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A paternity test will tell you if a man is (or is not) the biological father of a child. This test includes the testing of the alleged father, the child, and the mother if you choose to include her. If you do choose to include the biological mother of the child in this test, the resultant accuracy will be higher, but her inclusion is not required. If you are having a test done for legal purposes, we do recommend that you include the biological mother, if possible.
A maternity test will tell you if a woman is (or is not) the biological mother of a child. This test includes the testing of the alleged mother, the child, and the father if you choose to include him. If you do choose to include the biological father of the child in this test, the resultant accuracy will be higher, but his inclusion is not required.
What can I expect my result to say?
The results issued for a parentage test (paternity or maternity) will be either: Exclusion — the tested father/mother is NOT the biological parent of the tested child. Consistent With — the tested father/mother IS likely to be the biological parent of the tested child; this result will also have the statistical values calculated (and reported) for your particular case that indicate the strength of the consistent result.
Understanding this test
(Note: Explanations are based on a paternity test, but are also applicable to a maternity test.) Every person receives half of their DNA from their mother and half from their father. In a case where the biological mother is included in the testing, the DNA extracted from the biological mother’s sample is compared with that from the child. Any DNA the child has that the mother does not have must, therefore, have come from the biological father.
Example: Mother 9,10 Child 10,11 Father 11,13
In a father/child test (where the biological mother is not included in the testing), the DNA from the father and child are compared to determine if there is a match or a mismatch, but without the benefit of knowing which DNA the child received from the mother (hence the decreased accuracy of a father/child test).
Example: Child 10,11 Father 11,13
The child received either a 10 or an 11 from his/her father, and the alleged father in the example could have donated an 11 or a 13. In this example, this father has the necessary allele to fulfill the child’s genetic profile in this particular region of their DNA.