Can Grandparent DNA Testing Be Wrong? Here’s What You Need to Know

DNA and family ancestry testing has become increasingly popular in recent years. Whether you want to know your family heritage or to find and connect to your biological family, there are all sorts of reasons to have a DNA test done. One important reason for this type of testing to be done is to discover the family relations between a grandparent and their assumed grandchild.

When is grandparent DNA testing done, and why is it used?

People request grandparent DNA testing for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, Grandparent DNA testing is done when the alleged father is either not available or not willing to cooperate with Paternity testing.  Here are some of the legal reasons for grandparent DNA testing and how the process works.

How Does DNA Testing Work?

DNA testing works by taking a sample of your genetic makeup, usually in the form of cheek swabs and comparing your DNA’s structure to the other parties. Various chromosomes and DNA sequences can be used to determine your relationships with other people. The closer your DNA sequences are to others who have taken the test, the more likely you are to be related.

DNA paternity tests (to establish father/child relationships) are among the most common types of testing .

Grandparent DNA testing is a bit different from “Paternity” DNA testing, however. Whereas, with Paternity testing, typically samples are obtained from the Alleged Father and child for comparison, with Grandparentage testing, the child’s DNA is compared to the Paternal Grandparents.

When is Grandparent DNA Testing Appropriate?

There are a several reasons why you may want to have grandparent DNA testing done for a child. As mentioned above, the most common reason is to establish Paternity without actually obtaining a DNA sample from the Alleged Father. Whether they are seeking custody, worry about potential health risks for the child, or just want to satisfy their curiosity and find the truth, they may seek out DNA testing.

Many grandparents have the testing done after the death of one or both of a grandchild’s parents so that they can assume legal custody of the child.

How Accurate is Grandparent DNA Testing?

Everyone gets half of their DNA from their mother and the other half from their father. When obtaining DNA samples from both of the alleged father’s parents (the paternal grandparents) we are then able to establish Grandparentage with the same accuracy as paternity.

A grandchild will share about 25% of their genetic makeup with a grandparent and 50% with each biological parent.

Should One or Both Grandparents be Tested?

When doing grandparent DNA testing, it’s best to have both grandparents involved in the test. The test results will be more conclusive with both grandparents involved, as there will be more genetic sequencing to compare. However, it is still possible to take the test without both grandparents.

How Long Should I Wait for Results?

At Health-Link, we are typically able to provide Grandparent DNA testing results within 5 business days.

The typical wait time for at-home testing results are between 3 to 5 business days but can take longer in certain instances. For example, it may take longer to receive results if only one grandparent could be tested or if the biological mother didn’t supply a DNA sample. 

What Samples Are Needed for Testing?

As with most forms of DNA testing, a cheek swab is used to gather a DNA sample. Cotton swabs are usually supplied with grandparent DNA test kits in order to collect the sample. Once you’ve collected the cheek swabs, you simply place the sample into the provided envelope and seal it, then send it to us in the provided envelope for analysis.

Peace of mind

Whether because of legal reasons or out of simple curiosity, grandparent DNA testing can be a great way to connect your family together and answer questions about your family’s genetic history. If you or your loved ones have any doubts about the parentage of the grandchild, then you may want to take a DNA test to resolve those questions. 

Are you considering ordering a grandparent DNA test kit? Do you have any other questions about the process or the test?

We’re here to help. Contact us with any questions or concerns you may have, and continue reading our blog for more helpful information.

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