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Possible Errors with Paternity Tests Free DNA Tests Might Cost

Free DNA Tests Might Cost

Paternity tests are not always 100% accurate, but in order for the accuracy of the DNA test to be as high as possible, careful collection and analysis must occur. Factors for both the sample and the tests it must undergo are critical in the overall outcome of the test. This is true whether a paid or free DNA test is required.

Most free DNA tests neglect some of the additional testing needed to raise the accuracy of the results. Since these tests are at no cost, many times, the companies conducting them will cut corners or conduct fewer tests to match a child with a parent. According to GeneTests, funded by the National Institutes of Health, the number of DNA sequences depends on the lab. This causes a variation in the results. In order to ensure that the laboratory has been held to the highest standards, the sample should go to one of the affiliated relationship testing labs with the AABB. These laboratories have the highest practice standards, and the results from them are more reliable than from another source. Most free DNA tests do not send their samples to these labs.

There are other problems which could arise from free DNA tests which can lead to errors in the results. In many cases with free tests, the kits do not specify testing more than one potential parent. According to Dr. Barry Starr of Stanford University, testing one potential father only can lead to a false positive. There are instances, Dr. Starr notes, that the real father of the child might be related to the man tested. If this happens, an erroneous positive test result could be returned. Paid DNA tests often inquire if relatives of the potential father could be involved. If they are, these men will be tested as well. The additional testing is often not offered for a free test.

Mutations in the DNA can lead to errors in the results. Discover Magazine explained that when the same two spots on a DNA strand which are tested have been changed from the father, this could return a false negative result. For this reason, DNA tests cannot be entirely reliable. Random mutations often happen, but the age of the father can also affect the DNA in his sperm. For the best results, a paternity test needs to test all of the parties involved in a child's parentage. Motherless paternity tests only require a child and father's cheek cells or blood cells, but these are more prone to errors, says Dr. Starr. A free DNA test is less likely than paid tests to require samples from the mother, child, and potential father. Without all three and any relatives of the potential father, a DNA test for paternity is less likely to be trustworthy or to return a false result.

Avoiding errors in free DNA tests can be done by finding a testing service which sends the samples to an accredited lab, testing all potential fathers, the mother, and the child. By taking a few simple measures before submitting a DNA sample, the results can be better trusted. Errors on a free DNA test can cost the father, mother, and child emotion hardships when the mistakes are brought to light.