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Establishing Paternity when Alleged Father Unavailable

DNA testing is used when reliable proof of the biological relationship between two people is required. Paternity tests are the most common of these DNA tests, and are used to determine whether or not an individual is the natural father of a child. Generally, such tests are easy to carry out, involving a swab from the mouth of the alleged parent, but what if that person is deceased? What options are then available to determine paternity?

What Options are Available?

Although it night appear that the truth would die with the decease, that is not necessarily the case. DNA testing technology has advanced to such a stage that there are alternative options available to establish the identity of a parent. DNA Relationship Testing is a technique that can be used to determine relationships by screening members of the immediate family of the deceased in order to establish the relationship. It is possible to test grandparents, uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews and also brothers and sisters (by carrying out a test between siblings) and carry out a comparison with the DNA of the child to prove a relationship. Not only that, but there are alternative more direct ways of performing the paternity test as exemplified by the three scenarios below.

Case 1 – The Alleged Father has Recently Passed Away

If less than a week has passed since the deceased died, then if permission can be obtained, fingernail cuttings and a hair sample with root attached can be used to extract DNA samples to establish paternity. It is a more complex procedure than a buccal swab, but the DNA matching is just as accurate. Make sure that your choice of DNA laboratory can process such samples to extract their DNA.

Case 2 – The Type of Sample Available

The samples obtained in Case 1 are ideal, but are not possible if the deceased has already been interred or cremated. In such a case, indirect samples will be necessary: samples such as a used tissue, cigarette or drinking glass. DNA collected from these can be used to prove the paternity of a child, although the sample must be recent. Another problem is the size of the sample: many such samples do not yield sufficient DNA for accurate comparison.

Case 3 – Exhumation of the Body

If the case warrants it, the body can be exhumed in order to retrieve a sample for DNA testing. It is highly recommended that you obtain the services or advice of a specialist in forensic pathology since this can be a very costly step to take, and you would still have the costs to bear if your sample was unsuitable for analysis. Hence the reason for advice. If the body is so old that only bone is left, samples from the humerus or neck of the femur are most likely to offer a good DNA sample. The sample size should be about 2 grams to allow sufficient DNA extraction, and this method should be used only when all soft tissue has gone.

At easyDNA you will find answers to all questions regarding paternity, siblingship and legal definition. We are equipped to provide full legal and emotional Paternity Test services, using state of the art technology, at competitive rates, on time, every time. We operate through a network of offices covering a wide geographic area. We currently operate 12 offices around the world including Canada, U.S.A, and UK. To contact us with further questions please email [email protected].



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