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FAQs on Paternity tests

  • A paternity test is a DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) test done to determine whether a particular male is the biological father of a particular child or not. A complete paternity test must test samples from the alleged father, the biological mother, and the child.
What is DNA?
  • DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) is a molecule that carries our Genetic code. It is unique to each of us, except for Monozygotic twins, whose DNA profiles are identical.
  • Every cell in the body contains a complete set of DNA, which is inherited from both our biological parents (half from each parent). Generally, one’s DNA is the same in all these cells.
What does a paternity test tell you?
  • In general, people have unique DNA profiles, except for identical twins, whose DNA profiles are the same. Differences in DNA sequences or patterns are used in DNA parentage and kinship testing. These patterns of repeated DNA sequences are termed "short tandem repeats" (STRs).
  • A DNA paternity test typically analyses between 16 and 24 specific locations of these (STRs) across the Genome to look for matches between the alleged father and child. All markers must reflect a match, or else the alleged father is not the biological father. Each match receives a Paternity Index value indicating the strength of the match; "the more unique the match, the higher the index."
  • The probability of paternity testing is calculated as the product of all the Paternity Index Values. A match of more than 99.99% is required for a conclusive result that the alleged father CANNOT BE EXCLUDED as the biological father.
  • It is important to note that any two people (even if totally unrelated) can have at least some matches, but a "father-child" relationship will definitely show matches at all locations.
Why should we need to test the biological mother’s sample for a paternity test?
  • A complete paternity test must include all samples from the alleged father, mother and child to confirm a true match.
  • A person gets half of their DNA from their mother and half from their father.
  • By testing the biological mother, we can see which half of the DNA, she contributed to her child. Once this is determined, the remaining DNA contribution (the other half) is only compared to the alleged father’s DNA.
  • Without the biological mother's sample, a paternity test may falsely include an alleged father OR result in an inconclusive result due to insufficient statistics.
  • If you would like to do a paternity test, you would need to book an appointment at our laboratory. We would need to complete the test by collecting your DNA sample. This process takes approx. 45 mins.
  • Only specially trained, and competent staff at Pathologist Lancet Kenya are authorised to collect samples for parentage tests.
  • We only accept proof of an original copy of the national ID document issued by the government, or you could present a valid passport along with the birth certificate of the baby. These are accepted as proof of identity.
  • It is advisable to test both parties, so the mother and father need to be present together for us to do the DNA sample collection.
  • Yes, we do need consent from both parents or their legal guardians. They MUST agree to perform the test by providing a written consent as proof that a sample can be taken and analysed in the laboratory. In the case where the mother is a minor child (under the age of 18), she must provide her consent through an affidavit or a court order.
What type of sample does Pathologist Lancet Kenya need to collect for a paternity test?
  • Almost ALL the cells of one’s body contain DNA. Pathologists Lancet Kenya Laboratories’ utilise a blood sample to analyse the DNA and confirm the test results.
  • A blood transfusion or bone marrow transplant can invalidate the result of a blood sample based parentage test. Always disclose a recent procedure to the laboratory staff at your appointment.
How do I receive my parental test report? Is the report delivered to me?
  • Parentage test results, are strictly confidential. Printed reports can be collected from any Pathologist Lancet Kenya branch, but only by the tested party/parties (Or their guardians) and with a valid copy of the original ID document.
  • Results can only be delivered to third parties if there is prior written authorisation from the tested parties or by a court order authorising them.
Are Pathologists Lancet Kenya paternity test results legally admissible?
  • Pathologists Lancet Kenya Laboratories’ parentage reports are admissible for legal proceedings.
  • A full chain of custody trail is available for the Pathologists Lancet Kenya paternity test from sample collection through to report issuing and can be used to legally defend the result generated by the laboratory.
  • Chain of custody refers to a system of controls and procedures that document the progress of a sample from the point of collection through the laboratory to its disposal after the results have been accepted and delivered.
  • A full chain of custody trail is available for the Pathologists Lancet Kenya paternity test from sample collection through to report issuing and can be used to legally defend the result generated by the laboratory.
  • The integrity of the samples and data is maintained, and samples will NOT be processed if there is evidence of tampering before arrival at the testing Laboratory.
  • High quality standards are set and observed throughout the processing of parentage test cases.

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