Maternity DNA Testing in Adoption Cases

Jun 12, 2014 | Maternity, Relationship

The adoption process can become treacherous when biological relationships and parental rights are muddy. DNA maternity testing clears the waters by demonstrating whether a woman could be the biological mother of a child. Like a DNA paternity test, maternity testing compares a child’s DNA pattern with that of the alleged mother to determine how likely it is that the child has inherited the DNA from the alleged mother.
DNA test results today are both incredibly precise and solidly reliable. The industry-accepted standard of 99.99% probability for inclusion and 0% probability for exclusion helps clarify many situations in which a mother’s biological relationship is in question:

  • To confirm a birth mother’s identity when an adoptee has tracked down the person he or she believes in a biological parent
  • To prove that the person voluntarily surrendering a child for adoption is in fact the child’s biological mother
  • To confirm a biological relationship in an immigration case
  • To confirm that an embryo conceived through in vitro fertilization was implanted into the correct mother
  • To resolve a suspected mix-up in a hospital nursery

It takes three people to complete a full DNA maternity test: the child, the alleged mother and the biological father. Testing the father helps exclude his half of the child’s DNA, allowing DNA specialists to focus on comparing the other portion of the child’s genes with the alleged mother’s. If the child’s father is not available for testing, a fatherless test can be performed with a high degree of accuracy.
DNA maternity test results provide straightforward, definite answers. If the alleged mother’s DNA contains genes comparable to that of the child, she can be excluded as a biological parent with a probability of 0%. If she does share genes comparable to the child’s, the probability of maternity is usually greater than 99.99%.
Issues with DNA maternity testing are rare compared to DNA paternity testing. In the recent case of Lydia Fairchild, DNA tests found the mother’s DNA not to be a match with that of her children, not once, but an astounding three times, for all three of her children. It turns out that Fairchild had an extremely rare condition called chimerism, in which she was actually genetically a blend of cells from two separate people — in essence, she was her own twin. The cells in some parts of her body (such as the tissues used in DNA testing) and those in other tissues (including her reproductive organs) actually had different DNA.
DNA maternity testing
To ensure this degree of accuracy, DNA maternity testing must occur at facilities that are highly accredited. Your DNA testing remains completely confidential and legally secure when you use a fully accredited testing laboratory like DNA Diagnostics Center.

  • We coordinate DNA sample collection with the appropriate attorneys or clients.
  • We can handle DNA sample collection in every state in the United States. We also have extensive affiliations with laboratories worldwide for international sample collections.
  • We follow a strict chain of custody in every legal DNA testing case to ensure the official security of your results.
  • Every sample is tested twice to ensure accuracy, reviewed by one of our PhD laboratory directors, and then notarized.

Collecting DNA for maternity testing is performed with a cheek (buccal) swab. A lab professional will sweep the inside of your cheek or mouth with a special cotton swab to gather cells for testing. Buccal swabs are painless and non-invasive, and their accuracy and reliability are virtually identical to that of blood tests.
Your test samples are processed in a “chain of custody” procedure that ensures the results will stand up in court and be accepted by other government agencies. Everyone being tested for a maternity test must have their DNA samples collected at a certified facility such as a local hospital, medical office, health department or certified lab facility. Since DDC has the largest network of certified facilities in North America, finding a location convenient to all the involved parties is easy.

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