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DNA Testing: When the Alleged Father is not Available?

Paternity Testing without the alleged father’s participation

There are several options available for DNA testing when an alleged father is unwilling, deceased, or unable due to other reasons, to participate in a DNA paternity test. This article will help provide answers to questions you might have and help decide which test is the best option for your circumstances.

Non-Standard Specimens

Testing of non-standard samples, that may contain the DNA of the alleged father who is missing or not willing to test, with the buccal samples provided by the mother and child can establish a probability of paternity. Although, this type of testing is not court admissible and is for informational purposes only.

DNA testing can be performed with a toothbrush, hair, nail clippings, and more. The list of non-standard samples that can be tested is quite extensive and we work with individuals to determine the best sample possible for each situation. The non-standard specimen has a viability study conducted to determine if DNA can be extracted from it to be used in a comparison test. If DNA is viable then the paternity test is conducted to determine the probability of paternity.

DNA testing with a Deceased Alleged Father

If the deceased had an autopsy performed by the medical examiner, a sample (usually a blood spot card) will be preserved at the medical examiner’s office. This sample can be requested by the next of kin and sent to the laboratory for testing. The medical examiner’s office will complete necessary paperwork and ship samples to uphold the chain of custody for legal testing. For recently deceased individuals, funeral home directors, and professional collectors can collect specimens for testing and uphold the requirements for legal court-admissible testing.

Testing Paternal Grandparents

To have the best chance of a conclusive result, this option requires the participation of both paternal grandparents and the mother of the child. It can be performed with one grandparent and mother of the child, or both grandparents without the mother, however the percentage of establishing the relationship between the child and potential grandparents will be lower. The results of this test will only show the likelihood of the relationship of the child with the grandparent/s. This test has a non-legal and legal option.

Siblingship Test

Another option is to test the child’s DNA against the DNA of a sibling, using a Siblingship Test or Half-Siblingship Test, when a sample for the alleged father cannot be obtained. This test can determine the biological relationship between the two individuals. The Siblingship test is used when the siblings are known to have the same mother but are unsure of the father. The Half-Siblingship test is used if the siblings know they have different mothers but suspect they may share a father. Again, if the mother can provide a sample, it is highly encouraged as her sample improves the chance of obtaining conclusive results. This test has a non-legal and legal option.

Avuncular Test

Avuncular testing is when a child’s DNA sample is compared to the alleged father's siblings (the child's alleged aunt or uncle). Avuncular testing is a second-degree relationship test and like the others a mother’s sample is recommended to improve the chance of obtaining conclusive results. This test has a non-legal and legal option.

Relationship Testing

You may be surprised to learn the many options available to establish paternity in the absence of the alleged father. Relationship testing is a useful tool, in these situations, but to improve the chances of obtaining conclusive results, and additional testing not being needed, the mother of the child is highly encouraged to participate in testing.