As the title indicates, there are usually no burning questions or lingering doubts concerning the mother of a child as she is the one who carries a baby under her heart and then gives birth to it. Except of course for some rare cases, where the couple needs a substitute mother, a so-called surrogate, to help them create a new life. When it comes to a man, the matter is much more complicated and also delicate. How can he be sure that he is the father? How can a woman know that, if she had more than one sexual partner around the time of conception? Well, there are some ways to find out.
The professional way
The most reliable method of establishing paternity of a child is a DNA test. The test is conducted in a specialised laboratory in sterile conditions so its results are almost 100% reliable and cannot be questioned. During the test, the genetic material of a child and the alleged father are compared and similarities in the genetic markers are looked for. The samples for the test can be saliva, other bodily secretions, hair or epidermis. Similarly, a siblingship dna test can be carried out to see if a child has the same father as their brothers or sisters. This can be a good compromise if DNA from the father can not be acquired for whatever reason.
Results of such tests are legally binding, what means that they can be used in a court of law as an irrefutable proof of being or not being a biological father of a child. Except for establishing paternity, a DNA test can be used in divorce cases, disputes about child maintenance, child visitations, child support and also to find rightful inheritors of estate.
Such a test needs to be conducted in the government approved testing laboratories and usually costs between 100 and 400. The whole process is under a strict chain of custody what ensures that the DNA samples are in compliance with legal requirements. It is important to mention that a DNA sample can only be taken with a permission of the person that is to be tested.
The domestic way
There is also a DNA test that can partially be conducted at home. A genetic sample for a home paternity DNA test is self-collected and no additional paperwork is required, as it is the case with a legal paternity test. Usually, it is a cheek swabbing that is sent to a laboratory for testing to check genetic similarities between provided samples and exclude or confirm paternity.
A home paternity test kit is sent by a laboratory that is to perform it and consists of hygiene swabs for collecting the sample, sterile packaging, disposable gloves, some documents to be filled in (in the UK the Human Tissue Act regulates the collection and analysis of any human tissue hence the written consent is required to conduct the test) and a return envelope.
The package is discreet to provide maximum physical comfort during the whole process and each sample is usually tested twice so that there are no mistakes.
A domestic DNA test costs less than a legal one as there is no coordination of DNA collection and connected features needed for a legal documentation as home tests are not legally defensible. The results are usually available after a few days. Remember to choose an accredited laboratory with a good reputation and be extra careful when collecting the sample as not to pollute or damage it.
Each year many UK families turn to one of the two methods of DNA testing to get to the truth concerning the matter of paternity. Mothers want to confirm the identity of their child’s father, men want to know if a child is theirs, also adult children want to trace their biological fathers. Now it is easier than ever.