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DNA test : can it be cheated?

Updated: Jun 30


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Making the decision to have a DNA test can be complicated, because once made, doubt becomes part of the process. It creates conflict, stress between the partners until the issue is resolved and even after that, the atmosphere may not return to normal due to the new revelations.


Uncertainty about a child's parentage can be a tricky issue to resolve. It is an innate desire in every parent to know whether or not the child in their care is biologically theirs. The search for biological parents can lead in some situations to a surprising result, so it is recommended to handle situations like this with care.


It is important to note that the truth affects not only the relationship between the partners, but also the relationship with the child. If there is no biological connection, there is a possibility that the alleged parent will reject the child, leading to possible emotional trauma.


Why cheat during a genetic analysis?


The reasons for cheating during a genetic analysis can be numerous and one can imagine that they can depend on the family situation and often lead to legal or administrative repercussions. However, the falsification of a genetic analysis does not always depend on the participant concerned.


The author of the falsification can be anyone! Indeed, any protagonist who has an interest in the results of the filiation link can try to interfere with the declaration of the laboratory. In this sense, it is important to understand the motivations of the person and not always suspect the participant of having falsified their DNA.


How to falsify a DNA test?


The techniques of falsification depend on the imagination of the person to be able to achieve his ends. It is highly likely that some strategies remain unknown, but effective. Reports of known falsifications always come from attempts that were ultimately unsuccessful.


Using a doppelganger:

An alleged father sends a lookalike to do a DNA test for him, with his identity card, to avoid paying child support. In this situation, the laboratory has no means of detecting deception when analyzing the samples. It is therefore important to verify the identity of the person during the samples.


Send an animal's DNA:

When sharing an inheritance, the brother of one of the participants exchanges his brother's DNA for that of a dog. The person wishes to reduce the shares of the inheritance to be shared. Unfortunately for him, the hybridization between human and dog being biologically impossible, the laboratory realizes that the sample is not of human origin and cannot make the genetic comparison.


Falsify identity:

A biological mother who knew that the alleged father was not the biological father, but wanted the result to be positive, asked her father (the grandfather of the little girl) to provide her DNA instead of that of the presumed father. To match, the mother provided her own DNA as her daughter's. The result of the analysis indicated under the name of the father and the daughter, but with the genetic profiles was of the grandfather and the mother.


Exchange swabs:

Swapping a swab is easier when doing a home DNA test. Even if the samples may have been taken together to ensure everyone's involvement. There is no evidence that the samples that are analyzed in the laboratory correspond to the right person.

  • If the swabs have been exchanged with a stranger, the result will be negative.

  • If the swabs were deliberately exchanged by the spouse with the real biological parent, the result will be positive.

Switch swabs between father and mother:

Switching swabs between father and mother can be done intentionally, but sometimes also inadvertently. In this case, the laboratory always detects the anomaly, because the first test carried out on all DNA samples concerns the amelogenin gene, which makes it possible to determine the sex of the persons who own the samples.



How to avoid deception during a DNA test?


Collect samples together:

One of the solutions to avoid cheating is that all the participants of the DNA test take the samples at the same time in front of each other. This will allow you to guarantee the authenticity of the ownership of the sample. Each of the forms and identity documents checked by all participants before returning to the laboratory.


On the other hand, if the test participants live in different regions or countries, the verification procedure is more difficult to perform.


Take samples with a doctor:

If you have doubts about the integrity of a participant involved in the test, then you can opt for the services of a professional for DNA collection so that none of the test participants can manipulate their samples.


Choosing a doctor is the simplest solution for taking genetic samples. You can arrange for the samples to be sent directly to the doctor, who will take care of:


  • Verify the identity of participants

  • Collect samples

  • Ensure the sending of samples to the laboratory (not by a participant)


Take a legal DNA test:

It is always more difficult to cheat when the DNA test is legal. Since an identity document is to be provided during the samples which will be taken by the laboratory or a health professional.


The legal DNA test process follows a chain of custody that authenticates the identity of the sample owner.

Despite the risks of fraud during a DNA test, it is normal to assume that the vast majority of participants take the test in good standing. All participants do not seek to falsify the laboratory analysis in order to have results that reflect the truth.


Since there is a strong chance of being caught, the consequences can be dramatic in the trust on the relationship between the participants. You most certainly have to pay again to take another DNA test, and depending on the situation, have significant legal consequences.



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