What is an Avuncular Test?

Aunt or Uncle DNA testing determines the probability that an individual is the biological aunt or uncle of a child. This type of DNA testing is referred to as Avuncular DNA analysis.

The lab cannot perform this test if the aunt / uncle is NOT a full sibling to the alleged father in question.

The testing service typically includes the child and one aunt or uncle, but you may add more persons as needed; for instance a second child or additional parent.

The term avuncular is actually derived from avunculus, a greek word that refers to the paternal uncle. In DNA testing it is used to designate a DNA test that involves either paternal uncle or a paternal aunt. An avuncular test is used when relatives (generally aunts or uncles) want to know in a way that is scientific whether their niece and/or nephew is really their blood relative. We would always recommend a paternity test or maternity test if there is any possibility of getting hold of a DNA sample from them – these tests provide the most conclusive and accurate results. We understand however, that sometimes carrying out a paternity test or maternity test is not feasible. In such cases, relatives can confirm their genetic relationship to each other with avuncular testing. Aunt/Uncle testing is used in the place of a paternity DNA test when the alleged father is unavailable or deceased.

Results of an Avuncular Test

Avuncular testing results depend very much on how much DNA is shared between the aunt or uncle and the niece or nephew. Science assumes that a biological aunt or uncle and their niece or nephew will share 25% of their genetic material – this is however, just a bench mark. Often they can share much less genetic material and often they can share much more.

Once the samples for analysis reach the laboratory, they will extract the DNA profiles from the samples of each test participant. The laboratory then calculates an avuncular index (sometimes abbreviated as AI). The avuncular index can be either higher than 1.00 (suggesting they are truly related) or it can be below 1.00 (suggesting that they are unrelated). If it is exactly 1.00 the result is inconclusive.

Is the Alleged Father’s Sample Available?

If the alleged father’s sample is available for the test, a paternity test will provide you a more accurate result. Click here to read more about our paternity test.

General Information

Your samples are collected with buccal swabs. We will supply these inside your home kit which will be sent to you following your order. All kits arrive in unmarked envelopes in order to ensure maximum discretion.

For test participants living outside Australia, GTL can organize dispatch of kits be courier and coordinate the test on your behalf. Should be interested in having kits sent out to addresses outside Australia we suggest you contact us for a quote. Once we receive all the samples needed for the test will advise you by email.

Test results are intended to provide a statistical likelihood that gives evidence to support the tested relationship in question. Providing additional parties to be tested (for example, a known parent’s sample) or performing direct relationship testing may provide additional evidence.

We can only guarantee standard result turnaround time when testing takes place solely using oral swab samples. Using a discreet sample for your test may lead to an increase in turnaround time.


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