Maternity testing

There are some situations in which mother/child testing is requested. For example, public authorities responsible for aliens often allow family reunion only after proved kinship. Maternity can also be demonstrated by sequencing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), however this technique would not always yield the same level of certainty. For example, mtDNA sequences are identical not only to those of their own children but also to nephews and nieces in a maternal line. Furthermore, due to the high rate of illegitimate paternity in modern societies, the identification of skeletons or carcasses by mother/child testing is more reliable than through the assessment of father/child relationships.

Typing of ChrX STRs may thus represent a sensible alternative option to assess maternity. For testing mother-daughter relationships, ChrX markers are equivalent to AS markers and do not provide any specific advantage. Testing mother-son kinship, however, is more efficiently performed using ChrX markers. As discussed above, the option for ChrX marker typing using short amplicons (Asamura et al., 2006) should be considered, especially when skeletal human remains or other difficult samples have to be analysed. The exclusion chance in such cases is identical to that of ChrX STRs in father/daughter tests (see Table 7.1).

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