Case Studies on Hair DNA Testing and other Non-Standard Samples

1. Dead/Missing persons

A number of queries we get at easyDNA relate to obtaining DNA from relatives that are deceased: In cases where the body is still available to obtain biological material from (usually not more than a week time window), it is normally recommend that the Client should try to obtain (where possible) samples of the hair with root and of fingernails. In the event the body has been buried, we advise to try and obtain a toothbrush, comb (might contain useful hairs), dentures or recently smoke cigarette. This may apply also to missing persons. In cases where the body has been buried for a number of years, and the sample available are skeletal remains, it is normally recommend that femur, humerus or teeth samples are obtained. We would request a bone fragment from the shaft of the femur and/or the humerus weighing approximately 2 grams or two teeth per individual.

2. Countries with poor postal services, Relatives living far apart, etc

In cases where clients live in areas which have a poor postal service or else in cases where relatives live far apart, it may be quicker for them to send samples directly to the laboratory than wait for the kit provided by the laboratory to be received by the client (if it is received at all). In such cases, it is possible to send samples such as hair, cigarette butts and toothbrush for analysis. Although this will incur additional expense, in some cases this is the fastest and most reliable way of ensuring the DNA Paternity test can be performed.

3. Infidelity cases

A number of commercial laboratories offer DNA Infidelity testing, whereby DNA testing can typically provide conclusive results that confirm or deny the presence of male and/or female DNA on suspicious items, normally underwear or Kleenex tissues. Once presence of biological fluid samples are confirmed and identified, the laboratory can also run DNA comparative analyses to identify the DNA source and match or exclude an individual from being the donor of the biological fluid.

4. Refusal to supply a sample

In some cases a party may refuse deliberately to provide a DNA sample for the DNA paternity or relationship testing for various reasons. There may also be situations where one party wants to confirm the paternity of the child without the knowledge of the other party. Sometimes the mother may wish to know if her partner is really the biological father of her child or if it may be another man. In other cases, the father himself initiates the test as he fosters doubts as to whether or not he really is the dad of the child.

In such cases, the only option is to provide the laboratory with a non-standard sample from which DNA can be obtained. However, as highlighted in the section LEGALITY, the person submitting the sample must ensure that it is legally possible to submit the sample. This will depend on the country of residence and the laws governing this process.