While the folks in the TV show can use a hair from ten years ago, you need something more recent for your home paternity test. What you do (and don’t) need.

Being unsure as to the paternity of your child is extremely unsettling. Not only do you need to know for peace of mind, but there are other factors involved as well.

You need to know if there are any genetic health concerns that can be passed down to the child. The matter of custodial rights and financial responsibility is also on the table.

If there are any doubts, a DNA paternity test is the right choice to make. Fortunately, this can now be done at home.

Here is what you need to know about a home paternity test.

Is It for Legal Purposes or Only Informational

The first question you need to ask is your ultimate goal for determining the paternity of your child. If you need results that will stand up in court, then a home paternity test will not work for you. Home paternity tests are only for information and peace of mind.

A legally binding test must be conducted with witnesses and a verified chain-of-custody of the sample and the results.

Paternity test cost is determined by which test you require. A home paternity test just for information ranges for $100-$200. The legal test ranges from $150 up to around $500.

If you are concerned about being wrongfully named the father, make sure you are not a victim of paternity fraud.

How Does a Home Paternity Test Work

When you order your Home DNA Test Kit it will be delivered to your door in a sterile collection kit. The sample is then taken by using a cotton buccal swab from inside the cheek. This is a painless procedure done in seconds.

It is important only to use the sterile swab that comes in the kit. Cotton swaps already in your home may have DNA from others in the home and are most likely not sterile. Either case would affect the accurate results of the test.

After the sample has been taken, secure it in the returnable container, and send back for the testing. There will be timeline instructions provided for when you can expect to hear the results.

Can I Use Something Other Than a Cheek Swab

The easiest and most cost-effective home DNA paternity test is using the cheek swab. If for some reason, you are unable to obtain this sample, there are other options for forensic processing.

A strand of hair with the root ball still intact can be used. In addition, toothbrushes are also commonly used. Toe and fingernail clippings, ear wax, or mucous left on a tissue are other items.

This type of forensics testing is typically more expensive with a longer waiting period for results.

You Need Consent

While having the conversation to proceed with a paternity test is touchy, you do need signed consent from the person being tested. For a child under the age of 18, consent must be provided by a legal guardian.

If an individual refuses to take the test, there is still the option to request from their immediate family. Those results may not conclude 100% paternity, but they are pretty accurate and help answer the question.

If you are a grandparent and want your own answers, there are also steps you can take.

Know the Truth

Dealing with paternity issues is never fun, but it is always best for everyone to know the truth. Having the results from a home paternity test is a great place to start.

For more information on how to have a safe and happy family, keep coming back to our website.