I think it can be done. She can find out by contacting a reputable DNA lab.
Just as an aside, it is also possible that if she tells her mother her intention to ask one of the uncles to do a DNA test, her mother will finally tell her the full story, whatever it might be.
We were hoping the suggestion she will put the question to her uncles might make her Mother tell her some more yes, thats probably the route we'll go down
Good luck to her. It is very possible that this is either extremely distressing to her mother, or else she is just very embarrassed that she had never told the truth for so long (if that is the case), and wants to shut out all thoughts of the situation and her subsequent lack of forthcomingness. If your girlfriend wants to get to the truth, she really needs to lay it on about loving and supporting her mom no matter what the truth is, and she needs to mean it. No recriminations no matter what the story is, only support and understanding. She has the right to say she seeks the true story, and will keep looking for it, but she doesn't get to be mad at her mom later or even act very surprised or shocked, or her mom will always be sorry she told what happened. I wish her the best, and her mom too.
One thing that might succeed where the direct request has failed, is if she were to ask her mother to write what happened, rather than to have to tell her directly. She can promise that if she were to receive such a letter she will not mention again to her in person, if that will help her mother get through the pain of recounting the story.
A final thing to consider is that she needs to be sure all of her uncles are in fact the biological child of her step-grandfather. It would be a shame to get a negative on the test because the uncle chosen to do the test is not in fact from the guy she is trying to check up on. If the step-grandfather has a brother who is still alive, that might be a person to test with if there is any doubt. (Check with the DNA lab to be sure such a brother could be used.)
And in fact, if her suspicions are correct, (i.e., that her step-granddad abused her mom), child abusers rarely confine their actions to one person. She might find a whole can of worms in the family if she asks an uncle, who knows of abuse or was himself abused, by this guy.
I'm sorry she has to go through this line of investigation. The first thing I would probably do in her shoes is double-check the accuracy of the original DNA test from the relatives of the guy who died, to be sure that 0% figure is correct. Some dubious DNA labs do exist.
Hi, some further information: and thanks for all the replies so far:
Basically me and my girlfriend don't agree on a number of points. I came from a family of 2 biological parents and one full blood brother and there have been no separations so I suspect that as that's all I know, its the only way I see as being ideal.
My girlfriend was allowed by her family to call her step grandfather "Dad" as she was essentially brought up by the grandparents for a good part of her early years, as the mum had her at 16 and wanted to live life blah blah.
I've always told my girlfriend I find this odd, I couldn't accept calling someone who is not my dad, my dad, if I was told my real Dad was out there somewhere. But again, I have been brought up in what seems the ideal situation on the face of it.
Another point is my girlfriend's mum asked her around about age 15 if her step grandfather had ever touched her inappropriately and my girlfriend shrugged it off at the time as the pair of them not getting on. My girlfriend is adamant he was just a normal father figure to her and she mixed with her uncles as if she was one of their sisters.
Finally my girlfriend actually has said she wouldn't be too disappointed if her step grandfather was her dad as she said she'd know she'd actually got to meet him and have the normal relationship, even if she came about as part of something more sinister. I have told her that to me, that would throw a whole different light over him (I never met him, but she speaks fondly, has pictures up etc)
I have never got along with my girlfriends Mother, to me she appears selfish and unstable and we are polar opposites. This is the first time in being with my girlfriend for over 5 years that my opinion has softened towards the mother in law. I have tried to explain to my girlfriend that I would understand a lot more of her Mother's behaviour, even right up until now, if she had gone through something particularly bad - The more I hear about it, the more it does make sense although i'm aware we could be putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 5.
It sounds like, then, you are saying that he was a good father figure to her, even if he possibly had a jail-worthy interaction with her mother, whether abuse, rape or possibly coercion (-- and if this latter is what happened, if the mother feels any culpability, that might explain why she won't talk about it. If so, it might help for the mother to understand that as a minor, she was not at fault, no matter what happened. A governor of the state where I live sexually coerced and abused a family babysitter starting when she was only 14 for a long time, causing her to feel they were in "a relationship," and he only confessed many years later, after the statute of limitations was long past for the crime of child abuse, when he was about to be outed by a newspaper. It was abuse -- it was such a power-imbalanced relationship, he was governor of the state, an adult, and she was a child. But she died way before most adults do, essentially from the long-term effects of having been taken advantage of at such a young age. The pain of having been used when young is lasting pain, and affects one's whole life.)
It's nice that your family is conventional. I am sorry that you see hers as "fractured," and her mother "selfish" and "unstable." But I'm not sorry that it is those things as much as I'm sorry that you are apparently saying to her that it is those things. Of course that is bound to cause disagreements; it's insulting and closes the door on any nuanced conversation with her where she can unburden herself, or even any open discussion. You might think you are merely explaining where you come from, but you are acting superior over something that was, in fact, luck of the draw. (If your parents had divorced, how would you feel about some friend whose parents did not divorce coming along and smugly telling you that your fractured upbringing was inferior to his?) It sounds like from her upbringing, she has learned lessons about taking life as it is, and it sounds like you have only learned that life must be like yours was. It sounds like she sees the good in the upbringing she did have, a mature way to live life.
Her job now is to learn what she needs to know in order to put it in all into perspective. Your job now is to love her. Loving her means supporting her.
So, put a sock in it when it comes to value judgements and the desire to point out yourself as the correct moral exemplar, and just help her deal with what she learns. That's what a good partner is for.
Where I said "you are acting superior over something that was, in fact, luck of the draw," I probably should have said "you could inadvertently be seeming superior over something that was luck of the draw." I don't know if you are acting superior to her or not, although in your post you do say "I have been brought up in what seems the ideal situation on the face of it" and use critical language to describe her family and her mom, which sounds pretty snooty when you write it. Since it is causing disagreements, it does sound like you have in some ways possibly acted superior about your family vis a vis hers.
I am not saying anyone should take a family who has issues and dramas as a role model, just saying, you might not have as much of the moral high ground here as you think. If you truly took your family as the ideal model, you would have copied them in all things rather than being unmarried with a baby, so you clearly are willing to ignore the parts of this ideal that you don't find convenient. If you give yourself a bye when it comes to lockstep copying of the family model, she should get the same unjudgmental acceptance. Or it *will* cause fights.
Good luck to her in her search. Talk to a DNA lab to be sure there is not going to be confusion due to her being related on the maternal side already to her uncles or half-brothers.
Yes. It is possible to have a DNA test done with your partner and one of her uncle's. In order to get the percentages higher she may need to get her mother involved.
I have had similar situation in terms of not having a biological parent available in my family and the question of the mother being available was asked. Here's the company my family used http://goo.gl/bMn0mB. I hope this helps.