Paternity DNA testing ideally requires a DNA sample from the alleged father, child and mother. Since originally blood was used in DNA testing and before that paternity testing relied on blood typing, using blood is still much ingrained in people’s minds as the standard means of establishing paternity. Moreover, a lot of medical related tests also involve blood. However, the article highlights the reasons why this is no longer so.
Unlike paternity, establishing maternity is easy. A mother who has given birth to a child is the legal and biological mother of the child and maternity cannot be disputed or at least only under exceptional circumstances. Paternity has always been somewhat more complex due to the natural and role of a father in a child’s conception. Besides paternity testing, there are a whole range of DNA tests available nowadays.
This type of test is based on what is called ABO typing and is based on blood groups which are worked out scientifically by determining the alleles present and which blood groups are recessive or co-dominant. When paternity issues arise, blood typing can only be used to exclude fathers as being the biological fathers of the children; however, the test cannot give you an accurate scientific match between a single alleged father and a child unless those doing the test can be sure that the suspected father is the only possible father left after other potential fathers have been excluded. Blood type paternity tests are hence, not very reliable.
Can I use Blood for my Paternity DNA Test?
Blood provides a good medium for extracting DNA in a DNA test. Blood is composed of red blood cells, white blood cells and plasma. Red blood cells contain no nucleated cells, thus have no DNA, and are not good for DNA testing. White blood cells are the cells from which DNA is extracted for the paternity DNA test. The success rate using DNA forensic testing for blood is very high, over 95%. However, there are the following factors that make blood not a good choice:
• You will need a medical blood draw for blood samples of all people involved. This will involve added costs and appointments with doctors.
• The procedure is invasive: how do you feel about injections and how does the child/children who are being tested feel? Will it scare them? Create undue anxiety, tears and tantrums?
• Transporting/shipping blood can be difficult as it is considered hazardous for reasons of potential disease, etc.
Ultimately, DNA testing companies will always discourage using blood samples, especially medical blood draws. The modern day alternative that is by far favored is saliva as a DNA sample.
What is a Saliva DNA Sample?
A saliva DNA sample is the most up to date sample to use in your DNA paternity test and is in fact used for all other tests. It is highly unlikely that you will find any other company who will advise you to use a blood sample when using a saliva DNA sample is an option.
A saliva DNA sample is easily collected with a sterile mouth swab. The swab is simply rubbed inside the mouth to collect cheek cells without causing any pain whatsoever or requiring the presence of a doctor. Laboratories using this sample have had consistently high success rate.
Paternity DNA tests are accurate and reliable and using saliva DNA samples have proved a ground-breaking technique which has made paternity DNA testing extremely easy and painless.