How Accurate Are Paternity Tests?

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What Are Paternity Tests?

Paternity tests are a form of medical tests that use DNA to determine whether a person is the father of a child. They are useful to people who are unsure of who their fathers are.

Paternity tests can also help solve legal disputes surrounding fatherhood. Because of this, they are considered legitimate pieces of evidence of fatherhood. 

How Accurate Are Paternity Tests?

There are two different types of paternity tests. The first is legal, which will only be used if the paternity test is relevant to a legal proceeding.

For instance, they can be used in custody battles. To ensure that these legal tests are completely legitimate, they will be done in a medical setting. 

The second kind is an at-home paternity test, which can be done wherever and whenever. These paternity tests are readily available in drug stores. They can also be purchased online. 

How Do You Use A Paternity Test?

The first thing you will need to do is to obtain an at-home paternity test. Next, you must collect a DNA sample from both the child and the potential father.

These samples will need to be taken from the inside of the cheek. These are known as buccal cells.

To get these samples, you will need to rub a cotton swab on the inside of the mouths of both the child and the alleged father. 

Once these samples have been collected, they will need to be mailed to a lab to be tested by a professional. At-home test kits should have the address of a lab included in their packaging. It might take some time for the lab to contact you with the results. It can even take a few weeks. 

You need to make sure that you have permission both from the child and the father before you collect the samples. It is unethical to test a person’s DNA without their consent. 

You can also perform paternity tests using blood samples. However, these should only be carried out by medical professionals.

Similar to the cheek test, you will have to get a sample of blood from both the child and the father. These will then be tested in a laboratory setting to determine if a man is the father or not.

How Accurate Are Paternity Tests?

Paternity tests are very accurate methods of determining fatherhood. Most paternity tests are 99.9% accurate, meaning that they will provide you with a reliable result. Therefore, when you get the results back from a paternity test, you should accept the answer. 

Before purchasing an at-home paternity test, you should investigate how accurate the brand is. The accuracy of an at-home test will be featured on the product’s packaging. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Because paternity testing can be quite a stressful experience, people will have a lot of questions surrounding the process. To help you, we have answered some of the most important questions that are frequently asked. 

Do You Need Your Mother’s DNA For A Paternity Test?

No, the mother does not need to play any role in a paternity test. Her DNA will not be needed to conduct this test. In most cases, the mother will not even need to provide her permission for a child and their potential father to conduct a paternity test.

The only instance that a mother will need to contribute a DNA sample is if you are looking to test the paternity during pregnancy. For more information on this subject, read the paragraph below. 

How Accurate Are DNA Tests For Paternity?

Can You Perform A Paternity Test On A Pregnant Woman?

Yes, a paternity test can be performed on a pregnant woman. A woman can choose whether she wants to have the paternity test performed while she is pregnant or wait until she has given birth.

If a woman chooses to have the testing performed while she is pregnant, there are two different procedures. 

The first is called invasive paternity testing. This test will involve taking tissue from a woman’s placenta. Because the DNA is taken from the fetus, invasive tests yield incredibly accurate results.

However, as the name suggests, it is an invasive procedure. Moreover, there is a very small chance that it will harm the baby. This may put a lot of mothers off having this test carried out. 

The second option is non-invasive paternity testing. A sample of blood will need to be obtained from both the mother and the alleged father.

Experts can then use the mother’s blood to perform a fetal analysis, allowing them to see whether the father and the child share any DNA. These non-invasive tests are safer for the baby and less invasive for the mother. 

How Long Will It Take To Get The Results Of A Paternity Test?

The wait for paternity test results to return can be nerve-racking. Most people will want to find out these answers as soon as possible. Unfortunately, some paternity tests can take a while to come back.

A lot of tests will only take around 5 working days. On the other hand, other labs can take weeks to give you the results back. Some will even take a minimum of 3 weeks.

Before you buy a paternity test, it is a good idea to research how long a lab will take to return your results. If you are looking for answers immediately, it may be a good idea to find a laboratory that will send you the results rapidly. 

How Much Do Paternity Tests Cost?

At-home paternity tests can cost as little as approximately $35. However, you can also find them for as much as $180. Ultimately, the cost will depend on the brand. Legal paternity tests can be considerably more expensive. 


If you are unsure of the identity of your father and believe that a man could be your parent, it is definitely worth looking into having a paternity test carried out. The results will give you peace of mind and will help you move on.

If they are positive, you could even end up finding your dad! Since they are highly accurate, you can rely on paternity tests to give you truthful results. 

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