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What is the difference between a private paternity examination and a forensic examination? For a paternity test ordered for the purposes of the court, a cheek smear, the mother's participation and the presence of witnesses are required. Private paternity determination is less formalized, but by definition it has no probative value, although the results are equally unambiguous.

Before the differences between the two tests are described, it should be emphasized that both private tests and those performed for judicial purposes allow for the issuance of a certain and unambiguous result. In both cases, the paternity analysis itself is identical, hence the same sensitivity of the test is obtained.

What is the difference between a private paternity test and a court test?

The main difference ishow to download the material . Forensic examinations require proper sampling procedures (swabs on the inside of the cheek). It is very important that they are collected in a medical facility in the presence of witnesses who, if necessary, will confirm the identity of the people taking part in the study. It is also necessary for each of the examined persons to present a valid photo ID before taking the samples (in the case of a child, an abbreviated copy of the birth certificate is sufficient). A special court report is also prepared, containing the data of the test participants along with their signatures and the signatures of the witnesses. Additionally, photocopies of the respondents' identity documents should be attached to the report.

Testing in accordance with the court procedure is fully open to all participantsand requires the mother's participation and consent from other legal guardians of the child who are not taking part in the test. In addition to the result, an opinion of experts in the field of paternity testing, who act as court experts, is prepared.

It is also worth bearing in mind that such a formalized procedure during sampling is important from a legal point of view. On the basis of the obtained DNA analysis result, decisions are often made that turn the family's life upside down. Hence, the laboratory issuing the result and later the court must be sure about the decisions made.


Forensic paternity test - is mother examination needed?

People,who want to conduct a forensic examination often ask whether the child's mother is really necessary during the analysis. Yes, material from the mother is required for the reason that the laboratory issuing the test result should be sure that the child is related to her (this is to exclude the possible replacement of newborns in the hospital). You should also be 100% sure which child is inheriting from the mother and which from the father.

How is the private paternity determination carried out?

On the other hand, in the case of private tests, i.e. tests performed for own needs, the test execution procedure is less formalized. What does this mean?

Private Paternity Researchgives you more options when it comes to both the selection of the appropriate sample for the test and the configuration of the participants. In most cases, paternity tests do not require material from the mother to be included in the study, as an unambiguous result can be obtained on the basis of the analysis of samples from the alleged father and child. However, there are situations where, after examining only the father and the child, an ambiguous result is obtained.

When is this happening? In order to be able to rule out paternity, a discrepancy in at least 4 markers out of 24 subjects is required. If during the genetic analysis 1, 2 or 3 inconsistencies between the father and child samples were detected, this information is inconclusive for the laboratory. Such a situation requires the inclusion of material from the mother in order to be able to check whether the part of the alleles that the child shared with the father will not be taken over by the mother, and thus the exclusion of paternity will occur in at least 4 markers, allowing for an unambiguous statement of a negative paternity result. In a situation where the laboratory obtains an inconclusive result and the client is unable to include material from the mother, then an alternative analysis is carried out on a larger number of markers. Hence, studies based on a standardized number of tested markers less frequently require maternal material to be included. According to the current recommendations, tests based on the analysis of only the sample from the alleged father and child should be carried out on the basis of at least 21 genetic markers.

In principle, private tests cannot have any probative value for the court, as the material is collected without witnesses.

Samples for private examination can be taken by yourself at home. A swab on the inside of the cheek is usually used for the test. Its download is very simple and completely painless. It is enough for the person ordering the test to have a special kit that you canbuy at selected pharmacies or order with delivery to the address indicated. People who, for any reason, are concerned about taking a swab on their own can use the offer of local collection points - if the laboratory has one - or choose an offer that includes the possibility of free re-sampling of the material if additional samples need to be included in the study.

Private paternity examination - not just a cheek swab

Private tests also allow the use of other types of samples.Often people who want to perform the test face complicated family situations, as a result of which they cannot take a swab from the cheek. It is possible to perform an analysis on the basis of items belonging to a given person that could potentially contain their DNA. For example, DNA testing can be performed on hair with roots, blood stains, semen, toothbrushes, handkerchiefs, and ear buds. Paternity tests on such samples are as reliable as in the case of a cheek swab, as the DNA contained in them is identical.

Can the private paternity test be used in court?

People ordering private paternity tests do not fully know to what extent they can use the results of these tests for more formal purposes. In principle, private tests cannot have any probative value in court, as the material is collected without witnesses. Therefore, the laboratory cannot be sure that the samples are from the right people. However, apart from these assumptions, there are cases where the results of private research are used as preliminary evidence in a given court proceeding and often constitute the basis for the prosecution to initiate proceedings for denial of paternity or abolition of the maintenance obligation.

There have also been court cases where binding decisions were made precisely on the basis of private research results, if neither party raised any doubts.

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