Learn About DNA Paternity Testing

To learn about DNA Paternity testing, they are designed to determine whether or not a specific man is a child’s biological father. Using a small sample of bodily fluid or tissue, the test can confirm that a man and child are a DNA match. Since a child’s DNA is a mix of each parent, a paternity test can confirm or disprove whether a man is a baby’s biological father.

Why Take a Paternity Test?

There are any number of reasons to take a paternity test, and the most obvious, of course, is that a man isn’t certain he’s the father. Other reasons include:Learn About DNA Paternity Testing

  • A court order
  • Adoption
  • To obtain medical history
  • Strengthen the parental bond

Some states require that a man undergo a paternity test to put his name on the birth certificate if he is not married to the child’s mother.

How Accurate is DNA Testing?

A paternity test can indicate with 100% accuracy that a man is not the father of a child. It can also confirm that a specific man is the father of a child with 99.9% accuracy. Because siblings share DNA, more than one genetic marker is looked at, which significantly reduces the risk of error.

What Samples Are Required for DNA Testing?

The cells most commonly used for DNA paternity are from a cheek swab on the inside of the mouth or from blood. However, they can come from any cell in the human body. Even hair contains DNA.

How Does The DNA Test Work?

Generally, the inside of the cheek is swiped with a cotton swab not unlike a Q-Tip. This removes skin cells (called buccal cells) that contain samples of a person’s unique genetic profile. These are sealed and sent to the lab where the genetic sequences are tested to see if they’re a match.

To test for paternity, samples are taken from the mother, supposed father and the child. Half of the DNA profile will match the mother’s and then it’s just a matter of analyzing the results to see if the father is a genetic match. If the results are not a match, then the man tested is not the child’s biological father.

Can Paternity Be Confirmed During Pregnancy?

Learn About DNA Paternity Testing During Pregnancy

Can A Paternity Test Be Done During Pregnancy?

The short answer is yes. However, prenatal testing has a risk of miscarriage or harming the fetus, so most doctors won’t recommend it. Using invasive procedures for paternity testing also requires receiving the doctor’s consent.

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is for pregnancies between 11 and 13 weeks. Using an ultrasound, a doctor guides a needle or tube through the vagina and cervix. The chorionic villi are removed from the uterine wall to be tested. In general, this procedure is used for early diagnosis of conditions like Down Syndrome or Cystic Fibrosis.

In amniocentesis a needle is inserted through the mother’s abdomen and into the womb to collect some of the amniotic fluid, which surrounds and protects the baby while it’s in the womb. Amniocentesis can be conducted during the second trimester, between 14 and 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The safest and least invasive prenatal paternity test is the Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity (NIPP). It requires collecting a blood sample from the mother and supposed father. It uses state-of-the-art technology to analyze the DNA of the child found naturally in the mother’s bloodstream and extract the father’s genetic code. The procedure is 99.9% accurate and can be done anytime after the 8th week of pregnancy.

How Much Does DNA Testing Cost?

The costs of a test vary greatly depending on the test and the information gathered by it. For instance, a lab test, which is the most conclusive and the most complete, done by an accredited facility can cost as much as %500. However, for a prenatal paternity test, the costs will be much greater. It requires an ultrasound and doctor’s fees on top of the test itself.

How Long Does it Take to Get Results?

Waiting to find out whether or not a child is his could make a man crazy. Fortunately, the results from a paternity test get back quickly, in as little as 7-10 days. However, getting results from prenatal paternity tests can take up to a month.

Finding a Testing Facility

Labs accredited by the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks) meet established standards for accuracy and service in relationship testing, such as paternity testing. To find AABB accredited facilities, visit AABB Accredited Relationship Testing Facilities or call us at 800-831-0178 to find your local testing center.


BBC Science. How Does DNA Testing Work? Accessed 9/2/2016
Science Museum. Who Am I?. Accessed 9/2/2016
Mayo Clinic. Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS). Accessed 9/2/2016.
National Human Genome Research Institute. Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA). Accessed 9/2/2016.
American Pregnancy Association. Paternity Testing. Accessed 9/2/2016.