Identical twins

Take a look at this scenario: Bola has been having unprotected S$exual intercourse with Uche & Emeka, both identical twins. During her window of conception, she had unprotected intercourse with both, and became pregnant. Both twins got to know, and deny paternity, accusing the other of being the father of the child. The staring option is to head for a DNA test. However, the question is: ‘Can DNA test establish who the father is between Uche & Emeka?’

What of in cases where a father and a son are accused of impregnating a housemaid? Can it be established who really owns the child?

I decided to examine such rare but factually possible scenarios and came up with some answers. Here are the following situations that will be examined: 1. If alleged fathers are twins; 2. If alleged fathers are father and son; 3. If alleged fathers are brothers; 4. If alleged fathers are cousins.

If alleged fathers are twins

According to DNA Diagnostics, while the possibility exist for fraternal twins, it is practically impossible to establish paternity for identical twins!

Fraternal Twins

If the men are fraternal twins, the DNA connection between them is the same as it would be for “regular” brothers. As when “regular” brothers test, it’s best when both men can test and the mother should also contribute a DNA sample to strengthen paternity testing results.

Identical Twins

For identical twins, their DNA is as you would expect: exactly the same! With today’s level of technology, this makes being able to genetically differentiate between the twins for paternity testing purposes practically impossible and completely cost-prohibitive since it would require testing most of their genetic markers instead of the standard 16. So, Bola will be in  for a debacle.

If Possible Fathers are Father and Son

A full 50% of the son’s DNA comes from his father, so if these two men are the possible fathers for a child, there is a high possibility of obtaining a “false positive” result if only one of the men participates in testing. Therefore, the ideal is for both men to test with the child. If this isn’t possible for whatever reason, then the lab must be notified ahead of time (so that additional analysis can be conducted) and the mother should definitely send in her DNA sample as well.

If Possible Fathers are Cousins

Even men who are first cousins don’t share enough genetic material in common to cause a “false positive” for a paternity test: the connection is just too far removed to make a significant difference.

The Bottom line

To repeat the most important points: In all cases where two possible fathers are closely related, it’s best if both men can test at the same time.  If there is a close genetic connection between possible fathers, and only one man can or is willing to test, it’s important to notify the lab about the biological relationship when submitting DNA samples: better safe than sorry!

Credit: DNA Diagnostics; Uwaezuoke, Victor Eze

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