What are DNA and blood paternity tests?

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Unmarried Couples on Thursday, April 16, 2015.

When an unmarried couple has a child together, the question of paternity sometimes comes up. This is especially true if the couple breaks up. When that happens, establishing paternity is vital for the mother and father. One way to establish paternity is through paternity testing, which can be done through DNA testing or blood testing.

What is DNA testing?

DNA paternity testing compares the child’s DNA to the man’s DNA by comparing DNA of buccal swabs. This is obtained by swabbing the interior of the cheek of the father and child. In some cases, umbilical blood can be used for this DNA test. A child receives half of his or her DNA from the mother and the other half from the father. In order to establish paternity, the DNA of the child is compared to the man’s to see if two or more DNA patterns match. If two or more match, the man is said to have a likelihood of paternity of 99.9 percent. The man is excluded as the father is fewer than two DNA patterns match between the child’s DNA and the man’s DNA.

What is blood testing?

Blood testing isn’t used to establish paternity; however, it is used to determine if there is a possibility of paternity. If there is a possibility that a man is the father based on blood testing, a DNA could be performed to legally establish paternity. In a blood test, the child’s blood type, mother’s blood type and the man’s blood type are compared to determine if the man could be the father. Additionally, looking into the Human Leukocyte Antigens can help to determine the likelihood of paternity.

Source: FindLaw, “Paternity Tests: Blood Tests and DNA” accessed April. 16, 2015