Paternity Testing FAQs

Below you will find questions and answers covering everything you need to know about paternity DNA testing.

How does paternity testing work?

Paternity testing is a highly accurate method of identifying whether a man is a child’s biological father.For a peace of mind paternity test, cheek (buccal) swabs are used to collect cheek cell DNA from the potential father(s) and the child.These samples can then be analyzed and compared in the laboratory to identify matching DNA markers (loci) in the DNA samples.Every person inherits half of their DNA from each of their biological parents, so such a comparison can help us to establish the probability of paternity.When testing the biological father, both the man and the child will share enough identical sections of DNA to confirm a biological relationship. If the tested man is not the biological father, this will not be the case.An AlphaBiolabs DNA Paternity Test looks at up to 42 DNA markers (loci) – double the industry standard for DNA testing – for a 100% accurate and reliable result.

What type of paternity test should I use?

The type of DNA test you choose to establish paternity depends on several factors including:

  • Whether the potential father is available for DNA testing
  • Whether you need to establish the paternity of an unborn child
  • Whether you need the results of the test for your own peace of mind or for use in legal matters

As the name implies, peace of mind DNA tests – like those offered by AlphaBiolabs – are done purely for your own information, and the results of these tests cannot be used for legal purposes.Your options for peace of mind paternity testing include:

Paternity DNA test

One of our most popular DNA tests, a paternity test can be used to verify the biological relationship of a child to their father, with only cheek swabs required.This pain free and extremely simple method of sample collection means that the test can be performed on anyone of any age, from newborn babies to grown-up children/adults.Our peace of mind paternity test examines up to 42 DNA markers to determine which half of the child’s DNA is inherited from the potential father, with only cheek swabs required.When testing the biological father of the child, both will share enough matching DNA markers to verify a biological relationship. If the man is not the biological father of the child, this will not be the case.

Prenatal Paternity Test

This test, also known as a non-invasive prenatal paternity (NIPP) test is based on the same principle as a standard paternity test, except it is performed while the mother is still pregnant.The test is non-invasive and 100% risk free for mom and baby, requiring only a blood sample and two cheek swabs from mom, and two cheek swabs from the potential father.The test works by analyzing the baby’s DNA, which can be found in the mother’s bloodstream during pregnancy from as early as 7 weeks, together with the parents’ DNA.By doing this, expert geneticists can determine which half of the baby’s DNA is inherited from the mom and which half is from the potential father.

Y chromosome DNA Test

A Y chromosome DNA test, also known as a Y-DNA test, is used in cases where potential male relatives want to confirm they share a common paternal line, and can be useful if the potential father is unavailable or unwilling to participate in a paternity test.A son inherits his Y chromosome from his father, and the chromosome does not change from father to son.This means it is possible to analyze and compare the DNA samples of test participants to determine a biological relationship through the paternal line.However, the test cannot be used to determine how two people are related (i.e. whether they are father and son, grandfather and grandson etc.). It can only be used to confirm that two males are paternally related.

Other DNA relationship tests

In circumstances where the potential father might not be available to take a paternity test, an alternative DNA relationship test may be needed to find out who a child’s biological father is.Other DNA relationship tests that can be used to help verify paternity include:

  • Grandparent DNA test – can be used to confirm a relationship between a paternal grandparent and a child
  • Aunt or Uncle DNA tests – also known as avuncular tests, these tests can be performed on the potential father’s brother or sister to establish a biological relationship between the child and their paternal aunt or uncle
  • Sibling DNA test – can help determine a child’s paternity by establishing whether two or more children have the same father

What is the difference between a peace of mind paternity test and a paternity test for legal purposes?

A ‘peace of mind’ paternity test allows you to collect your own DNA samples at home using one of our kits that we will send to an address of your choice, in discreet, plain packaging.The results of the test can be used for your own knowledge or ‘peace of mind’. However, as the samples will have been collected by you (self-administered) the results of the DNA test cannot be used in legal proceedings.It is still a 100% accurate and reliable form of paternity testing, and if you only need it for your own knowledge, then it is a more affordable solution to determining the paternity of a child.

How much will the paternity test cost in total?

You can order a peace of mind AlphaBiolabs DNA Paternity Test online now for just $129.The cost of the test includes all fees for laboratory testing and analysis, and shipping of your test kit via USPS Standard First Class Mail.The test includes enough cheek swabs to test one child and one potential father. If you would like to test more than one child and/or more than one potential father, you can select this option when placing your order (additional charges apply).

When will I receive my paternity test kit?

Order your test kit online now and we will ship it out to you immediately.Your test kit will be sent to your chosen address in plain packaging, for full confidentiality.You can choose to receive your kit by USPS Standard First Class Mail (included in the cost of your test), or upgrade to USPS Priority Mail (+$9.99) or USPS Priority Mail Express ($29.99).

When will I receive my paternity test results?

As soon as we receive your DNA samples at our accredited laboratory, the testing process can begin.You will receive your results by password-protected email in 3 business days after we have received your samples.

What samples are required for a paternity test?

A paternity test is performed by analyzing and comparing the DNA samples of the potential father with that of the child.The DNA samples are obtained using cheek (buccal) swabs which are rubbed gently and painlessly on the inside of each donor’s cheek to collect cheek (buccal) cells.Once you have returned the DNA samples to our laboratory, they are analyzed by our in-house geneticists to determine whether the man is the biological father of the child.If the tested man is the biological father, both will share enough DNA markers (loci) to verify a biological relationship. If the tested man is not the biological father, this will not be the case.

How soon can a paternity test be done?

A paternity test can be performed at any time on a person of any age, including newborn babies and grown-up children/adults.There is no minimum age requirement, and the procedure for collecting the DNA samples is totally painless. The DNA samples are collected using a cheek (buccal) swab which is rubbed gently and painlessly on the inside of the cheek to collect cheek (buccal) cells.However, consent is crucial in DNA testing, regardless of the age of the participants. Any person over 16 years of age must provide their own consent (a signature) for their DNA samples to be used in testing.For children under the age of 16, consent must be provided on their behalf by a parent or guardian with parental responsibility for the child.A paternity test can also be performed during pregnancy. This is called a prenatal paternity test or non-invasive prenatal paternity (NIPP) test, and requires a blood sample from the mother and cheek swabs from the mother and potential father(s).A non-invasive prenatal paternity test can be performed as early as 7 weeks into pregnancy. You can learn more about paternity testing while pregnant here.

Is the test confidential?

DNA testing can be extremely sensitive and emotional for the participants, and many customers do not want other people to know that they are taking such tests.That’s why we go to great lengths to ensure 100% privacy and confidentiality for our customers, from the moment you place your order, to the secure delivery of your results.Steps we take to ensure confidentiality throughout the testing process include:

  • Shipping your test kit in discreet, plain packaging
  • Sending your secure, password-protected results direct to the email address you provide when placing your order
  • Keeping all correspondence confidential. For example, online payment transactions do NOT name AlphaBiolabs as the recipient on bank statements
  • Limiting access to your personal data to only those people who have a legitimate need to know in order to complete the testing process
  • Protecting your data from being disclosed in an unauthorized way, by using a secure server for financial transactions on our website

Does the mother have to provide a DNA sample for a paternity test?

No, the mother’s sample is not required for an AlphaBiolabs paternity test.

How are paternity DNA test results analyzed?

AlphaBiolabs uses the very latest technology and techniques in DNA analysis to perform paternity testing.Every human being is born with a DNA profile that is completely unique to them (except for identical twins, who share the same genetic material).Each person inherits half of their genetic material from each of their parents, with mom and dad each passing half of their DNA profile to their children.These profiles make up the building blocks of a person’s DNA.In the laboratory, it is possible for DNA scientists to analyze the DNA of an individual and identify where a person shares matching ‘building blocks’ – alleles – with one or more people.DNA markers that are shared between the tested individuals can determine whether they are related.If you’ve been shopping around for a paternity test, you may also have noticed that many testing laboratories talk about the number of loci analyzed within the cost of the test.Loci is in fact the scientific term for the locations of DNA markers within a strand of DNA: a genetic ‘street address’ for a DNA marker within the DNA strand.Because loci are located on chromosomes and we inherit one chromosome from each of our parents, each locus (location in the DNA strand) is home to two alleles (one from each parent).AlphaBiolabs’ DNA tests, including our paternity tests, analyze up to 42 DNA markers (loci) – double the industry standard – to determine whether two or more people are biologically related. DNA Test Relationships paternity test graphic In DNA test example ‘A’ you can see that the child has inherited half of its genetic material from its mother, and half from the potential father. This indicates that the man and child share enough DNA markers to verify a biological relationship.In DNA test example ‘B’ you can see that the potential father does not share any DNA markers with the child and is therefore excluded from paternity (i.e. he cannot be the biological father).

Will you provide my paternity test results to Government agencies?

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

Can you test for paternity before a child is born?

Yes, it is possible to perform a paternity test before a baby is born. This test is known as a non-invasive prenatal paternity test or a NIPP test.The testing process for a non-invasive prenatal paternity test is based on the same principle as a standard paternity test.By examining the baby’s DNA together with the parents’ DNA, it is possible to determine which half of the baby’s DNA is inherited from the mother and which half is from the father.All that is required for our non-invasive prenatal paternity test is a blood sample from the mother, and cheek swabs from the mother and potential father. This makes NIPP testing completely safe for both mom and baby, unlike invasive prenatal paternity tests (chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis), which carry a small risk of miscarriage.An AlphaBiolabs Prenatal Paternity DNA Test can be performed as early as 7 weeks into pregnancy (or 9 weeks since the first day of the mother’s last period).

What is included in the paternity test kit?

Our Paternity Test kit includes:

  • Test request/consent form
  • Complete, easy-to-follow instructions on how to take the test and return your samples to the laboratory
  • A pre-addressed envelope to send your samples back to us
  • Two DNA sample collection swab packages, containing two swabs in each package
  • Individual DNA test sample envelopes for the potential father and the child

Your test kit will be sent to your chosen address in discreet, plain packaging, for full confidentiality.Extra swab packages can be added when placing your order, for testing multiple children or potential fathers (additional charges apply).

How can I buy a paternity test?

It’s easy to order an AlphaBiolabs Paternity Test online now for just $129, for results in 3 business days*.If you have questions about the test or require further assistance, email our friendly, knowledgeable Customer Services team at info@alphabiolabsusa.com.*From receipt of your samples at our laboratory.

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