Paternity Testing FAQs

If you have a question about DNA paternity testing with AlphaBiolabs, check below for answers to the most common questions.

Where can I buy a DNA paternity test?

You can buy one of our home DNA paternity testing kits on our website. Full instructions are included on how to collect your DNA samples. After we’ve processed your samples at our laboratory you will receive your test results by email.

How much does a Home DNA paternity test cost?

Our paternity tests can be bought online for just $119. You can find more information on a paternity test cost here.

When will I get my DNA paternity testing kit?

We mail out your DNA testing kit the same day you order it. You can choose to receive your kit by standard mail or by USPS Express.

When will I get my DNA paternity test results?

As soon as AlphaBiolabs receives your DNA samples in our laboratory we begin the testing process. We will then email your results in 3–5 working days from receipt of samples.

What types of DNA samples are needed?

The Home Paternity DNA samples we test are mouth swabs that contain cheek buccal cells. This is a quick and painless procedure that involves rubbing a swab against the inside of the donor’s cheek.

In the case of deceased individuals, we can test a used toothbrush. However, we would first need to perform a viability test on the sample to make sure it contains sufficient DNA for testing.

What is a Peace of Mind DNA test?

A Peace of Mind DNA test is one that you administer yourself, using the kit that AlphaBiolabs sends to the address of your choice. This is for your own knowledge and peace of mind, but it is inadmissible in legal proceedings.

What’s involved in taking a home paternity test?

After making your purchase online or over the phone, we send you a paternity testing kit with easy-to-follow instructions. You then collect your samples, complete the test request form and mail both back to AlphaBiolabs. Once we receive your samples and application, our highly trained scientists will start the process of testing the DNA.

Can I get a DNA paternity test while pregnant?

Yes, our non-invasive prenatal DNA testing can be carried out as early as 7 weeks after conception (or 9 weeks after the last period). A blood sample is needed from the mother and a mouth swab from the potential father. Read more about paternity testing while pregnant.

Can you take a DNA paternity test without a father?

No, you can’t perform a DNA paternity test without a father being involved. However, you can still get the answer to your question by undertaking alternative DNA tests.

If a father refuses to consent to a paternity test, alternative DNA relationship tests can be performed to establish a direct biological relationship via other family members, such as grandparent DNA tests, uncle DNA testing, aunt DNA testing and sibling DNA testing.

If a father has passed away, the alternative DNA relationship tests outlined above can be used to prove a direct biological relationship to another family member. If the father has only recently deceased, toothbrush DNA testing could be an option.

How soon can you DNA test a baby after birth?

DNA samples can be taken immediately after birth. Mouth swabs just need to be rubbed on the inside of the baby’s cheek to collect cells.

Can two potential fathers be tested in a DNA paternity test?

The standard paternity test includes enough swabs to test one father. However, we can test as many potential fathers as necessary using the same testing kit. You just need to add the extra fathers on the online form. If there is a chance that two potential fathers are related, the laboratory must be made aware of this on the DNA Test Request Form.

Can a DNA testing kit be sent to two addresses?

Yes, AlphaBiolabs can mail the DNA test kits to two different addresses. There is an option to list a 2nd address on our online forms.

What’s included in a DNA paternity testing kit?

The AlphaBiolabs Peace of Mind DNA paternity test kit contains the following:

  • The testing request form
    A form asking for personal details as well as written consent for the DNA test. We cannot start the paternity testing process until ALL parties involved have signed the consent forms
  • Complete instructions on how to take the DNA samples and return them
  • An already-addressed mailing envelope for sending the DNA samples back to AlphaBiolabs
  • Three DNA sample collection swab packages, each holding two swabs. Note: Be careful when opening the package so that you don’t damage the DNA testing swabs
  • Individual DNA sample envelopes for the child, possible father (and mother if available)

How long does the DNA paternity testing kit last?

As long as you don’t open the swab packages, there is no expiration date, so you can take the DNA samples whenever – and wherever – is convenient for you.

Are the paternity tests confidential?

You never need to be concerned about confidentiality when you deal with AlphaBiolabs. From the moment we receive your sample, we follow strict procedures to ensure your security. In addition, we do not share results or personal information with any third parties, and all of the data are password-protected. Your test results are discussed only with those who are entitled to know, and even then, we require the correct password and/or response to security questions.

Will you protect my privacy?

AlphaBiolabs can reassure you that our DNA testing is 100% confidential and that data security is paramount. We adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation. This means that DNA samples are destroyed after 3 months and all identification documents (paper copies and electronic files) are destroyed after 12–18 months. In addition, we password-protect all data and keep all correspondence confidential.

Is parental responsibility needed for DNA testing?

AlphaBiolabs cannot perform a Peace of Mind DNA test until all parties involved sign the forms in the testing kit. Someone with parental responsibility must provide the child’s consent if the child is under the age of 16.

Is home DNA paternity testing illegal?

DNA paternity testing is legal in the USA, and fathers may test their children without the consent or knowledge of the mother. The results of home paternity testing kits are for personal knowledge only and are not admissible in court. Only a court-ordered paternity test may be used as evidence in court proceedings.

Different rules apply in New York state compared with the rest of the country. As dictated by the New York State Department of Health, home paternity testing is not an option.

Why should I choose AlphaBiolabs for my DNA testing?

All of AlphaBiolabs’ DNA testing is performed in-house. We have invested substantially in the very latest DNA technology – including sequencing machines, analytical reporting software and highly-trained analysts – to provide the most accurate DNA results today. We are accredited for DNA testing utilizing up to 42 markers to ensure the reliability of our genetic testing. We also re-test every exclusion DNA result twice to be 100% sure of our results. Our testing laboratory is accredited to the quality technical standard of ISO 17025, and we are certified to ISO 9001. As such, we are confident of providing the fastest DNA testing results in the industry.

In addition, we offer a money-back guarantee if you do not receive conclusive results from our grandparent, sibling, aunt and uncle DNA testing.

Do you need the mother’s DNA sample for a paternity test?

We do not need the mother’s DNA sample to perform a paternity test. Our paternity tests look at up to 42 DNA markers and examine the child’s DNA and identify which half is inherited from the mother and which half is from the father.

However, since half of a child’s DNA comes from its mother, the results can sometimes be inconclusive if we perform a DNA test without the mother’s sample. For example, if the DNA results show a mutated gene (allele), we would need to compare results with the mother’s sample; if we haven’t received her sample already, it would further delay the process.

What forms of payment do you accept?

You can pay online when ordering your test using a credit or debit card. We do not accept American Express®.

Do I need a medical professional to supervise or take the DNA test?

No medical professional is needed for our Peace of Mind DNA tests. You can easily take the samples yourself by following our instruction leaflet.

The blood sample required for our non-invasive prenatal paternity test would need to be taken by a trained phlebotomist.

What happens to my DNA sample after testing?

All DNA samples received at our laboratory are stored securely onsite. We keep the DNA sample for 3 months and the testing results for a year. This is to allow for any retesting, if needed. After 3 months, the samples are destroyed by incineration.

What happens if test participants live in different cities or states?

AlphaBiolabs can mail the DNA test kits to two different addresses. There is an option to list a 2nd address on our online forms.

Is there a minimum age for collecting a DNA sample?

A DNA test can be performed on a person of any age, including an unborn child using our prenatal DNA test. In the case of a donor under the age of consent, an adult with parental responsibility will need to sign a consent form on their behalf.

Is signed consent required?

All home DNA relationship tests, which are mailed out from our website, require signed consent forms. These forms are included in all testing kits. It is against the law to obtain a DNA sample from an individual without his or her knowledge. Written authority is needed from all adults whose samples are provided for testing.

Is paternity testing covered by health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid?

No, DNA testing is not covered by health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid because it is not a medically necessary procedure. Medicare only helps pay for what is absolutely needed to help treat an injury, illness, or other medical condition.

Can I have the DNA paternity test results sent to two people?

Once you have asked us to perform the DNA test, you are in control of who receives the results. To ensure confidentiality we password-protect all our cases. Only you can access the information at any time. However, anyone who participates in the testing is entitled to get a copy of the results. If that participant asks for a copy of the results, AlphaBiolabs has to send them, without asking your consent ahead of time.

Can you send me the results by mail?

Our normal procedure is to send the results by email, but for an additional fee ($15) we can send you a paper copy too.

Is it difficult to understand the paternity test results?

Interpreting the test is pretty straightforward. In the case of paternity testing, for example, if the probability of paternity is 0% or above 99%: those results are conclusive. Should you have any questions about a test you’ve ordered, contact our team of friendly experts. They will explain the results in an easy-to-understand manner.

How are DNA paternity test results analyzed?

AlphaBiolabs use the most advanced, cutting-edge technology when performing a DNA paternity test.

The genetic footprint of a child is half from its mother and half from its father. When AlphaBiolabs analyzes this footprint, we look for markers, or individual points in the sequence of genes. In fact, we look for up to 42 genetic markers, a process that uses the very latest DNA technology to ensure accuracy in the procedure.

Here are two hypothetical DNA test examples:

DNA result examples:

In A, it is obvious that the child’s genetic footprint consists of half from its mother and half from the possible father.

In B, it is apparent that the child doesn’t share any markers with the possible father. This means he cannot be the father.

How accurate are the DNA paternity testing results?

AlphaBiolabs is an ISO 17025-accredited laboratory, meeting the very highest international quality standards. AlphaBiolabs DNA paternity test results are highly accurate, even when you consider that no paternity test currently available can predict paternity with 100% probability. Our results can determine a probability of paternity of over 99.99%.

How do I interpret the DNA paternity test results?

When you receive your DNA paternity profiling test report, a conclusion will provide one of two statements: 1) This result provides (extremely/moderately) strong support in favor of paternity, or 2) This result excludes the possible father as the biological father.

These conclusions are reached by AlphaBiolabs examining up to 42 short tandem repeat (STR) markers in the DNA profiles of the tested individuals. Each individual has two copies of each STR marker, known as alleles: one is inherited from the father and the other from the mother. These alleles at each STR marker are compared between the tested individuals. There will need to be a match with all STR markers tested for an inclusion of paternity.

Will you provide my paternity test results to Government Agencies?

We never disclose any information to any person or body unless specifically told to release this information by the individuals taking the test. This has never happened in our 15 years of performing DNA testing.

What else can be discovered from a DNA paternity test?

Some people may be worried that their sample could be used to discover a whole range of things about them. Please be reassured that our DNA testing will not lead to this.

In theory, DNA testing can be used to learn a number of things including susceptibility to a range of diseases; however, the DNA sample that is taken for our tests will only be used for the intended testing. Clients can be reassured that information regarding their test results is only released to those individuals that the client nominates.

Got more questions? More detailed FAQs can be read here.