Today (26th July) is National Aunt and Uncle Day: a day where families across the US celebrate the special relationships shared with aunts and uncles.
In many families, our parents’ siblings can almost become a second set of parents, providing advice and guidance throughout our lives.
But did you know that this special relationship with our aunts and uncles goes beyond this, to the way that we share DNA?
Here, we look at how aunts and uncles share DNA with their nieces and nephews, and how avuncular (aunt/uncle) DNA tests can be used to verify relationships between family members.
Aunt and Uncle DNA
Every person inherits half of their genetic material from each of their parents, with related people sharing more DNA than unrelated persons.
This means that aunts and uncles share DNA with their biological parents, biological siblings, and biological nieces and nephews.
In fact, it is thought that we share approximately 25% of our DNA with our biological aunts and uncles.
As an accredited laboratory providing DNA testing services, we are often asked how this shared DNA can help prove biological relationships between individuals.
For an aunt or uncle (avuncular) DNA test, a cheek swab sample is collected from each of the donors taking part in the test (i.e. the possible aunt/uncle and niece/nephew).
Once the samples have been received at the laboratory, our expert geneticists will then compare the DNA samples to identify matching DNA markers (loci).
By doing this, a biostatistical calculation can be made to determine whether the tested individuals are likely to be related.
- A likelihood of greater than 10 is supportive, meaning that there is very strong evidence that a relationship exists
- A likelihood of 0-0.1 is classed as not supportive of a relationship
- A likelihood which falls between 0.1 and 10 is considered inconclusive
If the result is inconclusive, it means that it is not possible to determine if a biological relationship exists between tested individuals.
Who might need an aunt DNA test or an uncle DNA test?
Aunt or uncle DNA tests are most commonly used in situations where the possible father or mother is unavailable to take a paternity test or a maternity test.
This could be because they have passed away or are unavailable or unwilling to take part in DNA testing for another reason.
This often means that the only way to determine a biological relationship between the child and their biological mother or father is to perform a DNA test on the assumed aunt or uncle.
It’s important to note that the possible aunt or uncle being tested must be a full biological sibling of the child’s possible father or mother, not a half-sibling, as this helps increase the likelihood of a conclusive result.
Where can I buy an avuncular DNA test?
You can order either test online now for only $249. The cost of your test includes the test kit and all lab fees.
Once you have purchased your test, we’ll ship it out to you immediately. Your test kit will be sent directly to your chosen address in discreet, plain packaging, for full confidentiality.
Your secure, confidential results will be emailed to you in 3 business days. *
Still have questions about this test? Email our friendly Customer Services team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*From receipt of your samples at our laboratory
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