Monday, June 30, 2008

The "false positive" DNA Test Results

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Do You Have a False Positive?

Paternity & DNA


One of the biggest concerns to recipients of paternity tests is that even if the test shows a 99% or greater probability that the tested man is the biological father of the child, he still might not be. The test could be a "false positive" result. The chances of receiving a false positive are 100 times greater if the test only shows a 99.0% probability of paternity compared to a 99.99% probability of paternity.

It is important to understand that a DNA test for paternity does not tell you that the tested man is the only one who could be the biological father. It tells you that the tested man has a genetic pattern that the child received (or could have received) from the child's father, so that the tested man could be the biological father. But other men in the population also have this pattern.

Tests at a 99.0% probability of paternity identify a genetic pattern possessed, on average, by one in every one hundred men. Keep in mind that this is just an average. In any particular case a 99.0% probability could be identifying a even more common pattern. At a 99.0% probability of paternity thousands of men possess the identified genetic pattern. If those men took the same paternity test, the test would show that each of them had a 99.0% probability of being the father of the same child!!!

Thus, it sometimes happens that a man will receive a DNA test showing that he has a 99% or greater probability that he is the biological father, when in fact he is not. He is merely one of the other people in the population who happen to have this genetic pattern. We refer to these as false positive tests. You can see how much easier it is for this to happen when the test is identifying a genetic pattern that is possessed by one in every one hundred people or more.

For this reason, Paternity Testing Corporation continues testing until we have identified genetic patterns that fit, on average, fewer than one in ten thousand people. In fact, most of our tests identify a genetic pattern possessed by fewer than one in one hundred thousand people. As a result, there are many fewer people with the genetic pattern needed to be the biological father. The chances of a false positive are greatly reduced.

With a positive test from Paternity Testing Corporation you can have great confidence that the tested man is truly the biological father of the child.

If you have questions about false positive tests, or if you are concerned that you may have received a false positive test, please call our toll-free telephone number at (888) 837-8323. We are happy to discuss it with you. We also provide discounted testing fees for those situations in which you choose to test the same individuals who submitted to a previous paternity test with another laboratory.

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