Wanting to know the truth about who is your biological father is something every child has a right to know. Children aren’t the only ones who may have questions. Often grandparents or other family members may also have reason to suspect a grandchild or niece or nephew may not be a biological relative. Even though the DNA testing technology exists today and is the best way to get a conclusive answer backed by science, getting DNA samples to test may not be as easy to get.
A suspected father may be unwilling to take a direct paternity test or unavailable or even deceased. Or maybe it might be awkward or insensitive to imply to your mother or father that you think your mother might have been unfaithful and now are wanting to do a paternity DNA test instead of taking her word for it. There are many reasons why doing direct paternity DNA testing may not be an option.
There are, however, a variety of alternative methods of determining paternity outside of a direct test between a suspected father and child.
A child receives 50% of his or her DNA from the mother and 50% from the father. This means that 25% of a childs DNA is shared with a grandparent and 25% with an aunt or uncle. Testing a grandparent or an aunt or uncle will show if there is are enough matching markers to confirm a relationship. This test can also be used between siblings to determine if they share one or both parents. These tests can be performed with conclusive results without needing to include the parents DNA. These are all alternate ways to determine paternity.
The Y-chromosome, also known as the Y-STR or also Y-DNA test is a test that can be done between two males to determine if they share the same ancestral paternal line. Since the Y-chromosome is only passed from father to son and remains relatively unchanged generation to generation testing a grandparent or uncle could confirm the same paternal line, however, it won’t distinguish between brothers so if the suspected father had a brother they would both share the same Y-chromosome passed on from their father and if the brother was actually the father rather than the suspected father there would be no way to tell specifically with this test which brother was the actual father.
Usually the most preferred alternate methods of confirming paternity are either grandparent, sibling or avuncular DNA testing.