You may have encountered paternity testing through daytime television chat shows, where the crowd eagerly awaits to see who is really the father - cue the dramatic pause and then the ensuing uproar of gasps or cheers.
However, this is pretty far from reality when it comes to the actual process for Paternity testing. If you’re scouring the internet for accurate and reliable information on home Paternity DNA kits, look no further.
Today we’ll be reviewing ‘Paternity for Life’ - a home DNA Paternity Testing kit that is delivered straight to your door and is accredited worldwide by a range of governmental bodies.
What is Paternity Testing?
Paternity testing is a type of DNA testing that uses DNA profiles to indicate whether the individual in question is the biological parent of another individual.
Paternity tests not only provide essential closure for the individuals involved, but they can also be important when it comes to the rights - and legal duties - of the father.
While older methods of testing involved ABO blood group typing, analysis of of the individual’s proteins and enzymes or using human leukocyte antigen antigens, thanks to the evolution of DNA research, it is now far more simple, and a lot more convenient, to take a paternity test from the comfort of your own home.
Paternity for Life - Simple, Professional Paternity Testing at Home
Despite what you may have seen on television, the process of paternity testing is actually simple, affordable and far more discreet than you might think, thanks to home testing kits such as those offered by Paternity for Life.
Paternity for Life is a worldwide-accredited DNA lab which claims to offer “a personalised service, with laboratory scientists handling your case and communicating with you throughout the entire process.”
There is one stand-out quality of Paternity for Life, and that is that the company has connections with embassies and consulates around the world, meaning that regardless of where you are based in the world, they can facilitate DNA testing for your needs.
The company works closely with you throughout the entirety of the testing process, to offer you vital emotional, as well as technical, support.
How does it work?
The Paternity for Life test is a non-invasive Prenatal Paternity DNA test, which means it extracts cells from the inside of the mouth.
In order to find out the paternity of a child, a blood sample from the mother, and mouth swab from the alleged father, is required.
This test is simple and painless, and is mailed to your door discreetly along with the sterile swab, FTA DNA preservation card, collection information, and a prepaid postage return envelope.
Legal and non-legal options
Paternity for life offers two different options when it comes to selecting your test: a home paternity test, or a legal paternity test.
Both of these offer the same level of accuracy, however, there is a distinct difference between how the samples are collected.
- A Legal Paternity DNA test requires a chain of custody to be established, in order to confirm the identity of the person giving the sample and further oversee the process, ensuring samples are not tampered with. The samples must also be collected by an independent third party such as a medical practitioner or nurse. These measures are taken to ensure the DNA sample is documented and accounted for throughout the testing process, and to ensure that the test meets the required legal standards as per the Home Office guidelines. This allows the test results to be used in court proceedings, such as cases concerning child custody, financial support or general paternity disputes.
- Non-Legal paternity DNA tests, also known as Home Paternity DNA tests, cannot be used for legal reasons or in a court of law because the samples are not verified by a chain of custody, and therefore have no legal validity. However, this also means that no proof of identity is required and the sample can be collected without a third party present. For these reasons, a non-legal paternity DNA test cannot be upgraded to a legal DNA test by simply paying the higher fee. The purpose of this type of paternity test is simply to offer peace of mind or reassurance to the individuals involved.
Paternity for Life offers both of these options, and which one you choose is entirely up to you, though you should be aware of the differences, especially if there is a chance you could be involved in a legal dispute or court case to do with the paternity test in question.
A Legal Paternity DNA test costs more than a Non-Legal one because you are paying for the extra services involved to ensure your results are court-approved and legally admissible.
These can then be used for a range of legal disputes, including child support and custody cases, inheritance disputes and immigration purposes.
This is the scientific part, where things can get a little confusing. Basically, every person has 2 copies of 22 chromosomes in our body.
When an embryo is formed, one chromosome is passed on from the mother, and one is passed on from the father.
There are also the sex chromosomes, with XX indicating a girl, and XY a boy, which along with the 44 chromosomes passed on from our parents, equals 46 chromosomes all together in the embryo.
In order to establish paternity, DNA scientists look for markers at specific places on the child’s chromosomes, and then analyse these to match them with those of the mother’s and alleged father’s.
The markers will have a number indicating the size of the marker, and when a match is found, these are called Matching Alleles. Because half of the child’s DNA comes from the mother, the other half will match with the biological father.
If it does not match up with the father’s, the man who has provided the sample is not the biological father of the child.
Paternity for Life test 23 special markers and use matches between the child and alleged father to determine paternity. In order to be identified as the biological father, all 23 markers need to match up.
Two Possible Outcomes
Paternity for Life DNA paternity test provides two potential outcomes, and these are pretty clear to interpret:
- The first potential outcome is that your test result will confirm that the person tested “is not the biological parent” of the child. If the report excludes the man who has provided a sample as the biological father, it will show a minimum of 2 or more of the numbers in the Matching Allele column that are left blank. This also results in a probability of parentage of 0%.
- The second potential result is that the alleged father is “accepted as the biological parent”, and will therefore be declared as “not excluded” as the biological father. It will also include a Probability of Paternity percentage which will indicate the number of individuals in the population that would need to be tested who could potentially have a DNA profile which matches the tested person’s.
Probability of Parentage
DNA testing is currently the most advanced and accurate method of determining parentage.
In a DNA paternity test, the result is provided through a ‘probability of parentage’ which ranges from 0% - meaning the person in question is not related to the child - to 99.9% which indicates that the sample does in fact belong to the likely biological parent.
Paternity for Life provides a Probability of Paternity, and a percentage greater than 99.999% indicates that there is a very high chance of the alleged father being the biological father of the child.
That said, the company stresses that it is impossible to prove this 100% as there is always a chance that another man in the population possesses DNA types to match the child; the chances of this are remote however, but the company has to stress this anyway.
Relationship DNA Services
Even though the name of the company suggests that Paternity for Life solely offers Paternity tests, they actually offer a host of other DNA tests, too.
In the case that an alleged parent is absent or deceased and therefore cannot be tested, Paternity for Life can offer testing for two people who share common relatives, such as siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and so forth.
This is done through Extended Relationship Analysis – where a DNA profile is created for each of the persons who are being tested.
A statistical model and database are then used to compare the two profiles and calculate the likelihood of them being related.
Maternity DNA Testing
Paternity for Life can also carry out Maternity testing.
These are used for peace of mind to determine the biological mother of a child and may be used in the case of adoption or a suspected hospital mix-up.
They may also be required for peace of mind testing if a child was born to a surrogate mother and the donor wants to confirm that the child is biologically theirs, and not the surrogate’s, or if a woman has undergone IVF treatment and wants to confirm that a child was conceived with her embryo.
Immigration DNA Testing
Paternity for Life also offers DNA tests that can be used to determine the biological relationship between a child and a mother or father, when they are seeking to obtain a British passport or visa.
Like any DNA test which is to be used for legal reasons, these are performed to the highest standards to ensure accuracy, and can only be performed by certain certified labs.
Paternity for Life is ISO 17025 accredited and is recommended by the Ministry of Justice on their list of laboratories that may carry out such parentage tests.
Things to Consider
DNA testing is currently the most accurate technology for determining paternity, and can give you, and the alleged father of the child, peace of mind.
Due to the fact that Paternity DNA tests are often used in legal disputes, In the UK, the Ministry of Justice accredits bodies that can carry out paternity tests, which is why Paternity for Life guarantees high levels of professionalism and accuracy when processing your test.
As we explained above, the test is available in a legal and non-legal version, and the accuracy of these are the same, the only difference is the process used in the legal version to eliminate any opportunities for tampering.
Some DNA testing services can involve waiting for weeks on end to receive the result, which can cause further anxiety for those involved.
One thing we really like about Paternity for Life is the efficiency of their process. How long the process takes from start to finish depends on ensuring you have obtained written permission from everyone who is providing a DNA sample, however, once the laboratory has received your samples, your results will generally be available within 3 to 5 days.
95% of clients receive theirs in less than 5 days, to make the process as pain-free and efficient as possible, and Paternity for Life also offers express options for an additional cost, which are convenient if you need a test at short notice.
It’s important to note that the cost of a Paternity Test differs depending on whether you need a legal, or non-legal, version. If you’re going to be using the results as evidence in court, don’t be tempted to cut corners because the non-legal version is cheaper - you won’t be able to use it!
That said, the cost of Paternity for Life is far more affordable than others on the market, as you can purchase a non-legal one for under £100, and a legal one for just shy of £300.
Paternity law refers to the legal relationship between the biological father and his biological, or adopted, children.
The law is in place to provide clarity around issues of legitimacy, custody in the case of separation or divorce, and the child’s rights to inheritance and the putative father’s title or surname. It also provides guidance on the biological father’s obligations to provide child support, even if they are not present in the child’s life or home.
If you plan on using a paternity test in a court dispute for any of these reasons, you must ensure that you purchase a Legal DNA Paternity test so that the identities of the sample are confirmed and that a third party ensures the samples are not tampered with at any point during the testing process.
It is important to understand that while a Non-Legal DNA Paternity test is no less accurate than a Legal one, it is not able to be used in a court of law, as it has not been subject to the same legal standards.
Human Tissue Act
You may have heard of the Human Tissue Act while researching DNA Paternity testing. In the UK, the Human Tissue Act of 2004 protects the rights of those providing samples and means that the removal, storage, use and disposal of any human tissue is regulated by the act.
Under the act, the person providing a DNA sample must provide their written consent for it to be tested, and they must be made fully aware of how their sample will be used.
It’s important that you abide by this act as failure to do so could result in up to 3 years imprisonment, a fine, or both. Because of this act, Paternity for Life will only process your DNA request if they receive written consent from all of the persons providing a sample.
DNA Paternity Testing can be an emotional process, particularly if you find yourself in a legal dispute where it needs to be referred to, and used as evidence, repeatedly throughout a trial.
Paternity for Life stands out when it comes to customer service, as there are knowledgeable, empathetic staff on hand to answer your queries from start to finish.
Because of the toll DNA testing can take on your emotional health, Paternity for Life also recommends a Genetic Counsellor to provide support throughout the process. This is to help you understand the genetic testing process, make sense of your results, and learn how to move forward once you have the answers you need.
Highlights of the Test and Company
- Professional, friendly service with good customer service
- Accredited by NATA and ILAC, and are an ISO 17025 rated lab, which is an internationally recognised standard of quality.
- Efficient service with an express option available if necessary
- Discreet delivery; package does not show company logo
- Non-legal and legal options available
- Easy to use process
When it comes to paternity tests, quality assurance and accuracy is of the utmost importance because the result of the test can have a life-changing impact on those involved.
Paternity for Life is accredited worldwide and provides tests that can be used in the court of law. Therefore, when you purchase a test from them you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands.
Not only this, but their accessible, friendly customer service is available to assist you from start to finish, and will happily answer any queries you may have.
The whole testing process with Paternity for Life can be completed within a week thanks to the efficiency of the company, so that you can move on with your life, regardless of the result.
The reasonable pricing system also means you’re not paying through the roof and you can rest assured that every penny is going towards a service that maintains the highest quality standards at all times.