Which sample is best for DNA paternity testing?

DNA sample options
DNA paternity testing

There are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings when it comes to DNA paternity testing and DNA sample collection. Weather the sample collection is clinical or done at home, there are a few things worth clearing up. First of all, the most common questions to arise ask which sample is the best to collect and which sample will give the most accurate results. The answer is actually more simple than you would expect. There is no “Best” or “most accurate” sample. In other words, they are ALL the best and most accurate samples. What it comes down to is that DNA does not change within the human body. A person’s DNA will stay the same for their entire lifetime. The DNA in a person’s blood, hair, saliva, or skin cells is exactly the same. Therefore, a hair sample is no better or worse that a cheek swab or blood sample. Also, there would be no benefit to send in blood for paternity testing rather than a forensic sample such as a toothbrush or chewing gum.

When performing a DNA paternity test, one of the first steps is to generate a individual DNA profile for each person being tested. For example, a paternity test for an alleged father and child is being conducted. They submit a buccal cheek swab for the child and toothbrush for the alleged father. The lab will take these samples and generate an individual DNA profile for each person. As long as there is enough DNA on each sample to generate a full profile for each person, the paternity test can proceed with the same level of accuracy as if they had both submitted blood samples. It all depends on the quality of the sample as opposed to the source. At DNA Plus, we try to educate our clients on the difference and shift focus to the quality of the collection versus the sample type itself. Anybody can collect a hair sample. However, collecting a hair sample with enough DNA to generate a full individual profile will make the DNA paternity testing process a smooth one.