DNA testing is the most reliable and conclusive way of confirming the biological relationship between two individuals. The most commonly used test is the paternity test, which will confirm whether or not an alleged father is the biological father of a child. A paternity test is very straightforward, with samples being collected from an oral swab and sent off to a lab for analysis; however, in cases where the alleged father is deceased, what options are available to those left behind with unanswered questions?
What Are The Options?
Whilst it may seem that the truth will lie with the deceased, the reality is that through advances in DNA technology, there are now several options available to confirm a father’s identity. One of them is through DNA Relationship Testing, which is similar to DNA paternity testing but involves testing close members of his family to confirm various types of relationships. Tests can be performed between siblings, uncle/aunt and niece/nephew and grandparents.
However, there are other ways of performing a paternity test, and the three tests cases below will explain how one can handle different situations.
Case 1 – Recently Deceased
If the alleged father has just recently passed away, and it is still possible to obtain biological material from the body (usually this period is not more than one week from time of death), it is recommended that the Client try to obtain hair samples with root as well as fingernail cuttings. A technically qualified laboratory would be able to extract DNA from these samples and use the DNA to perform the paternity comparison.
Case 2 – Available Samples
In the event that the body has already been buried, it is possible to collect indirect samples; for example items that the deceased may have recently used, which may still contain traces of his DNA. A toothbrush, or used tissue, possibly a cigarette butt, are all likely to contain DNA material which may be used for analysis, however the success of extracting DNA from such samples varies greatly and may not be enough to provide the lab with.
Case 3 – Exhuming The Body
In extreme cases it is possible to exhume the remains of a body for the purpose of extracting a DNA sample. In cases where the body has been buried for a number of years, and only a skeleton remains, it is recommend that a bone fragment from the shaft of the femur and/or the humerus weighing approximately 2 grams and/or two teeth per individual are obtained.
There are, obviously, costs and difficulties involved in this last case, and it is recommended to seek advice from an expert in this field, for example a forensic pathologist, before sending off to a lab for analysis.
We also recommend that since some of this testing requires advanced DNA forensic testing methodologies and also a great deal of experience, then you refer to experienced companies like easyDNA. Through our accredited forensic testing laboratory we can provide you a service that will guarantee the best possible results.
Visit this page if you want to know more about our home DNA Paternity Test.