A certain uniqueness is encoded in each person’s DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid). Our genes, which are made up of DNA, act as a “blueprint” that determines our appearance and other characteristics which are recognizable with the best DNA test kit. At the time of conception, every individual receives an identical set of chromosomes from both parents, making up their unique set of DNA. This forms the basis of a DNA paternity test which uses DNA to prove that a man is indeed the biological father of a child. There has been widespread usage of paternity tests and other methods of establishing familial ties for well over a century. It has replaced blood typing which was a common procedure in the early 20th century.

DNA Paternity Test

Since the mother is the one who carries the kid throughout pregnancy, paternity testing typically focuses on her instead of the father. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as in IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) and surrogacy situations. 

According to research reported in the journal Genetics in Medicine in 2013, this kind of genetic blood test is an extremely accurate method for determining a child’s biological parents. There are various reasons why individuals might opt for a DNA paternity test. These include:

  • Obtaining formal recognition of your entitlement to child support, physical custody, Social Security, and other benefits, as well as your right to an inheritance. 
  • To uncover one’s family’s genetic history and learn about potential health issues.

It is worth noting that proof of kinship between aunts, uncles, siblings, grandparents, etc. cannot be established with a DNA diagnostics test. Neither does it reveal a person’s age and racial background. It is only for paternity establishment.

How is a DNA paternity test performed?

For a DNA paternity test to be performed, DNA samples from the supposed father, the child in question are needed. DNA samples can also be taken from the mother, in fact, this is recommended although it is not necessary. All paternity tests require two steps which involve obtaining DNA from the potential father, child and mother, and then having that DNA tested and analyzed either at a certified facility or with a DNA paternity test home kit

For the sample collection, the DNA samples could be in various forms. These include cheek cells which are obtained through a cheek swab. It could also be a blood sample which is usually obtained at a testing lab. It appears swabs of the cheek are currently the most common practice. A swab’s worth of DNA is just as dependable as a blood sample. Each person is given four swabs, and they are instructed to rub the tips of the swabs solidly against the insides of their cheeks to capture DNA. A toddler or infant can be swabbed by an adult. 

After samples are collected from each participant, Each person’s DNA is isolated from their cells and then modified so that there is enough material to work with. In order to obtain the genetic data for each indicator, a short tandem repeat (STR) Analysis is performed on at least 16 STRs from each subject (DDC’s baseline is 20). A scientist utilizes this information to compute the likelihood that the male who was tested is indeed the legitimate father of the child who was also tested.

It is worth noting that there are two different types of DNA paternity testing. These include:

At-home Paternity Testing

If you’re solely interested in knowing the findings for yourself, you can capture DNA for a genetic test in the comfort of your own home. First you have to get the DNA paternity test home kit which is available for purchase at local pharmacies and can be ordered online. An at-home DNA paternity test costs about $60 to $200. The samples will be taken with this best DNA test kit and sent to the lab or facility of your choosing for analysis and testing. 

In-Facility DNA paternity lab testing (Legal testing)

Results of a paternity test can only be used in court if they were collected and sent to the lab under the watchful eye of neutral third party facilities or DNA diagnostic centers who have been certified by the court. 

In this type of DNA paternity testing, the parties involved agree on a facility where the testing will be done. In the facility, the sample collection is supervised by an authorized personnel and the sample is sent to the lab for testing and analysis. 

Pregnancy Paternity Testing 

Paternity DNA testing during pregnancy can be done as early as the first three months of pregnancy. Prenatal paternity testing, which can be either intrusive or non-invasive, is a method that can be used to establish the paternity of an unborn child. 

The invasive type involves methods such as amniocentesis (in which the amniotic fluid is taken as sample for testing and analysis) and chorionic villus sampling (in which some of the tissues attached to the uterine wall are collected as sample for testing and analysis). The non-invasive type is usually the safest way to assess the paternity of the baby in utero. The only thing that is needed is blood samples from both of the expecting parents. 

How quickly will you receive results?

While the time to get DNA results might vary depending on the lab or facility where the DNA paternity testing is done, it usually takes about 1-2 days for the results to come out. 

Invasive pregnancy paternity testing, such as Chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis, can take up to a week or two weeks for results to come out. 

Difference between Home and In-Facility Testing 


Differences  Home Testing  In-Facility Lab testing 
Convenience  The ease of being able to order for the best DNA test kit, take the sample in your house and send it back to the lab makes home testing a desirable method of DNA paternity testing.  Unlike home testing, the interested parties have to go to a certified facility for the testing for sample collection and testing which is not as convenient as home testing. 
Sample Collection  Samples can be collected unsupervised with a DNA paternity test home kit and sent to the lab for testing and analysis. You don’t need to go through the stress of going to the facility or lab for sample collection.  Samples are collected by an authorized personnel in a certified DNA paternity testing laboratory center.
Legal Relevance  This type of DNA testing is not useful in getting legal backing for child custody or rights to child support.  This is useful for getting legal rights to child custody and other legal-related issues of paternity in court. 
Consent  Consent of the involved parties is not necessarily required in this form of DNA paternity testing. Consent of the interested parties is highly important in this type of DAA diagnostics testing


A DNA paternity test might help settle any doubts about a child’s biological father. You should discuss your options for testing with your doctor, who will advise you on what is most appropriate. 

You should verify that the laboratory performing the test is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks before relying on the results (AABB). Accredited by the American Association for the Accreditation of Laboratory Services (AAAAS), relationship (DNA) testing laboratories are held to the highest standards of testing and accuracy.