Paternity tests are intended to help family members verify biological relationships between alleged fathers and their potential children. Taking a test is usually an effortless process, but it can get a little tricky if the alleged father is deceased and not available to participate in paternity testing.
If you search the internet for answers about paternity tests when the alleged father is not available, you may come across information about using ‘special specimens’ in place of the alleged father’s cheek-swab sample. This is possible, however, it can be somewhat expensive, and there are no guarantees that a DNA profile can be extracted, therefore causing an inconclusive result.
What is a special specimen in paternity testing?
Special specimens are sometimes used in a paternity test in place of a cheek-swab sample that cannot be obtained from a participant. Special specimens are considered anything (other than a specialized cheek swab) which is used to extract DNA for paternity testing. Examples of this can be hair (with root attached), toothbrush, regular cotton swabs, or tissue samples of any kind.
IDENTIGENE does require consent for testing any DNA sample. If the alleged father is deceased, special specimens can be used with consent from the next of kin or someone with power of attorney. If the special specimen comes from someone under the age of 18, there must be legal-guardian consent. Keep in mind there is an additional cost to test special specimens due to the extra processes they go through.
When would you use special specimens in paternity testing?
Special specimens may be used in paternity testing; however, your IDENTIGENE client support specialist will assist in determining if other relationship tests, such as grandparent DNA tests or sibling DNA tests, would work as an alternative. If there is a relative of the alleged father who can be tested as a replacement, that may be a better option. This is because of the cost involved with special specimens, and there is no guarantee we will be able to extract enough DNA for paternity test results to be conclusive. However, if it is the only option, our team of expert scientists and laboratory technicians will do everything they can to get the answers you seek.
Please contact our Client Support Center at 888-404-4363 if you have additional questions about special-specimen testing.