Fathers increasingly uncertain. In recent times it is the paternity testing boom to give new life to the old Latin saying Mater semper certain est, pater nunquam (the mother is always certain, the father never, ed). In fact, more and more families are put in crisis by the outcome of an exam that can certify in black and white, after years of hugs and kisses, that the one who accompanied the child to school every day is not actually the biological father of the baby.
Among the most recent data available to us, there is the latest Codacons monitoring on the online purchase of paternity test: a real boom. According to Codacons estimates, in our country about 10% of the first-born are not the children of the father indicated in the registry, a percentage that rises to 20% with the second-born.
The paternity test
Each person inherits half of their genetic makeup from each of the two parents, 23 chromosomes from the mother and 23 from the father. Through the paternity test the characteristics of the child are compared with those of the father, or presumed father. It is an absolutely non-invasive and very reliable examination. Today the test can be performed
- in an accredited laboratory (legal paternity test)
- or even at home (informative paternity test), through a kit that will then be sent to the laboratory.
But how do you do a paternity test, who do you turn to, how to extricate yourself from the jungle of the countless companies that offer these services only via the web, through a simple shipment of biological samples? To understand more, we talked to Andrea Piccinini, professor and Head of the Forensic Genetics Laboratory of the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the State University of our city.
In this article
- The informative paternity test
- The legal paternity test
- Which centers to rely on
- How to do it
- The legal value
The informative paternity test
As we have seen, there has recently been a boom in the sales of paternity tests purchased online. They are usually seen in a kit, with variable prices that do not exceed 300 euros. The figure includes swabs, laboratory analysis and communication of the results via e-mail.
"On the internet there are several laboratories - many of them with sites written in Del Paeseno but based abroad - that offer paternity tests at low prices and comfortably from home, or simply by sending a biological sample collection kit. . The results thus obtained have no legal value, but only informative because they are carried out on anonymous samples"explains Professor Piccinini. The information paternity test cannot therefore be admitted to the Court and therefore remains valid only for personal information.
The legal paternity test
"To have legal value, the test must be carried out in a laboratory, in the presence of an expert who will certify the identity of the subjects, and with the express consent of the subjects themselves".
In particular, in the case of minors, the authorization must come from those who exercise parental authority. "These are the two main conditions. Without consent (for example the hair found on the pillow), the examination is not only invalid, but it is even forbidden. Then it is necessary that before the procedure you are well informed about what will happen to the DNA samples collected. Let's not forget that that sample is a piece of a person, it is precious, and it is important to be able to express oneself on its destiny: whether it is research or garbage, the will of the subjects subjected to the examination must be followed ".
Which centers to rely on for the legal paternity test
"Above all to university laboratories, but also to other large laboratories and structures that are required, like us, to follow rigorous procedures". Only in this way can the test possibly also be used for procedural purposes for paternity recognition actions.
How the exam is carried out
"The examination, the so-called buccal swab, takes place through the saliva sampling with cotton buds rubbed in the mouth, inside the cheek. The movement is repeated several times to obtain greater accuracy of the result. This type of exam has an almost total accuracy of the outcome, ie it will establish or exclude paternity at 99,9999% ".
Costs and times
A complex examination like this involves a cost that is around 700 euros, and it takes 5 to 10 business days for results. The outcome of the exam will be delivered in paper form, as required by law.
And on a legal level, what is the value of the result of an examination carried out by a person spontaneously, without there being a request from the judge?
We asked the lawyer Enrico Visciano, an expert in family law.
"If the examination is carried out on the will of a party, then this expert opinion, which technically counts as party technical consultancy (CTP), can be used to ask for an expert technical consultancy (CTU), the one ordered by the judge, which should confirm what emerged from the CTP. Of course, the authority of the center in which the expert opinion is carried out can influence the judge in his decisions. This is why it is always better to rely on serious and professional centers, at the cost of spending a little more ".
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