Paternity testing is sometimes ordered for child custody or support cases but a legal reason is not mandatory to undergo the test. Any man that wants absolute proof that they are the father of the child they are raising can request a paternity test. At one time this type of testing was expensive and required people to have samples taken at a hospital or approved testing facility. Today DNA testing is possible at home.
A home paternity test can be ordered online and the results delivered by mail or email. It requires DNA from both the child and the potential father. The process is entirely painless and the results are fast and accurate. It involves only a few simple steps.
Step One: Use the swabs included with the kit to swab the cheek of the father and child. These are known as buccal swabs and they are similar to a traditional cotton swab. Use one swab per person and do not allow the swabs to touch each other after the cells have been collected to avoid contamination.
Step Two: Air dry the swabs for about an hour before enclosing in the envelope provided.
Step Three: Return the swabs to the laboratory and wait for the results.
The results of the paternity test are very accurate. A negative result is only possible when there is no relationship between the sample cells collected. If the father is not available for testing it is possible to check for a DNA match from one of his close relatives. A male relative should be tested if the child is male and a female if it is determining a potential relationship to a girl.
Currently, home DNA tests are not admissible as definitive proof in a court of law. This is not because the tests are inaccurate but because the swabs must be taken and handled by a neutral party. However, they are accurate enough that the results make it possible to open a new paternity case. The tests allow men to have peace of mind about whether or not a child is their own and can help children when they are seeking their birth parents.