Providing Samples for a DNA Paternity Test

Published: 17th January 2009
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Providing Samples for a DNA Paternity Test

Most laboratories prefer buccal swab for paternity testing. A cotton swab that looks very much like a Q-tip is rubbed in the mouth on the inside of the cheek. Loose cells are collected on the swab and they provide the DNA for a paternity test.

It does not matter if blood or a buccal swab is collected for a DNA test. Since buccal swabs do not require a needle stick, they are generally preferred by the laboratories and the clients. Using a buccal swab greatly reduces the biohazard risks involved with blood collections.

The DNA is exactly the same in a buccal swab and blood. There is no scientific advantage of using one over the other. The genetic information is contained in the nucleus of the cells and it is identical in a cheek cell and a white blood cell.

A client may want to have a DNA test without the child or other parent knowing about the test. They may want to have an anonymous sample tested.

Anonymous DNA testing usually uses a discarded or household item that has DNA from the individual in question. An anonymous paternity test is not usable for legal issues because it can not name an individual. It may state for example:

The donor of the DNA from the straw is excluded as the father of the donor of the DNA on the pacifier.

There are a variety of situations where anonymous paternity testing is used. In some situations an adult child believes that the man that raised them is not their biological father. The adult child does not want to ask the parent and does not want to upset him. They often just want to know. It is something that they have suspected for years and would like to know without disrupting their family. If the man is their biological father then they did not cause hurt feelings or cause trauma within the family. If he is not the biological father, then the adult child can decide whether or not to ask the parents about the situation.

Some of the items that can be used for DNA paternity testing are cigarette butts, bandage with blood, baby pacifiers, used tissue, tooth brush, and plastic soda straws.

When an item is provided for testing, it is very important that it was only used by the person that is to be tested. If the item has been used by a second person, then it is likely to cause a problem. It may cause an incorrect result, and will very likely not be able to be used for the test.

Adult children, mothers and fathers all request anonymous DNA testing. They have a useful purpose. A legal or even home DNA test may cause major conflict within a family. The client can address their doubts and concerns without disrupting the life of the entire family.

Kim is the president of Paternity Testing Corp, in Columbia Mo

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