The Benefits of a Paternity Analysis
A DNA test provides you with insights into your genetics, heritage, and family history, and there are a few different ways to go about gaining access to these results. A popular approach is DNA paternity testing: a.k.a., a DNA test that reveals the details of your paternal lineage. A DNA paternity analysis offers almost 100 percent accurate results – a highly reliable way to figure out whether or not someone is your biological father, or identifying who your biological father is to begin with. Whether you’re looking to access this initial information or dig into the historical details of your father’s family, a paternity test DNA analysis is the perfect starting point for your search.
What is DNA paternity testing?
DNA is the genetic material a person inherits from their biological parents: it essentially defines what you look like and who you are, outside of external or behavioral influences that are bound to occur once you’re born. DNA paternity testing examines someone’s paternal line of DNA. A paternity analysis will typically be conducted through a saliva, fluid, or blood sample, ultimately revealing the contributions your father and his lineage made to your genetic makeup. A paternity test DNA analysis is usually pretty on point; most results can be guaranteed with 99.9 percent accuracy. There are a few different options available for paternity analysis, but these are the most common types of paternity DNA tests people turn to – depending on whether you’re testing for paternity during a pregnancy, or after the child has been born:
DNA Paternity Testing: During Pregnancy
This approach, which must take place between the 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy, requires the pregnant person to have a small amount of amniotic fluid drawn and examined. A healthcare provider will insert a needle into the pregnant person’s abdomen, comparing that sample to the two parents’ DNA. It should be noted that this test slightly increases the risk for miscarriage.
- Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
CVS draws a sample of placenta tissue from the pregnant person’s cervix or abdomen. The sample is then compared to both parents’ DNA. This approach must take place between 10-13 weeks from the pregnant woman’s last menstrual cycle, and also increases the risk for miscarriage.
- Noninvasive prenatal paternity test (NIPP)
NIPP analyzes fetal DNA found in a pregnant person’s blood during the first trimester. That sample is then compared to the potential father’s DNA sample, which ultimately determines the results.
DNA Paternity Testing: Once Child is Born
- Blood test
With this approach, the child and potential father both submit samples of their blood, which are then analyzed in a laboratory to determine whether or not there’s a match.
- Cheek swab sample
This route requires the child and potential father to swab the inside of their cheeks for buccal cells (a.k.a., cheek cells). The samples are then analyzed by a lab to determine the results.
What a paternity test DNA analysis will reveal
A paternity test DNA analysis will ultimately reveal whether or not someone is someone else’s father, and there are a number of reasons you might be seeking this information. Maybe your father is unknown, or you have a strong suspicion that the person you believe to be your father isn’t actually related to you at all. Whatever the case may be, a paternity analysis is an almost-surefire way to figure out the answers to your questions. Here’s how those results will read once they come your way.
Paternity Test DNA Analysis: Positive Result
If the potential father is determined to be a match, you’ll receive a report with the following information:
- Conclusion Statement
This statement will read that the potential father has not been excluded as a match, which means he cannot be ruled out as the father of the child in question.
- Combined Paternity Index (CPI)
A CPI reveals the odds of the potential father being the child’s biological father. This leaves room for the possibility that someone else could be a match – like a relative of the man in question.
- Probability of Paternity Report
This report will reveal in percentage the likelihood that the potential father is, in fact, the biological father. For a positive test result, the number is usually 99.9 percent or higher.
Paternity Test DNA Analysis: Negative/Unsure Result
If the potential father is determined to not be a match, you’ll receive a report with the following information:
- Conclusion Statement
This statement will read that the potential father has been excluded as a match, which means he can be ruled out as the father of the child in question.
- Combined Paternity Index (CPI)
For a negative paternity test result, the CPI is always 0.
- Probability of Paternity Report
For a negative paternity test result, the Probability of Paternity Report is always 0 percent.
Reasons to consider getting a paternity test DNA analysis
The most obvious reason for conducting a DNA paternity test is…well, to determine whether or not someone is someone else’s biological father. But why exactly would you need to gather this information? Here are some of the main reasons you may want to look into DNA paternity testing for yourself or a loved one:
- Determining parental custody
Child custody cases can be complex, long-term, and emotionally charged. And if there’s any reason for either parental party to believe that the father isn’t actually the biological father, that could cause even more confusion and/or heartache. Whether someone is trying to gain access to seeing their children or trying to prove that they aren’t the biological father in question, a paternity analysis can be incredibly useful for a parental custody case. Determining this information can save a lot of back and forth in court: time, money, and emotional turmoil.
- Determining a person’s citizenship status
Another important reason to conduct a paternity analysis is for citizenship. For example: if a child was born outside of the United States but one of their parents is an American citizen, that child would be eligible for American citizenship. This could make or break an immigrant’s safety and/or quality of life.
- Fair access to child support
DNA paternity testing can also help determine whether or not someone should be receiving – or paying – child support. Many single parents don’t get the full amount of child support they’re entitled to, and this murkiness often comes from discrepancies when it comes to paternity results. If you think you should have access to child support you’re not receiving – or, if you think you shouldn’t be required to pay child support you’ve been burdened with – you should absolutely look into a DNA paternity test to help work out the desired results.
- Fair access to inheritance
When someone dies, it’s not unlikely for people to claim that person was their parent in order to gain access to an inheritance – especially if the person was wealthy and/or well-known in society. A paternity test DNA analysis is a simple way to determine who the biological children actually are, and who is just laying claim to something that isn’t theirs.
- Fair access to benefits
Similarly to inheritance, a person’s surviving family will gain access to whatever benefits they were receiving: whether from Social Security, a job, or life insurance. If someone is claiming access to a deceased man’s benefits and there’s reason to believe that person might not be the man’s biological child, a paternity test DNA analysis could be beneficial in determining whether or not they’re eligible.
- Figuring out what your genetics look like, and what sort of illnesses or conditions you may be predisposed to
Another major reason to conduct a paternity DNA test is to access your heritage and genetics. This could be important for anyone who knows very little about their father’s family history and wants to know what sort of conditions or illnesses they might be predisposed to.
- Personal history knowledge
For some people, paternity analysis is pursued and conducted for one simple reason: they want to know who they come from. You may not be in the midst of a legal case or trying to access inheritance or benefits at all – maybe you just have an idea who your father might be, and you want to determine the results so you can connect with some family members to gain more insight into your own personal history. Getting a paternity test is a great way to learn more about yourself, your family, and answer some questions you might have been plagued with for years.
How to mentally prepare for a paternity DNA test
Getting a paternity DNA test done sounds clinical and straightforward enough, but something that should be equally considered is the emotional and mental toll this sort of test might take on you. Whether or not you get the results you were hoping for, DNA paternity testing can be life-changing, and you’ll want to make sure you’re mentally equipped to deal with the results: both before and after the test takes place. You may want to consider bringing a friend or loved one along with you for moral support, and make sure you’re well set up to tend to your mental health after the test has been conducted: whether that means having a therapist on your schedule, a journal to work things out in, or the ability to surround yourself with loved ones as you process. You don’t have to go through this alone.