Paternity Testing

There are two main types of DNA testing that are used to determine paternity (PCR and RFLP testing), and both begin with obtaining a sample from the party being tested as well as the potential offspring and the mother. There are a number of companies in the UK offering home DNA test kits. When ordering a home DNA test kit please make sure you do not fall foul of the Human Tissue Act of 2004, which forbids the unauthorised use of human tissue for paternity testing.

DNA tests include the Polymerase chain reaction test (PCR) which quickly zooms in on and amplifies any portion of even the smallest DNA sample. Restriction of fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) allows for the cutting of DNA molecules in specific spots, and gel bands of the sequence are compared. If they are different, no genetic relationship is present. If they match, paternity is established.

Individuals can expect to provide a cheek swab as testing material, and results will be available in 5-10 working days. DNA testing is 99.999% reliable in establishing paternity, in either direction.

A few of the many companies in the UK offering home DNA test kits are: