Everything from identifying who the father is to determining who the deceased really is, confirming genetic identity used to be a painstaking procedure in the past and often took weeks or even months.
Today, there are simple DNA tests which offer quick results within seven days. DNA tests were once only used to confirm paternity, but over the past two decades, their use has broadened.
So, what exactly would you need a DNA test for in this day and age?
Here are six reasons to perform a DNA test:
1. Using Testing for Child Support or Custody
The number of children born out of wedlock is on the rise these days. Many times, the paternity status of these children is unknown. One of the most common reasons why DNA testing is done today is to confirm if the father or mother is the biological parent of the child. This is especially important for child support and custody cases.
Many times, when couples divorce, the father may deny that the child is his and refuse to pay child support. In such cases, the court usually orders a DNA test to confirm that the child and father are related. In some instances, if the father believes that the child is not his, he can also request a DNA test. However, it is important to follow proper local government guidelines when collecting DNA samples and submitting them.
A third party with no interests in the case is usually appointed to ensure that the collection and transmission of the DNA samples are done in the proper legal manner.
2. Determining Inheritance to Settle Family Disputes
When an elderly family member dies, and if they were wealthy, it often happens that people show up claiming to be part of the family and demanding a share of the inheritance.
For example, when Prince the singer died, more than three people claimed to be related to him. They were later found to be fraudulent as the DNA checks proved them to be unrelated. In general, DNA testing for inheritance is often done when there is a lot of money involved.
In some cases, the living family members or a lawyer representing the family may request DNA testing to verify if the person claiming to be related to the deceased is in fact, related. Sometimes, the court may also order the DNA test when a stranger claims to be a family member of the deceased.
The DNA test ensures that only the rightful family members get the inheritance.
3. A DNA Test for Life Insurance Benefits
DNA testing may also be used to determine who receives life insurance benefits after a biological parent dies. In such circumstances, it is the court that orders the DNA test. The DNA test can confirm if the person claiming the benefits is related to the biological parent and is the rightful heir to the life insurance policy.
4. Submitting DNA Sample for Immigration
In many instances, the government agency responsible for immigration may ask for proof of relationship between siblings and grandparents with the primary applicant(s). In such scenarios, the DNA testing can only be done in an accredited lab that works closely with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration service.
5. DNA Testing is Great for Adoption Purposes
DNA testing is often done when an adopted person is in search of their birth father or birth mother.
For example, an unwed mother gives up her infant for adoption, and many years later, this child searches for their parent.
If the child finds someone who they suspect to be their biological parent, they can confirm if this is true or not through DNA testing.
6. Identifying Remains Through DNA Testing
Today, people are often killed in aircraft accidents, bomb blasts or fires. When these mishaps and tragedies take place, there is no physical body left except for small pieces of tissue. To identify the remains, only DNA testing can reveal the person’s real identity.
It is thus evident that DNA testing can help people sort out their genetic heritage and also provide much-needed information for legal purposes.