We know: All About Paternity Tests
What is a paternity test?
A paternity test is a way to determine who the father of a child is by comparing a child's DNA with the DNA of a man who might be the father of the child.
Every human cell contains DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), which carries the unique genetic code for that individual. DNA molecules are like finger prints, in that they can help us tell one individual from another. They can be used to determine if one individual is related, genetically, to another. So, they can positively identify the father of a child.
Where can I get a paternity test?
There are lots of private companies who will do the test for you.
Do I have to go in to a lab?
No, the testing can be done via mail.
How does it work?
Generally, you contact a company that provides testing and they send you a kit with which to take a DNA sample. You usually take the sample by running a swab along the inside of the mouth in order to gather what are called 'buccal cells'.
You need the sample of both the child and the father. If you cannot get a mouth swab, you can use a hair, blood, semen, or even a cigarette butt with dried saliva for a DNA sample.
You then send your samples off to the company's lab for testing.
How long does it take to receive test results?
Usually between five days and two weeks.
Are these paternity tests useable in court?If you need legally admissible documents for court, you can't collect the samples yourself. You'll have to make an appointment under proper supervision so that you can be properly identified as the donor of the sample and the sample can be properly handled as evidence.
How much does a paternity test cost?
Testing can cost from about $150 to several hundred dollars.