DNA paternity tests have been around for almost a century and if you are a fan of TV shows, then you probably believe you’re familiar with how it should be done. The procedure in itself is simple, quick and painless and it will help anyone in a matter of days find out whether they’ve got a new title of father to get accustomed to. The truth is that reasons for paternity tests aren’t always overly dramatic – sometimes people do it out of sheer curiosity, and sometimes it’s done for legal purposes. In case you’re thinking of doing DNA test do be sure of your paternity status, here are some facts you should know.

What Types of DNA Paternity Tests Exist?

There are two types of paternity tests – Legal DNA paternity tests and Curiosity Tests, which are also called Peace of Mind Tests. At its core, the process of finding out whether or not you’re the father of the child is the same, but what’s different is the reason you need those results.

You can buy or order Curiosity Tests and have them done at home, after which you send the samples to a lab to have them tested and get the results back in a few days. This is a good and certain way to establish paternity and it is just as reliable as Legal Tests, with one important difference – the results of Curiosity Tests won’t be accepted at court. In order to do a Legal DNA Paternity Test, a third party, usually a medical professional such as a general practitioner or a nurse, are the ones to take the samples and confirm the identity of all parties involved in the testing. That way, the results of the DNA tests are valid at court and serve as evidence for any form of legal proceedings that are taking place.

How to Choose a Trustworthy Test Lab?

Paternity tests are a delicate and highly private matter, which is why you want to make sure that you’ve chosen the right people to get the job done. Any laboratory or DNA testing company worth their salt will have their accreditations clearly displayed both on their official website and in their offices, as that is a good way to gain trust with your clients. You would be wise to choose a lab that conforms to ISO 17025 standards, which stands witness to the competence and quality of the provided services.

One other thing to have in mind when you’re looking for the best DNA lab for you is to make sure that their results don’t just come in Yes/No forms, but can give you full statistics on the paternity probability, that way there’s no ambiguity. Companies like TeloYears will also provide you with a complete DNA profile that will have all 21 loci analyzed, instead of usual 14, so that the results are as conclusive as possible. If you’re in need of Legal DNA Paternity test, then the lab in which you choose to do the testing must be AABB approved.

Why Are Mothers Important In Paternity Tests?

One would think that in order to establish who the father is, only the alleged father should give his DNA sample, as well as the child in question. While it’s possible to perform a DNA paternity test without taking a sample from the mother, the results of that test could be inconclusive. The reason for this is simple – half of the child’s DNA comes from the father and half from the mother. In order to have definite results, both parents should do the test, so that the whole procedure could be done more effectively. What’s more, when mothers also give their DNA sample to the testing, even if there are mutated alleles in the child’s DNA, it won’t cause a problem in getting true results of the paternity test.

What Are The Samples That Can Be Used in DNA Paternity Tests?

You’ve seen plenty of movies to know how DNA sampling works more or less, but it’s important to confirm what ways are the best. The foolproof method is to use buccal swabs to take a sample of saliva from the soft tissue of your inner cheek from all the parties involved in the testing. However, if one of the parents is unwilling to cooperate, there are other ways to collect a DNA sample – fluids like saliva, semen and blood can be used, and another good way to go is hair, as they have our DNA as well. When it comes to “the how” to get a sample from an unwilling party, well, your imagination is the limit – saliva on the glass rim or on a cigarette butt will work just fine, as well as some hairs of a hairbrush. Don’t be ashamed to bring forth such samples to testing, the lab professionals have seen it all and have no trouble getting you the needed results with the same efficiency.

DNA Paternity Tests are not to be trifled with since they often decide the future course of several lives. That is why it’s a good idea to do your research and know what you’re expected to do in case you want to take this road.

AuthorTheresa Brawner is a 28-year- old fitness instructor from Boston, MA, who writes articles for www.diet.st in her free time. When she isn’t helping new moms get back in shape, she is intrigued by all kinds of topics in science, nature and health.