs to pick depends on what he/she wants to do with the outcomes. When an individual is simply looking to verify the biological relationship with another person, and without any other ulterior motive, there is no need to worry about getting legal paternity testing. In case, one feels that the result will end up in a courtroom, it is highly recommended to get legal DNA paternity testing. Even if there is no intention of using the result for legal proceedings, it gives peace of mind to confirm that if needed it can be used as valid proof of evidence.
Different scenarios arise when one might want to consider Legal Paternity Testing. The paternity assessment is conducted to verify the paternity of a child and is thereby used in a court of law. A legal DNA test can be used for child support, child maintenance, issuing a new birth certificate, establishing citizenship, and other legal proceedings. The samples for legal paternity testing need to be collected in a medical facility by a certified DNA sample collector. The at-home DNA paternity kit is not considered valid or legal in courtrooms.