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Whether needed for legal reasons or peace of mind, DNA paternity testing is a dependable method for establishing a biological relationship between the child and a potential father. As a full-service provider of diagnostic testing, ARCpoint Labs of Austin North provides confidential testing by trusted and qualified technicians to Austin, TX, and surrounding areas. Here is what you should know regarding the requirements for a DNA test and how it is conducted to establish paternity.

DNA Paternity Test Overview

What is a DNA Paternity Test?

The DNA paternity test is performed by comparing DNA samples from a child, whether a minor or adult, to DNA samples from the suspected father. The genetic makeup of an individual is unique, much like a fingerprint. Since a child inherits half of its DNA from its biological mother and half from their biological father, DNA testing is an accurate and reliable way to establish a biological parental relationship between the tested individuals. The individual being tested for paternity must match the child’s data on every tested marker. Geneticists will examine results to determine the probability of a paternal relationship, and consider any possible mutations that may affect the results. A biological paternal relationship can be declared if it can be established between the two.

What a DNA Paternity Test Can’t Determine

Although a DNA paternity test can determine if a biological relationship exists between man and child, it cannot provide proof of other possible biological relationships, such as sibling, grandparent, aunt, or uncle. It also cannot provide ancestry information or the individuals’ age or race.  There are other DNA tests such as Siblingship, Grandparentage, or Avuncular (Aunt or Uncle) as well as Ancestry that could be performed if needed.

The DNA Paternity Testing Process

There are many steps in place to ensure accurate DNA paternity testing in Austin, TX. Read further to learn more about how ARCpoint Labs of Austin North conducts DNA testing.

What Do You Need To Do For a DNA Paternity Test?

The requirements for DNA tests are fairly simple. In order to perform DNA paternity testing in Texas, DNA samples from both the child and the alleged father must be submitted. While a sample from the mother is recommended, it is not a requirement for a DNA paternity test.

How is a DNA Paternity Test Performed?

Two components make up paternity testing:

  1. The potential father and child submit DNA samples
  2. DNA samples are sent to the lab for testing, analysis, and declaration of paternity.

How DNA Is Collected

A DNA sample is collected by a painless swab of participants’ cheek cells.

  • Each participant will be provided with four swabs. The swab collects DNA by being firmly rubbed inside the participants’ cheeks. Adults can do this for an infant or child.
  • The swabs are put inside paper envelopes. This will prevent mold growth/contamination. If the swab seems too wet, you can wave it briefly to allow it to dry a bit first.
  • Considered reliable, swabbing cheeks is the most common method of DNA paternity testing, though DNA paternity testing may sometimes still be done with a blood sample, or other personal items in some cases.

How the Test Works in the Lab

  • Extracting the DNA from each participant’s cells allows it to be amplified, making each sample workable.
  • Short Tandem Repeat (STR) Analysis is performed, and 24 or more STR genetic markers are analyzed for the child and potential father.
  • A geneticist then analyzes the data and calculates the probability that the child and man being tested share a paternal/child relationship.

Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing

Paternity tests can be performed even before the child is born.  For Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity testing (NIPP) a blood sample is taken from the mother who must be at least 7 weeks into her pregnancy and a cheek swab as described above is taken from the prospective father.  The laboratory is able to detect blood cells from the fetus in the mother’s blood and isolate them to create a DNA Profile which is then compared to the prospective father.

DNA Testing in Austin, TX

DNA testing is straightforward, painless, and reliably accurate. If you find yourself in need of DNA paternity testing, ARCpoint Labs of Austin North provides informational and legal paternity testing, as well as a full range of other DNA testing services and drug and alcohol testing in Austin, TX, and surrounding areas. Contact us for more information about paternity testing or schedule an appointment at ARCpoint Labs today.

Image Source:  Shawn Hempel  / Shutterstock