Are Paternity Tests Accurate?
If you want to be certain if you’re the biological parent of your child, a paternity test is the best method to find out. However, it begs the question: are paternity tests accurate?
In this article, we will dig deeper into the nitty-gritty to figure out if you can trust the accuracy of a DNA test.
How Reliable Are DNA Paternity Tests?
Technological evolution in the DNA testing field has improved the rate of accuracy. To put it into context, DNA testing laboratories use sophisticated technology and techniques to analyze DNA samples with almost 99% accuracy.
However, you need to rely on reputable DNA testing facilities and collect reliable DNA samples such as saliva and blood to have an almost 99.9% accuracy.
How Do You Get an Accurate Paternity Test?
For you to receive paternity test results that are almost 99.9% accurate you need to do the following:
Choose a reputable testing facility
To get accurate and reliable results you need to find a reputable and accredited testing facility that follows strict quality control measures. In addition to that, it should adhere to industry standards required for DNA testing.
Collect the samples using the proper procedure to avoid contamination
If you’re doing a home paternity test, you first need to obtain a DNA sample collection kit from a reputable DNA testing company. The kits are designed to facilitate proper sample collection and preservation. Most DNA test kits will contain sterile buccal swabs with soft bristles. They also contain paper envelopes to store the buccal samples.
Before the buccal sample collection, you need to observe proper oral hygiene by rinsing your mouth with water. After that, you need to stay for at least 30 minutes without eating, drinking, or smoking before the sample collection. This will ensure that no external DNA contaminates the sample.
Use the buccal swab to gently rub the inside of the cheek while applying gentle pressure to ensure that the swab collects sufficient genetic material. In addition, you need to rotate the swab for at least 20 seconds to collect an adequate sample. Don’t forget to repeat the process for each individual involved in the process.
After swabbing, leave the cheek swabs to dry for about a minute. This also applies if you’re using a toothbrush as a sample. This prevents moisture that can destroy the DNA. It’s also important to avoid touching the bristles while it dries so it doesn’t get contaminated.
Once the swabs are dry, label each swab with the individual’s name. This will prevent mixing up samples during the testing process. Next, place the samples in an envelope and seal them properly to avoid tampering and contamination during transportation.
Use high-quality DNA samples
Using cheek swabs or blood as a DNA sample has an accuracy probability of 99.99%. However, hair samples have an accuracy of only 60%.
Track the samples to prevent tampering
If your paternity test is going to be used for legal purposes, it is important to track it to avoid tampering or swapping of the samples.