What to Expect With a Paternity Test


In many cases, paternity is not in doubt, however, according to some studies, there are anywhere between 5% and 20% of children who identify the wrong man as their father. Paternity often must be determined for a plethora of reasons; the most common is court-ordered, especially in cases that need to establish paternity to determine child support and custody issues.

Another reason is to satisfy one’s desire to know with certainty that the child is theirs, especially if their partner has had successive relationships with questionable timing. While paternity does not necessarily establish the father role, it does provide the DNA link to establish a genetic relationship.

While not so long ago it was rather expensive, time-intensive, or required a trip to be on Maury to get paternity results, these days it is affordable, convenient, and available from multiple sources. So, read more, if you’ve been thinking about completing a paternity test or you’ve been looking for the right option, this handy little guide may help you find exactly what you need.

What is Paternity Testing?

Based on a DNA sample, a paternity test matches genetic markers and regions. While there are high levels of similarities among homo sapiens, how close these markers and characteristics are to one another can show proof of how closely related the samples are to each other.

Most paternity tests require a simple swab of the inside cheek to collect the DNA sample. Depending on which type of test is required, a blood sample may be needed.

Considerations of a Paternity Test

As mentioned earlier, parenthood is not determined by DNA if someone steps into the father role. Fostered or adopted children obviously do not have a genetic match. When it comes to paternity, an important question to ask is how will knowing paternity affect the child or family relationships?

How distressing might it be for a child to later find out that the one whom they believed to be their father, in fact, was not? Of course, there are extenuating circumstances where paternity determines legal and financial responsibility.

As for getting a DNA sample from a minor, consent must also be established with the guardian before swabbing them.

Are There Different Types of Tests?

Yes. At-home testing can be done with DNA kits from an online shopping service or local pharmacy. Services like 23andMe markets to curiosity seekers who are tracing their family tree. These tests are not admissible in court.

The other type of test must be taken at a licensed and accredited laboratory or intake office by a doctor or nurse who can vouch for the sample’s provenance. Find paternity testing near you.

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