Paternity tests can provide certainty about biological relationships.

However, people considering paternity testing often have questions about how the process works and what to expect.

paternity tests

In this collaborative post we answer some commonly asked questions about paternity testing.

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9 common questions about paternity tests

1. When is paternity testing done?

Paternity testing is typically performed when a child’s paternal parentage is uncertain or requires legal establishment. This may include situations where a presumed father questions if he is biologically related to a child, or when paternal lineage must be determined for child support purposes. Prenatal paternity testing before birth is also possible.

2. How accurate are paternity tests?

Modern genetic paternity tests using DNA are extremely accurate, with a probability of returning a false result estimated at less than 0.01% or 1 in 10,000. Testing conclusively determines if a purported father does or does not share the biological relationship alleged with >99.99% accuracy when performed correctly.

3. What types of samples are used?

The most common samples tested are inner-cheek swabs taken painlessly from the mouths of the mother, child, and alleged father. Non-invasive buccal swabs contain cheek cells with DNA. In some cases, umbilical cord blood or amniotic fluid acquired through standard prenatal testing procedures may also be tested.

paternity tests

4. How is testing done?

Samples are collected using sterile swabs and packaged securely before transport to an accredited DNA lab. The lab isolates and analyses DNA sequences at specific genomic sites for each party. Comparing genetic markers confirms biological relationships with near-certainty. Home paternity test kits are available too. With a paternity test by AlphaBiolabs, you can get quick, accurate results. Visit their website to learn more. 

5. What information is provided in results?

Results state unambiguously whether the tested alleged father is “excluded” (definitely not the biological father) or “cannot be excluded” (99.99% likely to be the father). Indexes like the Combined Paternity Index and Probability of Paternity measure the strength of evidence for inclusion. Raw DNA data can be requested too.

6. How long do results take?

From receipt of samples at the lab, results are generally available in 3-5 business days for standard testing. More complex cases may require 7-10 days. Expedited testing with results in 1-2 days is available for pressing situations, at an additional fee. Time frames vary by provider.

paternity tests

7. What should I know about legal testing?

For court-admissible results, ensure proper legal chain-of-custody protocols are meticulously followed. Reputable labs will provide documentation and expert witness services. Evaluate your country/state regulations governing paternal testing, and consult your solicitor to understand legal requirements if necessary.

8. Does testing harm the baby?

Prenatal paternity testing using maternal blood or amniotic fluid poses no known risk to the foetus when conducted by experienced medical professionals. Post-birth testing using non-invasive buccal swabs is also completely safe for all parties including infants.

9. Who can order a paternity test?

Legal guardians including parents can consent to testing for a minor. Adults wishing to test can order their own kits. In some jurisdictions, courts may also mandate testing if paternity is contested. While consent is not required from all parties, consider ethical and relationship implications before proceeding unilaterally.

paternity tests

In summary

Today’s accurate DNA paternity tests provide definitive results on biological relationships. Seeking a reputable professional laboratory ensures legally sound, watertight conclusions regarding paternity. Handled sensitively, testing brings clarity otherwise impossible without modern genetics.

This is a collaborative post.

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