This bill’s provisions rely on a DNA test to indicate a beneficiary is truly the child of a citizen service member. DNA is the molecule containing our genetic code and is 99% identical among all humans, but the remaining 1% can be different enough to determine parentage. Because a person gets half of his/her DNA from each parent, individuals who are related share specific variable genetic patterns that unrelated people might not share. DNA tests can verify biological parentage with 99.5% accuracy or greater.
Determining biological parentage is done through a process called DNA profiling (also known as genetic fingerprinting). DNA profiling analyzes the genetic material of two individuals to determine if the profiles are similar enough to indicate a relationship.
To create a DNA profile, DNA is isolated from a biological sample (e.g., blood or saliva). The isolated DNA is analyzed for distinct patterns that differ among humans, and these patterns can then be compared between individuals. When comparing samples between individuals, statistical analysis is used to assess whether any similarities are coincidence or instead result from a biological relationship.
DNA testing for immigration applications is not done by law enforcement or government authorities, but through a private laboratory. Non-medical DNA testing for legal purposes (e.g., civil, immigration, paternity) require DNA testing to be conducted in laboratories accredited by the AABB (formerly, the American Association of Blood Banks).