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Can you do DNA test when alleged fathers are related?
Created On
Friday, April 3, 2009
Last Modified On
Friday, April 3, 2009
Last Modified By
In paternity cases where there is more than one alleged father in question, often times the men are relatives. Sometimes it may be that the men are brothers, father and son, or cousins. So, when a paternity test is to be performed, one may wonder how the close relationship of the alleged fathers may affect the test results. The closer the relationship, like in the case of two (full) brothers or a father and son, the more likely it is that a false inclusion result could occur. A false inclusion would occur when testing of a non-father results in a probability of paternity of >99%. Close relatives can have very similar DNA profiles, which can lead to a false inclusion result in a paternity test case with two close male relatives that are alleged fathers of the same child. However, by testing both male relatives (or all male relatives, if there are more than two) that could be a child’s biological father, based on circumstance, and the child’s mother, it is highly likely that only one man, the actual biological father, will generate a probability of paternity of >99% (most likely much higher, even). If after testing all men and the child’s mother, if more than one man produced a probability of paternity of >99%, extended testing of additional markers could be performed, which should then certainly identify the true father.

It is important that test participants disclose this kind of information to the laboratory when they initiate a test. When the laboratory is not made aware of multiple alleged fathers and the fact that they are related, a false inclusion result could possibly be reported and the suggestion for further testing to accurately identify the father would not be made.

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