What is DNA Testing?
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the genetic code found in the cells of most living organisms. DNA is hereditary, meaning that it is passed from parent to child. A child’s DNA is a combination of both parents’ DNA. Almost every cell in a person’s body contains that individual’s same hereditary DNA.
DNA paternity testing identifies distinct features in samples of a child’s DNA and compares them to features found in the DNA of a potential genetic parent. If these features are present in both the parent and child’s DNA, this indicates a strong likelihood that the two are genetically related. If common features are not found, a genetic relationship can be virtually ruled out. In some cases, a child’s DNA is compared to the DNA of both genetic parents to provide increased accuracy of test results.
What is the Process For DNA Testing?
At Aculas, we utilize a buccal, or mouth, swab to obtain DNA samples. We use a swab to collect saliva from the inside of the cheek. Once we collect the sample, it is safely and properly sealed. The DNA from the collected items are compared in a certified lab. The test will reflect if there is a match or non-match between the collected DNA samples found during the testing process. Results are then presented and may be used as legal evidence.
What to Expect at the DNA Testing Site
Before the test
You’ll need to bring a picture ID with you to the testing site. All parties being tested will be identified. You will also need to sign documents and have your photograph taken.
During the test
During a cheek swab, you may be asked to begin by rinsing your mouth. We will utilize a long swab to collect cells from the inside of your cheek. This may be performed by a medical professional, or you may be asked to swab your cheek yourself. A cheek swab is typically painless and takes only a few minutes.
After the test
There are no post-test instructions following a cheek swab, so you can go about your normal activities. Once the cheek swab or blood collection is complete, the sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Interpreting test results
The results of a DNA paternity test show how likely someone is to be the biological father or genetic parent of a child. On a test report, this is often called the probability of paternity. The probability of paternity is generally described as one of two values: 0 or 99.99.
If the probability of paternity is 0, the report may state that the subject is “excluded” as the genetic parent. If the probability is 99.99 or greater, it may state that the subject is “not excluded.”
A probability of 0 means that the paternity test has ruled out the test subject as a possible genetic parent. A probability of 99.99 or higher means that the test subject is extremely likely to be the child’s genetic parent.