DNA maternity tests are used when it is necessary to prove the existence of a biological relationship between an alleged mother and a child (proof of maternity). Working in the exact same way as a DNA paternity test, it compares a child’s DNA to that of the mother in question.
A DNA maternity test has many uses, from establishing maternity in an adoption case, to proving a relationship in an immigration case.
In adoption cases, many adopted children will feel the need to search out their biological parents when they get older, whether to solve an identity crisis or simply for peace of mind. In such cases, especially if a lot time has passed and documentation no longer exists, the only certain way to prove a relationship is through a DNA test. The same would work in reverse, if a parent were looking for a child it had given up for adoption.
For cases concerning donor conception, it is also possible for children to be reunited with their biological parents through a DNA test. New legislation in the UK now means that donors no longer have anonymity so it is possible for their offspring to know who they are and contact them. The reasons for these reunions could well be emotional, but there are also medical reasons for a child or parent wanting to find their biological relations, like cases of organ donation, where a match is needed and more often than not, these are best coming from a parent or sibling.
Immigration offices are now asking for DNA tests as part of an application for a visa or citizenship. In cases where it is required to prove that a biological relationship exists between people, a DNA immigration test is the way to go. Previously, immigration applications have been very slow to process, but thanks to DNA tests now confirming a relationship with scientific certainty, they can now be completed much quicker and with more accuracy.
What Does The DNA Test Involve?
The test would begin by looking at the 21 different genetic loci in the DNA of each person participating in the test. Everyone has a pair of each of these markers, one being inherited from the biological mother and one being inherited from the biological father. The test would then make comparisons of these markers between the mother and the child. A child’s markers should be made up of 50% from its mother and 50% from its father.
It is just as reliable to perform the test without a DNA sample from the father, with a laboratory simply testing the same 21 genetic markers that are performed in a standard paternity test in order to reach an acceptable level of certainty about the relationship. A laboratory will not report a result unless there is at least a 99% probability that the possible mother is or isn’t the biological mother of the child.