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Can DNA tests ever be wrong?

There's a question that some parents have when they're trying to find out if a man is a father of a child. They want to know if the paternity test could ever be wrong.

Realistically, it's unlikely for these tests to be wrong, but that doesn't mean that inaccuracies don't happen. Sometimes, fraud gets in the way of accuracy. Other times, it's a person's bloodline that muddies the test results.

Close relatives can share DNA

One issue that can come up is with two alleged fathers who are related. For example, a father and son or two brothers may share a relatively large portion of their DNA. Sixteen DNA markers are tested for paternity in most cases, and with those tests, there's a chance of a false positive. Both people, in that situation, should be tested for paternity.

Fraud is a concern for some parents

Fraud happens when the tests are tampered with. A mother who swabs a sibling of their child's cheek to get the results they want or a man who has a friend take a test to show he's not related to the child are both committing fraud and will cause a false negative or positive result.

The only solution in these situations is to make sure that the people involved in the case witness each other submit the test samples or go to an appropriate testing facility. It's necessary to be cautious, because determining who the father of a child is will help your child as they grow and can help give them legal access to benefits such as child support.

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