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Using DNA to Determine Kinship

DNA is a common tool used in investigations and identification. It’s one of many types of evidence that can be used to prove the connection between two people and can be used as evidence in court when applicable.

DNA is admissible in all state courts when

  • evidence has been handled properly
  • analysis has been performed by an unbiased forensic lab, and
  • results have been appropriately interpreted and reported.

Autosomal DNA Testing

Autosomal DNA testing is the most popular form of DNA testing for genetic genealogy. In order to conduct this test, two samples are required for comparison. Autosomal DNA testing can prove paternity or maternity with 99.9% confidence, but it isn’t only used to prove parent-child relationships. It can also be used to identify possible relatives, provide further clues for research, or confirm the level of a particular relationship (up to 5 or 6 generations removed).

The shared autosomal DNA between relatives varies depending on the level of the relationship. Full siblings and parent-child pairs share 50% of their DNA, while half siblings or grandparent-grandchild pairs share only 25%. Half cousins who share one common grandparent will have 6.25% shared autosomal DNA.

Genetic genealogy tests may be able to provide possible distant relations, but these connections are strengthened by additional supporting evidence, like vital records or census details.

DNA Test Laboratories

DNA test laboratory results can be used in paternity, maternity, adoption, and estate matters.

Labs accredited by the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks) and the State of New York Department of Public Health provide the highest standards of service and are accepted in court proceedings. Accredited labs use legal chain-of-custody processes, making sure that information remains restricted and secure. 

Labs should have an international scope of service, since relatives can be located around the globe.

HeirSearch™ DNA Services

We’ve successfully solved many cases using DNA and genetic genealogy, including ones involving

  • proving and disproving paternity
  • last known location and identification, and 
  • confirmation of familial connection

Our DNA specialists provide lab options, explain reporting, offer consulting or full oversight services, and can advise of testimony options where applicable.

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have and assist you in any current or future heir search needs.

To learn more about how HeirSearch can help you with genetic genealogy or DNA search services, get in touch with us now.