Understanding Relationship DNA Testing

Relationship DNA testing is a process by which DNA is used to establish paternity or another relationship between two people.

  • Relationship DNA testing uses repeating sequences in DNA to establish inheritance patterns
  • The test can be done for either personal or legal reasons

Your DNA is a roadmap of who you are. It’s completely unique to you, which is why it’s become such a crucial element of forensics, medical diagnoses, and much more. Though your DNA is unique, it is a combination of the DNA contributed from your father’s sperm and your mother’s egg when you were conceived. Your DNA is a combination of both parents’ genetic material, which is why DNA can be used in order to establish relationships. Paternity testing and other forms of relationship testing have become more common over the years, and as technology advances, the process has become more accurate and more reliable overall.

How Does Relationship DNA Testing Work?

Relationship DNA testing is a process used to determine a biological link between two individuals. To understand the process, it’s crucial to understand the basics of how DNA works. All DNA is composed of four molecules: adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C, and guanine (G). Each of these molecules is used to create strands of DNA that determine a type of roadmap for the body, including health, physical characteristics, and much more. Each trait can be traced back to specific patterns and interactions of A, T, C, and G. These molecular combinations are quite often inherited directly from one parent or the other.

Over the years, scientists have found that some specific loci along a strand of DNA have predictable inheritance patterns, meaning they are often a direct mirror of a biological parent’s DNA. It’s these sections and their sequences that are used to establish paternity or relationships during relationship DNA testing. Using a process called Short Tandem Repeats (STRs), these repeating sequences can be used to establish paternity. The findings are then compared to the Paternity Index (PI) to determine the likelihood of paternity.

Who Needs Relationship DNA Testing?

A DNA paternity test may be used to establish a relationship between two individuals for many reasons. Those looking to establish paternity or other relationships for personal reasons may benefit from the process, as well as those looking to gain a better understanding of their own ancestry.

Likewise, those looking to establish paternity for legal reasons must undergo a paternity test to collect the proper evidence for any court proceedings. This is often used in cases of establishing child support requirements, custody, and other issues. 

Is There a Difference Between Testing for Legal Reasons and Personal Reasons?

Yes, the process of relationship DNA testing for personal reasons should be quite different than testing DNA for legal reasons. During personal testing, two consenting individuals can simply fill out paperwork, submit a sample and review the results as soon as they’re available. When undergoing testing for legal reasons, the process is more secure and is invested in maintaining the chain of custody, which is established to ensure samples and results cannot be tampered with by any involved party.

In order to ensure you’re getting the proper testing procedure you need for your individual needs, it’s absolutely crucial to establish what sort of test you need before undergoing relationship DNA testing.

DNA Testing You Can Trust

Whether you’re looking to undergo relationship DNA testing for legal reasons or you’re interested in establishing a relationship for a personal reason, ARCpoint Labs is here to help. We provide accurate, confidential relationship DNA testing to individuals throughout Woburn, MA. Most importantly, we maintain the integrity of results by using cutting-edge technology paired with the expertise of an experienced team. Call us today to set up an appointment.