How precise is DNA paternity testing?
January 28, 2014 7:49 AM Subscribe
Consider this hypothetical scenario: My father is dead, as are both his parents. There are no samples from any of my direct paternal ancestors. The only source of DNA from my father's side of the family is from three of my father's living siblings. Using those samples, can DNA testing prove (to the satisfaction of the courts) that I am my father's child, and not simply someone probably related to the family somehow?
posted by Naberius to Science & Nature (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've tried to answer this for myself on DNA labs' web sites, and this is exactly the point where they stop saying "Yes! We can prove or disprove paternity based on these samples!" and start talking in weasel words.
Bonus Questions: Would paternity be harder to prove if the lab can only get samples from one or two of those siblings? And would it be useful to have a DNA sample from my mother?
To repeat, this is hypothetical. I'm not really trying to prove my parentage. Just trying to understand what is and isn't possible with DNA testing.