The use of DNA maternity tests is not as high as paternity tests, however there are instances where it is necessary to prove the biological relationship between a mother and a child. Working in precisely the same way as a DNA paternity test, a maternity test compares the DNA of a child with that of the alleged mother.
A DNA Maternity test has many uses, from establishing maternity in an adoption case, to proving a relationship in an immigration case.
Many children, when they find out they have been adopted, feel the need to locate their natural, or “birth” parents. Whether it is to solve identity issues, for medical reasons, or simply out of curiosity, most will attempt to track down their biological parents. In certain cases, if a lot of time has passed and documentation no longer exists, the only scientific way to confirm a biological relationship is through a DNA test.
For people born through donor conception, it is also possible for children to be reunited with their biological parents through a DNA test. New government legislation in the UK has removed the option of donors remaining anonymous, so it is now possible for their offspring to know who they are and contact them. The reasons for these reunions could be for personal reasons, but there are also medical reasons for a child or parent wanting to find their biological relations, for instance if an organ is needed, a match must be made and more often than not, these are best coming from a parent or sibling.
Immigration departments are also using DNA tests as part of the application process concerning visas and citizenship. In cases where it is required to prove that a biological relationship exists between people, a DNA immigration test is the best method of confirmation. Previously, immigration applications have been very slow to process, but thanks to DNA tests now confirming a relationship with scientific certainty, they can now be completed much quicker and with more accuracy.
The test would begin by looking at the 24 different DNA markers in the DNA of each person participating in the test. We all have a pair of each of these markers, one being inherited from the biological mother and one being inherited from the biological father. The test would then make comparisons of these markers between the mother and the child. A child’s markers are made up of 50% from its mother and 50% from its father.
It is just as accurate to conduct the test without a DNA sample from the father, with a laboratory simply performing the same exact test as that of a paternity test to reach the required accuracy level to confirm the relationship. A laboratory will not report a result unless there is at least a 99% probability that the possible mother is or isn’t the biological mother of the child.
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