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What Are the Advantages of Child Fingerprinting?

A child's fingerprints can be valuable if that child is ever abducted or goes missing.
DNA fingerprinting is considered much more accurate than traditional fingerprinting because DNA does not change as a child grows.
The sections of DNA used in DNA fingerprinting are passed down from parents to their children.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2014
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There are many advantages of child fingerprinting. Child DNA fingerprinting is crucial in identifying paternity. It can also help identify lost or abducted children. With the advances in DNA identification technology, law enforcement professionals are able to reopen and solve old crimes. Child fingerprinting is also important in checking prenatal and newborns for inherited medical disorders.

Sickle cell anemia, hemophilia and cystic fibrosis are some of the diseases that child fingerprinting can reveal. The advantage of using DNA child fingerprinting to test early is that the parents can have more time to consider all of the options possible. Symptoms are also more likely to be spotted early for the best treatment options.

Child fingerprinting is part of many safety identification kits for children. In case of abduction or if a child has gone missing due to a natural disaster, the parents will have useful information ready for investigators to help locate their son or daughter quicker. Unlike actual fingerprints, there is no ink or anything messy needed to conduct child fingerprinting. Only a tiny bit of skin or a piece of hair is needed for DNA fingerprinting for children and adults.

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The DNA sample is cut with specific enzymes and the sections are sifted through a process called electrophoresis. The sections are examined for size by passing them through a seaweed jelly. The DNA particles are left overnight to allow the gel mixture to affix to a nylon sheet. The nylon sheet is checked with radioactive probes that detect the DNA fingerprint pattern. It takes up to 10 or more probes to determine the unique DNA banded pattern.

DNA fingerprinting has the advantage over inked fingerprints as being much more of an accurate identification factor since each person’s banded pattern is unique. Babies and children's fingerprints may change as they grow. Fingerprints can also be changed through surgery. DNA is in all areas of the body, including the blood, and it cannot be altered.

Strong identification capabilities are a big advantage in child fingerprinting. DNA typing or fingerprinting establishes the proof of genetic relationship in paternity cases. The mother’s, child’s and potential father’s DNA samples are examined. The mother’s matching DNA bands to the child’s are removed. If all of the remaining bands match, the possible father is the actual one, but if even one band doesn’t match, he is not the father.

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