Google+ Authentic Parenting: A Brief History of Life, the Universe, and Parental Testing

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Brief History of Life, the Universe, and Parental Testing

Content provided by Janice

There can sometimes be some confusion as to the legitimacy of parental testing. However, the intricate
history of parental testing is a long and complicated one, with the handling of the topic different in different countries across the world, and the law and science involved in it ever-changing. This makes its history extremely difficult to summarise in one short post. However, we’ll do our best to give you a comprehensive, though thorough, introduction to the practice.

Blood Type Testing

The earliest type of parental testing is generally regarded to be blood typing. This is where a small sample of blood is taken from the newly born baby and from the parent whose parenthood is being questioned. The two blood samples are analysed, compared, and a conclusion is drawn as to the link between the child and parent – family or not.

Unfortunately, two parents with a single particular blood type do not always produce a child with the same blood type. For example, two parents with an O blood type will produce a child with an O blood type. However, parents who both have a B blood type could produce a child with either a B or an O blood type. Therefore, the results gained by this method were often inconclusive.

Improving the Method

After a decade or so of highly inaccurate testing, new methods were introduced to improve results. The method brought to market in the 1930s was called serological testing, could use blood and other bodily fluids to ensure to test for parenthood. Although the method was a slight improvement over the original, it wasn’t until the 60s that a true revolution and significant improvement in success rate was discovered.

The Birth of DNA Testing

DNA testing established itself as the main method of parental testing in the 1960s, by a method that allowed scientists to analyse the genetic fingerprints of white blood cells in both the child and the parent under scrutiny. By the 1990s, this method was achieving a success rate of 80-90%, and today, the success rate is in the region of 99.99%, as a result of further scientific iteration.

Today, parental testing is a much quicker, simpler and cost-effective procedure than it was at the beginning of the 20th century. With companies such as EasyDNA able to take DNA samples and analyse them within days, there’s no reason why anybody can’t have access to accurate, effective parental tests from reputable companies.

 photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc


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