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The accuracy of paternity tests

Colorado residents may wish to better understand the accuracy of paternity testing, which is used to establish a child's paternal parent. While the tests are not 100 percent accurate, they are close enough to be considered legally admissible in court. Paternity tests come in two types: the exclusion and the inclusion. Exclusion paternity test results are considered to be 100 percent accurate. DNA from the potential father is tested against the DNA of a child to see if they share matching chromosome pairs. Fathers provide half of the chromosomes in their child's DNA, and a man will be excluded from paternity if he does not share any matching pairs with the child. On the other hand, inclusion paternity tests determine the likelihood that a man is a child's biological father in the form of a percentage. The highest matches possible are above 99 percent.

The results of both types of paternity tests are determined by the number of loci, also known as DNA match points, obtained from the potential father and child. The most accurate test results are obtained when using 16 loci, although some facilities test with only 13 loci.

Over the years, paternity testing has been refined so that test results can now reach as high as 99.99 percent. However, results at or above 97 percent are considered acceptable proof of paternity.

Establishing paternity is a critical step for fathers who wish to start a relationship with their child as well as for mothers who seek the identity of their child's biological father for personal or financial needs. However, some people refuse to cooperate with paternity testing. Anyone who is having trouble obtaining a paternity test may wish to speak with an attorney to determine how best to proceed.

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