Yes, you can cheat in a DNA paternity test. Paternity testing is the most scientific and reliable method of ascertaining paternity-however, with home testing, it is not entirely cheat proof.  Whilst paternity tests follow extremely rigid testing procedures in the laboratory, there is the possibility to cheat or to perhaps simply make a mistake while taking your DNA samples at home.

If you are doing a legal DNA paternity test there is no room for anyone to cheat as DNA samples are not collected by the people involved in the test but rather by a neutral third party, such as a doctor or nurse, who needs to verify and authenticate the sample and confirm the people from whom those sample came; it is thus impossible to cheat in this type of paternity test.

How accurate if the DNA paternity test?

Assuming that no one has cheated in the test, a motherless paternity test will show an inclusion of 99.9% or higher; if the mother’s samples are included, you can expect the probability to be in excess of 99.99%. The exclusion, with or without the mother’s samples, is always 100%. The test results, will however, state that the samples have not been verified; in other words, DNA analysts cannot know who those DNA samples came from.

How do people cheat in a paternity DNA test?

Experience in the field enables me to give the main methods employed by cheaters and here they are:

  • Attempts to switch swabs: in this case, the father’s DNA samples might be placed instead of the mother’s and labeled as if they actually came from the mother. This switching of samples can of course be done deliberately but it is sometimes done inadvertently. In this case, the lab will detect the error because the first test carried out on all DNA samples is the amelogenin sex gene- this gene is tested on all samples and it is the gene that will determine the sex of the samples.
  • Submitting the swabs of an animal or mixing DNA. In the latter case, people will use the same swab for more than one person. In either case, don’t worry; laboratories will stop testing as these samples will be rendered useless.
  • Asking a friend to submit a DNA sample. This does happen and labs may not be able to detect this error; however, cheating in a paternity test in this way means the result will be an exclusion for paternity.

This is a very serious issue; you can try and cheat in a paternity test but this can have very serious legal implications.

Something about the amelogenin sex gene

The article mentions the amelogenin sex gene. A DNA test will involve a number of genetic markers and amongst these is a gene known as the amelogenin sex gene which is found in both males and females. Click here.