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Paternity Fraud: Your Top 3 Questions Answered

Jan 2, 2018 | AABB DNA Testing, Paternity, Science and Technology

Paternity Fraud - Top 3 Questions Answered 
 

Because DDC is a highly-accredited and trusted paternity-testing lab, we handle large numbers of customer questions every week via phone call, email, and social media. We sometimes get inquiries about the possibility of paternity fraud, especially when a news story on the subject pops up. Here are the top three questions we get asked, along with their answers.

1. Paternity Fraud: What if the mother submits her own DNA and says it’s the father’s? Does that affect results? 

ANSWER: No.

In order to manipulate results in the hope of getting a “positive” conclusion on a paternity test, a mother may try to submit her own DNA and pass it off as the alleged father’s. If this type of paternity fraud is attempted, it is caught immediately at the lab level and results will not be issued. For all paternity tests, our lab includes the amelogenin gene in order to verify the gender of all participants, including the alleged father, child, and the mother (if she also opts to participate). Additionally, if the mother participates as herself in the test, but also submits her own samples as the alleged father’s, the two profiles would be identical. The DNA profiles for two separate people can never be the same unless they are identical twins, so the lab would immediately suspend testing and request new samples.


LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO UNDERSTAND PATERNITY TEST RESULTS >


2. Paternity Fraud: What if the alleged father switches his samples with someone else’s? Does that affect results? 

ANSWER: Yes.

When doing an at-home test, a possible father may commit paternity fraud by swabbing someone else’s cheeks and submitting that man’s DNA as if it were his own. This can definitely affect results, since the integrity of the samples has been compromised. If the possible father actually is the biological father of the child being tested, the report would nevertheless show a 0% probability of paternity since it was not his DNA that was tested. Keep in mind that a mother could also swab someone else and try to pass off the sample as her child’s, and that’s also fraud.

This is why DDC does not put names of participants on at-home tests and also why results of at-home testing are not court-admissible—the participants’ identities (and therefore the identity of their DNA) cannot be absolutely verified.

What you can do to prevent this type of fraud: We always give two recommendations.

  1. If you cannot trust a participant to be honest, insist on being in the same room when doing DNA collection and watch each other swab cheeks and seal those swabs in the kit envelopes. Then, go together to the post office to mail them. Being each other’s witnesses can definitely mitigate the possibility of fraud while giving everyone greater peace of mind.
  2. If you live in different towns or states and witnessing each other is not possible, it’s best to err on the safe side and pay a little extra for a legal paternity test collection. With this type of test, all participants go to an approved facility to have their DNA collected—wherever they live. The approved DNA collector verified IDs, takes photos of all participants, witnesses DNA collection, and ensures samples are sent to the lab without having been tampered with.

Paternity Fraud: Can someone alter their DNA by eating or drinking before swabbing their cheeks?

ANSWER: No.

A person attempting to commit paternity fraud may eat or drink something prior to swabbing, with the hope of affecting results. Kit instructions advise to not eat, drink, or smoke for one hour prior to swabbing cheeks for testing. It’s not because the DNA could “change” by putting something in the mouth, but rather, because the quality of the sample could be affected. DNA cannot be changed by eating or drinking, but a swab contaminated with baby formula or food residue may be too difficult to extract DNA from. If this happens, testing is suspended and no report is issued until the customer can submit new samples. It’s an inconvenience for the customer since it requires extra testing time, but it doesn’t affect results at all.

Final Thoughts about Paternity Fraud

Since 1993, DDC has been providing trusted and accurate paternity testing services—for both peace-of-mind customers and those who need answers for court. We run every test twice, and you can be sure results are accurate for the samples we’ve been provided. We do everything we can on our end to stop paternity fraud dead in its tracks, and encourage customers to do their due diligence as well. It’s the wise and cautious thing to do!

Don’t hesitate to call us at 800-929-0847: We’re here to help.

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Do you have questions or comments about this topic? Share in the comments and we’ll answer.

 

30 Comments

  1. Dallas

    Public school today as a father / courts DNA lab wife fights for another test she refuses to test my swab remained in this phlebotomy Plus for a week waiting for her to bring the child in for his swap test comes back on the father but I just found out did she went to school at that lab to become a phlebotomist and she work for that lab as a phlebotomist so she had access to my sample for a week also I understand a father only has 50% chance of proving he’s not the father without the mother’s DNA is this true and this happened in 1999

    Reply
    • DDC

      Hi, Dallas. No, it’s not true that there’s only a 50% chance of getting conclusive results without the mother’s DNA. In fact, in most cases it’s not required.

      Reply
  2. Victoria

    My daughters father is a well connected attorney who took a paternity test that was state issued and the test came back that he is not her father. We both know that he is. We were engaged and planned my daughters conception. My fear is that he manipulated the test by one of his connections in the lab. How is this possible?

    Reply
    • DDC

      Hi, Victoria. Since it was a legal paternity test with strict chain-of-custody protocol in place, it’s highly unlikely that he could have manipulated the test. That’s why results from these types of tests are court-admissible.

      Reply
      • Annette

        Come I have a question do you have to have the mother in order to get and fake a DNA test or can it be done with just daughter and father and also can hou swab a presumed aunt on fathers side to take a DNA knowing his sister is fairly his sister biological and theother lives way out in las Vegas so it would be hard to get a swab from her to do a at home dna test trying to do this she to my brothers 2 ND wife insist the girl is his kid and he cheated on her 30 years ago so I would rather get a fast and put that dog to sleep so my brother can finally now he’s sick dying with copd and keeps getting accuse of it please inform me the best way to do it me and the child live in the same state/ town

        Reply
        • DDC

          Hi, Annette. Yours is a complicated case, so I recommend you call our experts directly at 800-681-7162 (M-F, 8 am to 8 pm Eastern) to talk things through. There is no obligation and the consultation is completely free.

          Reply
    • Lea

      Hello Victoria. I am going thru something similar. Long story short. A man who I know is my daughters father, finally reluctantly got a test, but i wasn’t there, I do not put it past him to get a fake id for someone else to take the test, i know he did something to manipulate results n I would only accept the results if I physically was with him when he got the test done but I wasn’t. I dont know what to do or how to go about it. I haven’t seen him in almost 20 years so I can’t even say for sure if that’s his pic that was attached

      Reply
      • Robert

        Is it possible to get a copy of the pictures taken at the lab to make sure it was done accurately

        Reply
        • DDC

          Robert, if you tested with DDC you would need to call us to see if it is a possibility in your case: 800-831-1906

          Reply
  3. Ann

    Can a father swab is mouth for him self and them swab is mouth for the baby to get a positive test

    Reply
    • DDC

      Hi, Ann. No, the lab will see that the DNA data for the father is the exact same one as for the one that should be the baby’s. They’ll suspend testing and ask for new samples. A father and child share 50% of the same DNA, but not all of it.

      Reply
  4. Linda

    We found a Ancestry DNA Match on my sons profile that Match the half sister of the man I had DNA tested in 1997.I was in SD and son and We went together and had our DNA test .The accused Father was in Alabama for his test It was a court ordered test.Me the Mothers (test was Id drivers licence test) the Father was also the same I’d Drivers licence .It came back as a 0% he was the Father. It’s now 22 years later we matched to a half sister on Ancestry and to a full sister of his father who passed away in 2010. The full sister (Fathers) was a 99.987% Match . What can we do to find out where the mistake was made or perhaps even fraud because the State of South Dakota sent him child support order of $ 388.00 per month plus all back pay 17 years and a hospital bill of over $100,000.00 and DNA test didn’t happen for almost 5 mo later.

    Reply
    • DDC

      Hi, Linda. If you suspect fraud, you should contact a family-law attorney. If there’s another close relative of the alleged father who’s willing to test again, that’s an option too.

      Reply
    • Lea

      Hello Linda
      Plz let me know how this ends and what u think happened that it said he wasn’t, but u know now he is
      I’m going thru something similar and I had the thought that my alleged baby dad had a fake ID made that said his name, but had someone else’s picture. All he would have to do when results came would b to take a Polaroid of himself n swap it with whoever had the fake ID. He was the one who got the results, not me, he took.pics of the paperwork m sent to me. I fully believe he did something to manipulate results

      Reply
  5. Helena

    What would happen if you took the wrong child in for an ordered DNA test?

    Reply
    • DDC

      Hi, Helena. For a legal test, IDs are checked and photographs are taken in order to identify the child who is supposed to be tested.

      Reply
  6. Becky

    Hi there! Is there possible legal consequences if a father submits someone else’s DNA to ensure the test says negative, when he knows that he is the true biological father in order to avoid providing child support ?

    Reply
    • DDC

      Hi, Becky. When a legal paternity test is performed, all participants’ IDs are checked and DNA collection is supervised in order to prevent this type of fraud.

      Reply
      • Lea

        Alright I have a question. My alleged baby dad, paid for the paternity test. I brought my minor daughter to have herself tested, but since I didn’t pay n he didn’t say for me to get a copy, the results just went to him n then he took pics of paperwork n sent to me. Since my daughter is a minor, can I call the lab where we tested to be sent the results as well.? Also any reason why it would take 4 months? He just sent me the results 2 days ago n the test was done feb.5th, something just isn’t right.

        Reply
        • DDC

          Hi, Lea. Since you didn’t test with DDC, I can’t really give you an answer. I suggest you contact the lab where you tested and see what they can do for you.

          Reply
  7. Jessica

    What happen if the father puts 2 dna on the swab would that mess the dna results up.

    Reply
    • DDC

      Hi, Jessica. If the lab detects two separate DNA profiles on a single swab, testing is suspended, no results are issued, and test participants are asked to submit new samples.

      Reply
  8. Robert

    can my wife call the dna lab pretending that she is been treatened or some other made up story and ask for a fake result? she told me she called to see if “the lab was opened” and she told me that the place told her that it will take about 10 days to receive the samples. i did the swabbing for me and my son and sealed it and mailed it myself but now i feel scared that she interfered with the future results… it’s just a question that is been bothering me since she told me she “called them”….

    Reply
    • DDC

      Hi, Robert. I cannot speak for other laboratories, but DDC never issues fake results.

      Reply
  9. Dani

    My friend falsified a test to say positive and the alleged father found out. He is telling her that the lab were the DNA test was taken is going to file charges against her, will they actually do that?

    Reply
    • DDC

      Hi, Dani. I’ve never heard of such a thing.

      Reply
  10. Timothy

    Is it possible for the mother to have someone alter the DNA paperwork? I assumed that I was the father, paid for the pregnancy and support for 5 months. Then out of the blue I’m told that I’m not the father because a test was recently done. I asked for a copy of the results to verify this with the testing center.

    Reply
    • DDC

      Hi, Timothy. Was your original test a legal, witnessed one? If so, you can request a copy of the original, like you did.

      Reply
  11. Kerry

    My daughter is now 29 yrs old with an 8 year old little boy. She grew up without her father. She met her father her senior year of high school. They really clicked. She spent the summer with him and his wife
    They all got along great. Well a few years go by and they got divorced and he remarried. My daughter and grandson went to visit them about 3 years ago and his new wife handed my daughter a swab and the envelope. She swabed her cheek and put it in the envelope and sealed it with her email on it for the results . She didn’t see her dad swab. She left the next day. Rite after she got home she got an email from her dad’s wife, a picture of her computer that showed the DNA results sent to her email saying he wasn’t the father. My daughter never received an email and her father didn’t either. I know he is her father. It takes an evil person to manipulate DNA results. Can I file charges against her?

    Reply
    • DDC

      Hi, Kerry. That is a question best answered by a family-law attorney. But keep in mind they did an at-home test and those results are not court-admissible since DNA collection hasn’t been witnessed by an approved third party.

      Reply

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