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DNA testing from a scientific perspective provides probability results of above 99% confirming that a biological relationship exists. This is called an 'inclusion'.
DNA testing from a scientific perspective provides results of 100% confirming that a biological relationship does not exist, called an 'exclusion'.
Is consent required for a paternity test?
In the interests of the public’s privacy and other human rights relating to DNA testing, legislation requiring consent has been approved by government departments. Therefore, consent is required as below:
To analyse the DNA of an individual, consent from that individual is required.
If the individual is a child (below 16 years), a person having parental responsibility has to authorise with consent.
Once your DNA collection kit has been received, consent forms will be included. Once the forms have been signed testing can proceed. Choosing DNA Diagnostics Centre to complete your DNA test, you can be guaranteed that our laboratory will analyse the DNA samples only for the specific test you have ordered. Your DNA samples and test results will not be shared with anyone else, unless you or a court order instructs it.
Pre-natal testing - when can testing be performed?
Testing can be performed before the child is born through one of 2 DNA sample collection methods, Amniocentesis or CVS.
Testing can be performed from birth.
A person of all ages can participate in a DNA test.
How will I receive my test results?
DNA test results are dispatched 3 to 4 business days from receiving the DNA samples. A full test report stipulates if a biological relationship exists or not.
Do I need to have blood taken for DNA testing?
No, this is not required. DNA is found in cheek cells in the saliva collected through buccal swabbing.
I’m nervous about collecting my DNA samples correctly?
There is no need to be nervous about collecting a DNA sample. Simply follow the instructions to ensure that enough cells are collected for testing. As long as you are collecting a sample from the correct individual and are labelling the samples correctly, this will be fine.
Does the mother’s DNA need to be analysed to reach an accurate result?
We encourage the mother to participate in the test as her contribution provides vital genetic information that enables fast and straightforward analysis. If the mother cannot contribute, we can still perform paternity testing and provide conclusive DNA testing results.
What are the payment options?
You can purchase your test securely online or when you return your collection kit back to DNA Diagnostics Centre. If you prefer to pay when returning your kit to us, we accept debit and credit cards.
What is the cost?
A peace of mind Paternity Test costs €99. More complex cases may cost slightly more. Please view each specific test below for further information.
Some cases additional report copies are for family members.
Can I collect a sample in Ireland and another overseas and return the kits back for testing?
Yes, it’s common to have customer conducting part of the test in one location and the rest of the test in another. If you require this, please request that a DNA kit with an identical reference number is sent to both locations.
What exactly is a buccal swab?
A buccal (pronounced 'buckle') swab is similar to a cotton bud. The tip of the swab is firmer than the head of a standard cotton bud. This enables the cells of the cheek to be collected with ease. The swabs are included in your collection kit.
Is the collection of DNA pain free?
Yes, absolutely. The DNA testing kit contains buccal swabs, which you stroke against the inside of the cheek to collect cheek cells. These cheek cells contain DNA. There are no needles involved; this is pain free and non-invasive.
Is the accuracy higher if you analyse blood?
No. The DNA in your cheek cells or hair follicles is exactly the same DNA as in your blood. There is absolutely no difference in the accuracy of a DNA test using any of those samples.
Is it possible to use cotton wool buds purchased from a pharmacy?
No. These cotton buds are made of cotton and our swabs are made of Dacron. This is a key material that enables more cheek cells to be collected before analysis.
How long will the DNA samples remain ok to analyse?
Once the swabs are allowed to dry, they should be fine. There is no assurance that they will yield a workable sample, there is no technical expiration date on the sample. If the samples are sealed and not allowed to dry, mould could grow on the swabs and destroy the quality of the sample.
What is the Gene Pool?
The Gene Pool is all of the genetic information potentially available to a person. Each person received half of their genetic information from their mother and the other half from their father. By analysing a mother, child, and alleged father in a paternity test, we can reveal the genetic information passed to the child from the biological mother. The remaining half of the child’s genetic information must come from the biological father. By analysing the DNA pattern from the child with the alleged father, we can establish if the alleged father is the biological father of the child.
Explain the basis for population statistics in Paternity Testing?
Each alleged father is understood to have a prior probability of being the father equal to 50% (50/50) chance before the testing is concluded. The paternity index (PI) for each probe used is a likelihood ratio and is defined as the probability that the alleged father contributed the necessary DNA to the child divided by the probability that a random man contributed the necessary DNA to a child. The PI’s for all the probes used are then multiplied together to give a combined paternity index (CPI) value. The probability of paternity (POP) is defined as 1 / (1 +1/CPI) and is multiplied by 100 to give a percentage. If an alleged father's DNA pattern does not match the child’s, then the PI for that probe is 0.
Explain the Paternity Index (PI) and how is it determined?
The Paternity Index or PI gives the odds that the alleged father with a matching allele is the biological father of the tested child. The frequency of each DNA segment (allele) in the human population varies depending on the size of the allele and the race of the alleged father. The prevalence of allele sizes differs from race to race which makes knowing the race of the alleged father important for statistical analysis. Databases are available for Caucasian, Black, Hispanic, and Asian races. If the race is not certain, we will use the lowest PI of all available races. This is a conservative approach for calculating the probability of paternity (POP). The frequency of an allele is determined by how many individuals in that database have an allele size, divided by the total number of individuals in the database. The result frequency is used to calculate the PI.
How does DNA testing affect Mixed Racial Clients?
If you are a bi-racial individual or a race for which a database is not available, calculations are done based on both races (for instance, the Caucasian (White) and Black database frequencies). The lowest PI for each probe is used to calculate the Combined Paternity Index (CPI) or POP. This results in the most conservative value for the POP.
What is a gene mutation and does it have an impact on paternity testing?
Genes consist of four chemicals (nucleotides) called adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. The order of these nucleotides determines the genetic sequence. In a mutation, one or a few of these nucleotides are changed or missing in a sequence. Any DNA testing human being can have a mutation. If a mutation occurs in an area of the DNA that is being used for DNA testing, the result will be not match between a mother and a child, or between a child and an alleged father. The results in a single exclusion with one probe and the two individuals will match on all remaining probes used in the testing. When a mutation is suspected, additional probes are used in the testing to confirm a mutation has occurred and not an exclusion. The calculating of the PI and POP includes the mutation frequency of that particular probe. Exclusions are confirmed in DNA testing after two mismatches are seen.
* Standard testing is 7 to 10 days. If a mutation is observed, this could delay testing for up to 4 business days.
What options exist if the person in question is dead, missing, or unavailable?
Yes, options are available. If the person is deceased, a viable DNA sample may be in storage if an autopsy was carried out and the coroner retained samples. A viable sample may exist if, prior to death, tissue was collected for analysis by the hospital or the laboratory. In some locations, hospitals hold this sample for a significant period of time and the executor to the estate has the ability to demand the sample for additional analysis.
If no sample exists then family relatives such as parents, siblings, and children of the deceased can submit DNA samples for various types of DNA testing services.
How can DNA testing offer protection or challenge wills and estates?
DNA testing is undertaken to establish biological relationships when a will is disputed. Allele sizing can be done prior to death to ensure DNA results are available at any time a dispute to the will arises based on unidentified biological relations. This is usually used for individuals who are high profile, affluent, or fear their wishes will be challenged after passing away. Post mortem testing, DNA reconstruction, grandparentage testing, and siblingship studies can also be undertaken to establish biological relationships.
What is a genetic reconstruction case, and who is to be tested?
If one party is deceased or unavailable, other family relatives can provide a DNA sample to help reconstruct the DNA the person in question could have contributed. Several family relatives are necessary including parents, full or half siblings, or children of the person in question. The price of the genetic reconstruction depends upon the number of family relatives available for testing. DNA Diagnostics Centre should be consulted for additional questions concerning genetic reconstruction by calling 01 506 0395.
Why would I need a grandparent DNA test?
Grandparents are a good choice for DNA testing if the alleged parent is unavailable. The grandparents passed their genes to their child, the alleged parent. Thus the grandparents DNA will match their grandchild with the same accuracy as the alleged parent.
Why would I need a siblingship study?
If the alleged father is not accessible for testing but has known children, those children could be tested with the child in question to establish if they’re full or half siblings. The mother or mothers of the tested children are also asked to submit a DNA sample if available.
What role does DNA testing play in adoption cases?
Paternity testing is used to accurately establish birth fathers is becoming a more familiar request by adoptive agencies and parents to solidify the proceedings. Many adoption processes vary, attempting to locate birth fathers for parental relinquishments have become a top priority since such publicised cases as the Baby Richard case. The paternity testing serves as evidence that the accurate birth father has been located and is participatory in the proceedings.
Medical advances in linking biological causes for serious medical conditions also support the need to identify the birth father. Lacking the birth father’s identification, half the child’s medical information is unidentified and may not be possible to receive this at a later date when needed.
What is the need for Maternity DNA Testing?
Recent cases in the media of new born babies switched at birth have enabled DNA Diagnostics Centre to develop a maternity test should this occur. By comparing the DNA pattern of the child with the alleged mother, we can establish if the alleged mother is the biological mother of the child.