What You Should Know About Paternity Tests

There are instances when couples are curious about the parentage of their children. This is brought about by many factors, mainly being doubtful of their partner’s infidelity. In other instances, there can be a need to know if certain lineage diseases can affect you and your offspring.  

During these scenarios, paternity tests, otherwise referred to as DNA tests, are conducted to safeguard the interests mentioned above. We’ve prepared this guide with some of the critical information you need to understand about paternity tests. 

Learn more about paternity tests.

What does a Paternity Test Involve?

A DNA paternity test refers to the analysis of an offspring’s genetic makeup to determine if they share DNA with their biological mother and father. Children share 50% DNA from their biological father and the other 50% of their biological mother. 

During the paternity test, a DNA sample is taken from the father, and the alleged child is then analyzed to determine if they share common genetic traits. These tests are conducted by professional geneticists who take into account possible DNA mutations before providing the results.

Every marker must indicate matching data of both the father and child during a paternity test for a child to be considered a biological offspring of the alleged father. 

What you need to perform a DNA Paternity Test

There is not much needed during DNA paternity tests except for the alleged father and the child’s willingness. The child’s mother’s participation is optional but is sometimes recommended if the geneticists suspect any mutations. 

How Paternity DNA Tests are performed

DNA paternity tests consist of only two parts, which include DNA collection and testing.

DNA samples can be collected using swabs from the participants’ saliva, including the alleged biological father, mother, and child. Sometimes blood samples may be required, but geneticists argue that the saliva’s DNA is as reliable as that in the blood. 

After the DNA samples have been collected, they are taken to the laboratory for testing and analysis, after which the results are ready.

Where are DNA Paternity Tests Performed?

You can have a DNA test conducted at home if your sole intention is to acknowledge your child’s parentage. However, you’ll have to wait for the results as testing and analysis are often conducted in the laboratory. 

If the DNA paternity test result is needed for legal matters, you must have this test conducted at a government recognized health institution. In such instances, the alleged biological father, mother, and child must be present with their Ids and have their photos taken before the test. 

The DNA collector conducts the test and analysis, after which he mails the results to your attorney for use as court-admissible evidence. 

How Much does a Paternity Test Cost?

Paternity test cost varies depending on its urgency and purpose. On average, the cost of a legal paternity cost is between $350 and $600 when collection and testing fees are accounted for in total. 

Non-legal paternity tests cost around $40 for the DNA collection kits, and $250 for the samples’ testing and analysis. However, you may incur an additional cost if you prefer same-day results. 

How long does it take to get the Results?

After DNA samples are collected from the participants, it normally takes 2-3 business days for results to be presented to the interested parties. You can also get same-day results at an additional cost depending on the health institution.

Are Paternity Tests Accurate?

The DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC) boasts 98%-100% accuracy on all paternity test results due to measures it has put in place. This means you can entirely rely on these tests to determine whether an alleged man is actually someone’s biological father.