You have probably heard the statistics that say that paternity tests are 99% accurate. You may have even heard people say that they’re 99.9% accurate. It’s important to understand that paternity tests, when done right, are accurate nearly 100% of the time.
That being said, there are times when a paternity test could be wrong. It could be wrong because of many reasons related to the collection of DNA or errors made by the DNA technician.
What are the common reasons for inaccurate paternity tests?
Some of the common reasons for inaccurate paternity results include:
- Purposefully submitting the wrong DNA. For example, if a woman has one child with a man and wants to prove that her child is also his, she could swab the wrong child’s cheek for the DNA. This is why it’s important to have all DNA collected at the same time and with the same oversight.
- Accidentally submitting the wrong DNA. Mislabeling a DNA swab is not common, but it is possible.
- Mutations in the DNA. Any kind of DNA mutation has the potential to cause the test to be inaccurate. It is more likely for mutations to be present in the sperm cells of older men.
- When a man related to the alleged father is the true biological father. A twin or triplet, father, uncle or brother could all have similar DNA sequences. When DNA is shared between people, there is a risk that those DNA samples will overlap enough to produce an inaccurate result.
For the most part, DNA tests are extremely accurate. However, any of these issues could lead to inaccuracies that show that a man is or is not the father when the opposite is true.
If you suspect that a DNA test is inaccurate, it is reasonable to ask for a second test to be taken. It’s a good idea to provide evidence to support your request, such as finding out that your partner was having a relationship with one of your relatives or that someone has told you that the test was tampered with. Having evidence will help you make a stronger case for redoing the test in court.