Paternity testing vs Non-invasive prenatal paternity (NIPP) testing

Paternity vs NIPP

There are many reasons why a person might require a paternity test – from helping establish father-child bonds early on, to finding answers to long-standing questions about your identity.

At AlphaBiolabs, we offer two types of paternity test – a traditional paternity test and a non-invasive prenatal paternity test (NIPP).

But what’s the difference between the two?

In this blog, we explore the differences between these tests, including how soon you can take them, and what samples are required for analysis at the laboratory.

How does paternity testing work?

A paternity test works by analyzing and comparing the DNA of the child with that of the potential father(s), to verify who the biological father is.

An AlphaBiolabs paternity test analyzes up to 45 DNA markers (loci), to determine which half of the child’s DNA is inherited from the father.

If the man is the biological father, he and the child will share DNA at every tested marker, indicating a biological relationship. If the man is not the biological father, this will not be the case.

All AlphaBiolabs’ paternity testing – including traditional and NIPP testing – is 100% accurate and reliable based on the samples we receive at the laboratory.

We are also accredited to the international quality standard ISO 17025, meaning you can be confident of receiving the highest standard of DNA testing and customer service.

How soon can paternity testing be performed?

The main difference between traditional paternity testing and NIPP testing is how soon the tests can be performed.

Although mention of paternity testing probably brings babies to mind, a traditional paternity test – using cheek swab DNA samples – can be performed at any time after a baby is born, on a person of any age, including new-born babies and grown-up children/adults.

In fact, there have been many instances of older people taking paternity tests much later in life, to answer burning questions about their identity.

By comparison, a NIPP test is only performed while the mother is still pregnant and gives expectant parents the opportunity to verify paternity before the baby is born.

A NIPP test can be performed as early as 7 weeks into pregnancy, when the baby’s DNA is found naturally in the mother’s bloodstream.

What samples are required?

A traditional paternity test requires cheek (buccal) swab samples to be collected from each person taking part in the DNA test – usually the child and the potential father(s).

These samples can be self-collected at home, with no medical appointments necessary.

A prenatal paternity test works a little differently.

Because the test is performed while the mother is still pregnant, a blood sample is required from mom, so that it can be analyzed for the presence of fetal DNA in the mother’s bloodstream.

Cheek swab samples are also required from mom, along with cheek swab samples from the potential father(s).

Unlike with a standard paternity test, where you can collect your own samples at home, for a NIPP test the mother’s blood sample must be collected by a trained medical practitioner such as a nurse or phlebotomist.

AlphaBiolabs provides two options for sample collection:

  • Organize your own sample collection
  • Book your sample collection with a trained AlphaBiolabs sample collector*. The details of how to book your sample collection will be included in your test kit.

*Additional fees apply.

Additionally, unlike other forms of prenatal testing (such as chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis) which carry a small risk of miscarriage, a NIPP test does not require any needles be inserted into the womb.

This makes NIPP testing 100% safe and risk-free for mom and baby.

Do I need a paternity test?

Whether you need a paternity test depends on your personal circumstances.

While scientific advancements have made it easier than ever to verify paternity, we would always advise thinking carefully about your decision to order a paternity test, and how the results might impact your family depending on the outcome.

Examples of who might need a paternity test include:

  • Mothers who are unsure as to who their child’s biological father is after the baby has been born
  • Men who have doubts about whether they are the biological father of a child
  • Expectant parents who want to verify paternity before the baby is born (using our NIPP test)
  • Grown-up children who have questions about their parentage, and want a paternity test to confirm that the man they believe to be their father is actually their biological father
  • Siblings who want to know whether they share the same biological father
  • Children who have been adopted or conceived via a sperm donor, who want to find out who their biological father is

Please be aware, that our paternity test and NIPP test are for peace of mind only and cannot be used for legal purposes. If you require a paternity test for legal reasons, you will need to instruct us for a legal DNA test.

Where can I buy a paternity test?

It’s easy to order your paternity test online now, direct from our accredited laboratory.

Simply place your order and we’ll ship your test kit out to you immediately. Your secure, password-protected results will be emailed to you, for total confidentiality.

PLUS for a limited time, you can use our promo codes to get a discount.

Use promo code PAT10 for 10% off our Paternity test until 07‑31‑24 OR
PRE20 for $20 off our NIPP test until 07‑31‑24

We’ve summarized the differences between each test in the table below, so you can make the right choice for you.

Paternity testing Non-invasive prenatal paternity testing (NIPP)
Timing Any time after a baby is born – including into adulthood Before birth – as early as 7 weeks into pregnancy
Samples required Cheek swabs from the child and potential father(s) Blood sample from the mother, along with cheek swabs from the mother and potential father(s)
  • Peace of mind/personal reasons
  • Non-urgent scenarios
  • Peace of mind/personal reasons
  • Pre-birth decision-making
100% safe and risk-free
100% accurate based on samples received
Promo code Use code PAT10 for 10% OFF until 07‑31‑24 Use code PRE20 for $20 OFF until 07‑31‑24

For more information, call our friendly and discreet Customer Services team on 727-325-2902 or email

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