DNA Technology; Winning the fight against Paternity Fraud

4 mins read
dna test paternity fraud
Image by Ernesto Eslava from Pixabay

The DNA, short for deoxyribonucleic acid, is the molecule that contains the genetic code of organisms such as animals, plants, protists, archaea and bacteria. DNA is in each cell in the organism and tells cells what proteins to make.

DNA Technology fondly called paternity test is one technology used in ascertaining the paternity of a child in dispute. The DNA concept may be relatively new in Nigeria, but it is fast gaining ground and becoming popular due series of disputes arising to the fidelity of a woman. In fact, a DNA test is considered necessary when undergoing some documentations.

According to Wikipedia,
DNA paternity testing is the use of DNA profiles to determine whether an individual is the biological parent of another individual. Paternity testing can be essential when the rights and duties of the father are in issue, and a child’s paternity is in doubt. Tests can also determine the likelihood of someone being a biological grandparent. Though genetic testing is the most reliable standard, older methods also exist, including ABO blood group typing, analysis of various other proteins and enzymes, or using human leukocyte antigen antigens. The current techniques for paternity testing are using polymerase chain reaction(PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). Paternity testing can now also be performed while the woman is still pregnant from a blood draw.

DNA testing is currently the most advanced and accurate technology to determine parentage. In a DNA paternity test, the result (called the ‘probability of parentage) is 0% when the alleged parent is not biologically related to the child, and the probability of parentage is typically 99.99% when the alleged parent is biologically related to the child. However, while almost all individuals have a single and distinct set of genes, rare individuals, known as “chimeras”, have at least two different sets of genes, which can result in a false negative result if their reproductive tissue has a different genetic make-up from the tissue sampled for the test.

Series of events in our society has helped popularise the concept and the necessity for DNA. While the purpose of this piece is not to cast aspersion on the female gender, it is fast becoming a necessity for the DNA to be simplified in our society, more so, where moral values are fast giving way to mundane things.

The DNA test helps to identify the peculiarities of a child which is similar to gene composition to the father. This is because a child may not possess a physical attribute or semblance with the father, but the child may share a DNA composition similar to the father.

In Nigeria, the cost of procuring DNA test is still on the high side. While Government may not see the simplification of DNA tests as a priority now judging by the ravaging corona outbreak, it is however becoming a necessity Government should looking, considering the level of societal development.  The Nigerian society is fast developing and several issues go with development. The DNA test should be made compulsory for documentation purposes just as blood group and genotype are made compulsory. It will save a lot of people from mental health and sudden death. The Government should help deploy modern technology to help ease the processes of acquiring DNA test with less hassle and resources. It will help in building a saner society where infidelity will become less attractive.

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Olanrewaju Shodimu

A political and public commentator, seasoned and prolific content creator, a feature writer and a tech enthusiast.

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