Are you thinking about taking a DNA paternity test? We tell you everything you need to know

By law, every human being has the right to know who his or her father is. Although in the past this could only be done in a laboratory, today you can do it from the comfort of your own home. To make it simple, a DNA paternity test compares DNA markers that are extracted from the samples of both the father and the child. These samples are obtained by rubbing swabs on the inner cheeks of both the father and son. DNA paternity test results take up to 4 days to be obtained. There are two types of tests. The one you do at home is intended to free your mind of doubts. This is not for legal proceedings. In the legal version, the samples have to be taken by a third party.

How to read the results?

When you receive the results, it can be a bit confusing to understand all the information displayed there. You should know that, by law, the laboratory must include information that may seem irrelevant to you. A DNA paternity test will have 3 parts. The first is a conclusion statement, which states whether or not the man can exclude himself as the possible father of the child. The second is a Combined Paternity Index (CPI), which is the odds that the man is the father of the child. And the third is a Probability of Paternity, which shows the odds of paternity. This is the part of the DNA paternity test results that people usually understand. If the result is 99.99%, it means that the man is the father of the child.

Can you trust the results of a DNA paternity test?

When the results are not as expected, some people tend to question them. While it is true that these results are reliable, it is equally true that this reliability is based on how the samples are taken. If you perform a DNA paternity test directly in a laboratory office, the results will be reliable and without question. This is because there is no way for the samples to be altered in any way. However, when the samples are taken at home, the samples can become “contaminated” and the DNA paternity test results would not be reliable. It is important that you take the samples as indicated in the instructions. If there are two possible fathers and they are relative, you have to mention this to the laboratory.