Introduction. I was extremely flattered when Kris Jenner asked for my help in proving the paternity of her daughter, Khloe Kardashian, with a DNA Paternity Test, although I must confess that I didn’t follow the show and had to Google them to familiarize myself!
I found the Jenners and the Kardashians to be incredibly friendly and genuine, and I was impressed by their cohesiveness and strong sense of family. For those of you who are not familiar with this situation, following the release of Kris’ memoir, in which she admitted to an affair during her marriage to Robert Kardashian, media rumors regarding Khloe’s paternity began. Kris wanted to prove that Khloe had the same biological father as her siblings Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian and Rob Kardashian, namely, the late Robert G. Kardashian.
From a genetic standpoint, testing DNA samples from Kris and her children Kim, Kourtney, Rob, and Khloe offered a virtually conclusive means for answering the Khloe Kardashian Paternity Test question.
Even though Khloe declined to participate in the DNA test, their situation nonetheless provides a terrific example of an alternative way that a paternity test could be performed in the event that a sample from the alleged father is not available. Here is the strategy behind the Khloe Kardashian paternity test.
Background. Genes and genetic markers are made of DNA (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid), are inherited in pairs, and are passed to a child from each parent—one from the mother (the maternal marker) and one from the father (the paternal marker). The two genetic markers of a given pair can be the same or different. In a standard paternity test in which a mother, child, and possible father are tested, about 15 to 20 loci (genetic marker pairs) are typically analyzed. By comparing the markers of the mother to those of her child, we can determine—for most of the 15 to 20 loci—which of the child’s markers are maternal, because they will match the mother; the remaining markers of the child would be paternal. If the paternal markers of the child are not present in the possible father, then he would be excluded as the biological father. If the paternal markers of the child are present in the possible father, then he would not be excluded as the biological father and the probability that he is the biological father would be very high (>99.9%).
This case provides a terrific example of how a paternity test can be performed even when a DNA sample from the alleged father is not available.
Khloe Kardashian Paternity Test Strategy.
To determine Khloe’s paternity, Robert Kardashian’s genetic markers need to be determined. Although a sample from Robert Kardashian is not available for testing, we can actually identify most of his genetic markers by testing samples from his undisputed biological children and their mother. In other words, by comparing Kris’ genetic markers to those of Kim, Kourtney and Rob, we can deduce which markers these children inherited from their father, and then compare these paternal markers to Khloe’s paternal markers to determine whether or not they match. This approach is an example of a genetic reconstruction, because DNA samples from the children and their mother allow us to “reconstruct” the genetic makeup of their father.
Why test all of the Kardashian children? While it is possible that a conclusive result could be obtained by testing only one or two of Robert Kardashian’s children, the likelihood of success is nearly guaranteed if at least three (or more) of his children are tested. For example, if we were to test only Kris and Kim, then we would, at most, be able to determine only half of Robert Kardashian’s genetic markers. In many cases, this amount of paternal genetic information is insufficient to produce a clear conclusion. If, however, we were to test Kris, Kim and Rob, then for some of the 15
Conclusion. The Khloe Kardashian paternity test presented an ideal scenario for addressing a child’s paternity when an alleged father is not available for testing. In many cases, however, such ideal testing alternatives do not exist. If your situation happens to be one of those cases with special challenges or hurdles to overcome in order to determine paternity, please give us a call. We would be happy for the opportunity to help you. And finally, no matter what your situation, whether you are a test participant, the wife of a test participant, a relative of a test participant, or a close friend of a test participant, always keep in mind that, no matter what DNA test results may show, biology is not a prerequisite for family.
By: Dr John Taddie