Paternity verification is usually necessary in different situations like getting state benefits or for inheritance reasons. The paternity DNA test is done to prove that the child in question is really the son or daughter of a particular man. The process is relatively easy when both the parent and child in question are available, since all that is required is extraction of DNA samples from both of them. However, determining paternity if alleged father is deceased can at times be problematic as the father is not available for a DNA sample to be extracted. This will apply all the more if he has been buried.
Determining paternity if alleged father is deceased requires that there be tissue samples from the deceased father or other materials that can provide DNA samples to compare with the child in question. If you are carrying out the DNA test within the UK, you should click here to read more about how certain rules and laws impinge on the test as the use of any human tissue is regulated in the UK and the importance of knowing these laws (namely the Human Tissue Act).
One of the ways that such human tissue samples can be obtained is through procuring a formaldehyde fixed tissue sample, stored blood samples or using embedded tissues in paraffin blocks which were extracted prior to the alleged father passing on. Such samples can be obtained from the hospital, if the deceased father was hospitalised before his death. This is facilitated by the fact that hospitals usually extract such components from their patients for medical examinations and the samples are usually stored even after the patient gets well or passes on. Hence, those seeking to authenticate paternity can request for such samples to be handed over from the hospital involved. Visit our forensic page for more information and details about the types of samples used in cases where the alleged father is dead.
In some situations such samples from the hospital might not be available due to various reasons. If this is the case, then samples from the child can be matched with those of close relatives to the deceased father through a process known as relationship testing. Some of the relatives whose DNA can be extracted include, grandparents, siblings and other known children of the deceased man. Samples from close family members are admissible in paternity authentication since biological family members usually have similar genes. Hence, the DNA extracted from family members should match that of the child in question if they are a biological son or daughter of the alleged, deceased father.
The process of paternity verification by means of DNA testing family members requires testing of close paternal relatives. If grandparents are involved, both grandparents should be tested, as using just one might not provide a result. This is to reduce any error margins and also increases the probability of yielding the correct result.