Forensic Technology Center of Excellence


Cost-Benefit Analysis of Kinship Testing Involving Siblings

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Kinship Testing Involving Siblings

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This webinar aims to improve the knowledge on kinship testing involving siblings and provides a cost-benefit analysis of practices involving the use of additional reference siblings and substitution of half-siblings for full siblings in kinship tests.

DNA kinship tests are regularly used for immigration purposes, parentage testing, forensic casework, and the identification of victims of mass disasters to establish a biological relationship between two or more individuals. However, since siblings can share between 0%-100% of their DNA, the testing of siblings can become complex. Due to the massive variation in the amount of DNA shared between two siblings, this webinar discusses the costs and benefits associated with certain techniques in kinship testing involving siblings. First, this webinar investigates the use of multiple reference siblings in a kinship test and assesses if this practice is beneficial in better confirming a biological relationship in question. Second, this webinar also explores the effect of utilizing half-siblings instead of full siblings in order to assess if less information is obtained using half-siblings in a kinship test. Supplied with this information, the cost-benefit relationship of employing an increased number of full siblings and half-siblings in kinship testing was examined. Factors such as the cost of the DNA testing, the access to more than two family members, and the variation in the amount of DNA shared between siblings are discussed in the examination of this cost-benefit relationship.

Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence event has been provided by the National Institute of Justice.

Brandi Iorio

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