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How to Select a Paternity Test Lab When it Really Matters: Picking the Right Lab for The Best Paternity Test

When it Really Matters: Picking the Right Lab for The Best Paternity Test

Modern technology has allowed DNA to provide a valid and accurate means of determining paternity. The paternity test is safe to use and is frequently used in a court of law to make a determination in paternity, custody and child support. DNA tests are offered in a home version as well as in a legal version. The home version can often provide reassurance to all interested parties, but may not be admissible in court. When deciding to use the services of a paternity test lab, it’s important to keep in mind how and why the test is being conducted.

Samples are collected from all of the parties involved including the child, the child’s mother and the alleged father or fathers. In a legal case a reputable DNA lab will insist on proper identification and the paternity test will be witnessed. While DNA can be collected through blood samples, tissue samples and other means DNA is frequently collected by swabbing the inside of the cheeks. This is called a Buccal Swab. These samples can be preserved for years without refrigeration. All samples collected will be closely monitored throughout the entire testing process. The ideal paternity test lab will follow a rigid chain of custody procedure that assures all samples are correctly identified, and that no sample is tainted in anyway.

A reputable DNA test lab will hold appropriate accreditation from a recognized organization. The paternity test will be validated by this process in court. Home testing kits do not receive this assurance even if they are analyzed by a company that holds accreditation. Only tests conducted in an accredited facility are. A company may hold one or more accreditation, but the most important one in North America is from The American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). This acknowledgment assures that the paternity test has been conducted up to industry standards as being run in a lab that is current in training, technology and follows all procedures to the letter.

The paternity test is a reliable and valid test that utilizes state-of-the-art technology to analyze segments of several genes. The AABB recommends the examination of 16 genes. They also recommend that the findings be tested a second time for verification. A DNA test lab relies on the fact that there are variations in DNA that identify individuals as being distinct from other people. Identical twins are the exception to this rule. DNA is composed of 4 bases that are identified by letters A, C, G and T. Two people compared against each other at random will show a difference in the sequence of these letters somewhere around ever 1,000 bases.

There are several ways that a DNA lab can examine the samples. One of the most common ways to analyze the paternity test is to use DNA fingerprinting. Scientists use restriction enzymes to splice the DNA at specific points and then compare these to the other samples in a paternity case. Because every child inherits genes from both parents their unique DNA will be a combination of the two. The paternity test doesn’t rely on only one gene to make a determination rather it uses several genes because some segments may be similar between two alleged fathers. This underscores the importance of having recognized accreditation when looking for the right paternity test lab.