Know About Getting a Paternity Test

Three Things You Should Know About Getting a Paternity Test

Taking a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) paternity test is the most accurate way to determine the relationship between an alleged father and a specific child. Thanks to its genetic code analysis, the test can return results with 99.9 percent accuracy.

But getting a paternity test is not simply about picking up a kit at the pharmacy or ordering a test at your nearest lab. Whenever you are about to take this test, you are presented with multiple options to make your selection. While they are all meant for your convenience, these choices can also create some confusion for you.

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Learn more about different options to the paternity test cost itself, here are three things you should know while choosing such a test for yourself and your family.

There Are Different Types of Paternity Tests

Paternity tests are usually segmented into three different segments for convenience and general reference. 

These classifications include: 

  • Home paternity testing kits.
  • Lab testing for personal reasons.
  • Lab testing for legal submission purposes.

Among these options, home paternity testing kits and lab testing for personal reasons are not admissible in court. As such, if you want to take a paternity test to submit as evidence in a child custody or child support case, you need to take a lab test that’s designed for legal purposes. 

The reason is simple. In a lab test that is taken for legal reasons, the DNA samples are taken in front of an authorized witness. This proves to the court that the samples come from the alleged father and the specific child without any doubt.

With this in mind, you can make your selection between these tests according to what fits your requirements the best.

Home and Lab Tests Only Differ by Sample Collection

Despite widely being available in the form of a home testing kit, all paternity tests are analyzed or performed within a lab setting. Sounds confusing? Here’s how it all works.

Since DNA paternity tests require careful study of the genetic code and specific markers, their samples need to be assessed by authorized professionals. That’s why home paternity tests are only sample collection kits that require you to get your own DNA samples before they are mailed to an actual lab.  

On the other hand, when you take your test at a lab, your samples are acquired by professionals. With that being said, they are still analyzed in a lab setting that’s similar to a home paternity test’s designated lab.

This means that the sample collection process is the only part that differs a home DNA paternity test from a lab DNA paternity test. If you want more convenience and want to cut back on a lab visit, you can get a home testing kit without compromising on the accuracy of the results.

The Costs for These Tests Mainly Depends on Their Type 

When choosing between different types of paternity tests, it is common to notice a stark contrast in their surface costs. This can often drive you towards one test over the other. But you should make your decision after understanding why these costs differ in the first place.

Home Paternity Testing Kits

A home paternity test can be bought from a pharmacy or online store for the average price of $20. But that’s just the cost of the sample collection kit. Once you acquire your DNA samples through the given cotton swabs and containers, you need to pay the designated lab for the actual test while mailing your samples. This brings up the overall cost to an average of $150.

Lab Testing for Personal Reasons

Since paternity tests that are taken at a lab comprise both sample collection and testing at one place, their costs are also combined. Lab testing for personal reasons usually comes at the average cost of $175. This cost can often fluctuate depending upon your area and chosen lab facility.

Lab Testing for Legal Submission Purposes

These tests require special arrangements from the lab where the paternity testing is being done. In addition to extra paperwork, it also calls for the presence of an approved witness during sample collection. Due to this reason, these tests come at an average cost of $350. But the prices can go higher depending upon your local facilities. 

With these factors in mind, you can make an informed decision about taking a paternity test that suits all of your needs. To learn more about specific appointments, processes, or costs, you can easily reach out to a home testing kit manufacturer or a nearby lab for further information.

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• Meet the Author • Dr. Lawrence Kindo


I am a Medical Professional with a passion for writing, blogging, playing, computers, and of course patient care. My writing in this medical blog will reflect my passion, and you are welcome to be a part of this venture. This medical blog is a tribute to all the great medical pioneers, and to the ultimate source of wisdom, God.


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