Can I do a paternity test without the father?

Can I Do a Paternity Test without the Father?

There are several reasons why a possible father may not be able to participate in testing: he may not be willing, he may be unavailable, or he may no longer be living, just to name a few. So is it possible to do a DNA paternity test without the father? Yes! There are other types of testing that can answer a paternity question that can provide conclusive results. It’s important to know that paternity kits purchased at retail stores are not designed for testing without the father; it’s best to just contact the lab directly to set up the test.

A DNA paternity test without the father requires the participation of one or more of his immediate biological relatives: one or both parents, siblings, or other known children. When doing this type of family reconstruction testing, we always recommend including the biological mother of the child because her DNA can greatly strengthen results. Here are some options available for testing.

Grandparent DNA Test

The best option is to use the DNA from one or both of the possible father’s biological parents (the child’s grandparents) to help determine paternity. Testing just one parent is good, but testing both is ideal, since the likelihood of getting the most conclusive results goes up when more DNA is contributed to testing.

Aunt-Uncle DNA Test

As a top DNA lab maintaining the highest levels of accreditation, DDC has the most extensive array of genetic markers at its disposal to help piece together whether or not there is a biological relationship between a child and his/her aunt or uncle. An Aunt-Uncle test (also called an “avuncular” DNA test) is a good option since the aunt/uncle shares 25% of their DNA with their niece/nephew.

Sibling DNA Test

Finally, the lab can test the DNA from a known child of the possible father to see if the two potential siblings are related. If the known child doesn’t share the same mother as the child being tested, then both mothers should contribute their DNA to increase the chances of getting conclusive results. A sibling DNA test can be used to establish paternity, but a grandparent test is more likely to be conclusive.

Final Thoughts

If you choose to do a legal DNA test for any of the above options, results are court-admissible and can be used for Social Security, inheritance, and immigration cases. Determining a paternity relationship through one or more of the options above is like putting together the pieces of a genetic puzzle, and our experts are the best in the business at getting the most conclusive results.

Yes, there are options for doing a DNA paternity test without the father, but keep in mind it’s still best to include him in testing if at all possible! The chances of getting conclusive results when the possible father participates is 100%, and a straight paternity test is more cost-effective.

REMINDER: A home paternity test kit purchased from the store or online is not designed for family reconstruction testing. If you need to do a DNA paternity test without the father, please contact us directly for a confidential consultation. One of our friendly experts can help determine which option will be the best choice for answering your paternity question.

Don’t hesitate to call us at 800-929-0847: We’re here to help.

Do you have questions or comments about a DNA paternity test without the father? Share in the comments and we’ll answer.



  1. I had sex march 31 than on April 7 th with 2 diff guys I found out I was pregnant at around 5 weeks…my due date is Dec 31st and I’ve been thinking for 20 weeks that it’s the second guys and now he told me he doesn’t know if she is his and I want to get DNA done but he hasn’t been apart of anything else so I really don’t want him to be apart of this. I need help bad.

    • Hi, Haley. Please call us directly at 800-681-7162 to speak with one of our testing experts. They’ll be able to assess your situation and help you make the best decisions for testing.

  2. I have received my non invasive prenatal paternity test and was curious to see if we could also know ethnicity of unborn child from the samples? And is it also possible to test another man with the same sample of maternal blood drawn for the initial test? Ty!

    • Hi, Lyndsey. Paternity-testing does not determine ethnicity. I cannot speak for other labs, but we require that a new maternal blood sample be drawn for every test. Hope this helps!

  3. I have a couple questions.. first off though I dont want to be on the show.. I do However Love n Watch the show…ok Questions now… My “Dad” even though my mother never had him put on my Birth Certificate, and also lied to me that sumone else was my fater before coming out and telling me that “He” was My Real Dad… I met him when I was 15..We talked about a DNA test before but nothing ever came of it.. I did look alot like him and alot of traits.. My Father Passed.. I have his ashes ans sum hair I saved after his Death.. Do you send DNA tests to peoples homes to take without bein on the show??? and does this cost anything??? I would Love to kno the Truth and Acquire His last name as My Maiden Name and sumhow have him put on my Birth Certificate as the Father if thats possible…after all these years.. I am 48… I would have to be informed on how to do that though.. Thank You…. Sincerely Betsy

    • Hi, Betsy. I’m sorry about the loss of your father. Unfortunately, the chances of being able to gather enough DNA from ashes and/or hair are very, very small. Your best bet would be to test with other relatives of his. Does he have a brother or sister living? How about a known biological child of his? Like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, with enough pieces, we can help form a clear picture of whether or not he was your biological father. I suggest you call us directly at 800-681-7162 to speak with one of our experts and help determine what your options may be.
      Although we do the testing for many TV shows, we also have at-home DNA paternity-testing kits available on drugstore/supercenter stores. However, these kits are only for testing possible fathers and children who are still living, so they wouldn’t be an option for you.
      Thanks for reaching out, and take care!

    • Hi, Bill. You don’t share enough DNA in common with a cousin to achieve a conclusive result. You may be able to, however, if other relatives are available to participate. I suggest you contact the experts at Identigene’s parent company, DDC, to see what options may be available to you: 800-681-7162.

  4. My father is recently deceased and my mother has been deceased for years and I need to obtain anything to say he is my father for social security benefits. There is no record he is my father but I have plenty of half siblings. Could something be done?

    • Hi, Kaitlyn. Your chances of getting conclusive results are much more likely if you have a half-sibling whose mother would also be willing to test. No matter which DNA test you ultimately choose to do, in order to be eligible for social security benefits, the test must be a legal and witnessed test (not an at-home test). Please call us directly and one of our experts will be happy to discuss your options with you and set up the testing too, should you decide you want to test. That number is 800-681-7162.

  5. How can I tell my two kids share same biological father without fathers dna ?i did a swab DNA with mine and only two kids …how can it possible

    • Hi, Maaa. It is possible to do a sibling test. If you include the mother’s DNA, there’s a good chance of getting conclusive results as to whether or not they share the same father.

  6. I have a 5 year old and a newborn I know the father of the newborn but not certain of my 5 year old they could possibly have the same dad. How can I find out if they do neither the father or his family want to participate in a dna test.

    • Hi, Chris. We can do a half-sibling vs. full-sibling DNA test, using DNA samples from both your children and you. It’s very important for you to also contribute your DNA since it greatly increases the chances of obtaining conclusive results. You can learn more about sibling tests at the following link, and you’re always welcome to call us at 800-681-7162 for a free consultation or to order the test:

    • Hi, Selinah. In order to determine paternity, the lab must have a DNA sample from him. If you want to talk to someone personally about your situation, please contact us at 800-681-7162.

  7. My mother was raped and I was conceived through the rape. If I do this test will it give me any information on the the rapist was. I have no idea of ethnicity or anything at all.

  8. Hi ,
    I am from Africa I have my brother who was rejected by my father since I travel to the state but my brother is in Africa. Is there a way I can know if we both have the same father .

    • Hi, Delphine. For a sibling test, we might be able to determine your brother’s and your relationship with just your DNA and his, but there is a much higher chance of getting conclusive results if your mother provides her DNA also. Whether or not conclusive results can be obtained depends on how much DNA in common you and your brother share. This is why the mother’s participation is so important.

  9. My name is Angelica. I’m 32 years old and I have no idea who my father is. I’ve never known. I’ve asked my mother and she just kinda avoids and deflects and wont give me an answer. Lacking this information has really affected and a lady said I should try other ways to find out on my own. I have no idea where to start or of its even possible. Is there a way to find out without a sample from the father? or his relatives…because I don’t know them

    • Hi, Angelica. You can test with an ancestry DNA-testing company and then make your data public. Those services can help you find people who may be your biological relatives if those people have also participated in testing. That might be your best bet. Good luck!

  10. Hi am pregnant 5 months and I want to know the father of my child before birth but i don’t want any of my two boyfriends to know about the test
    How can I do this

    Can I used their hair

    • Hi, Bintu. In order to get enough DNA for paternity-testing purposes, you’d need to also get the roots, and a significantly-sized sample. It’s probably a good idea to be upfront about it.

  11. I’m interested in knowing the mother of the baby can we just swab the woman and the baby to determine if the caregiver is indeed the mother…

  12. My bf is 48 years old and he has never learned who is biological father is. His mom said it was one man and we did a test and he was not … I would love to help him find the answer to this question for he has been holding grudges inside of him not knowing.. we have heard rumors of who it maybe but unable to do testing due to the fact that it is his mother’s sister husband.. please help us to get to the bottom of this pain he has.. thanks

    • Hi, Natalie. Have you tried one of the ancestry-testing services that use publicly-accessible DNA databases to help people find relatives? This may be his best option since all parties are refusing testing.

  13. Hello,
    We are unsure who the father of my oldest daughter is and she has decided she wants to know however the man who has raised her is unwilling to do a dna test and the other man in question cannot be located. Is there still a way to determine if the man who raised her is her biological father? Can we do a sibling test with her sister as we are 100% sure he is her sisters dad.

    • Hi, Amanda. Yes, you definitely can. It’s best if you can also contribute your DNA, since that optimizes the chances of obtaining conclusive results. You’re welcome to give us a call to further discuss your options with one of our experts: 800-681-7162.

  14. So my daughter father pass away in 2007 and she is now 16 years old. I want to get a DNA test to prove that he was her dad and have his name place on her birth certificate. He has one brother who is still alive and I was wondering if he could be tested for her.

    • Hi, Christana. Yes, you can do what’s called an avuncular (aunt/uncle) test. Since you need it for a legal reason, you would need to set it up as a legal, witnessed test. Home testing is not an option here. Give our experts a call at 800-681-7162.

  15. I don’t think my brother and I had the same father. My brother is deceased can DNA of me and m6 niece determine if my brother and I had the same father

    • Hi, Ward. It would be simpler if your brother had a son, since you and your brother have the same Y chromosome. If your niece is the only option, a DNA test may be able to establish that relationship, but there are no guarantees of getting a conclusive result, unfortunately. I suggest you contact us directly. One of our experts can talk things through with you about the possible participation of other family members who could help strengthen results: 800-681-7162.

  16. My husband refuses to do a DNA test with a child that may be his. Can his half brother do the dna to determine if my husband is the father or not. If a half sibling can’t do the test who can we get to do the paternity test

  17. I’m 29 years old. I’ve known since a young age that I was conceived during rape by an unknown man. When I was 25 I found out that the rape occured in a neighboring county during a fair. Well, curious me decided to Google the town name with “rape” and “1989” along with the month it could have happened in…

    I found out that a man was charged with the rape and murder of a young woman the same week the fair was going on and the same week my mother would have been at the fairgrounds!!! After reading the court records, it appears this man may have asaulted other women years leading up to this crime. I want to know if our dna is a match but he is currently on death row and I don’t really want to bring any emotional stress to my mother. How should I go about this?

  18. My brother passed and was cremated and I just found out he possibly has a son whom will be 6 months old on sept 24th who is with a dss worker I wanted to help with the dna part but we share the same mother but different fathers. Will my sample with the babies be enough to determine if baby is my brothers?

    • Hi, Denise. What you’re describing is an aunt/uncle (avuncular) DNA test. It is always extremely useful if the baby’s mother can participate along with you, and also one or both of your brother’s parents, if they are still alive. You’re welcome to call our experts at 800-681-7162 for a free confidential consultation; they’ll be able to give you more details on what would work best for your situation.

  19. I’ve just recently found out that my mother speculates my grandfather (who has passed) ‘might be my father’. I think this is impossible but she got pregnant very young and has never fessed up to who the ‘real’ ‘father’ may be. I need to put this nonsense to rest with some (or multiple) sort of official testing.

    What are my options here?

  20. To whom it may concern;
    Do I need to buy a,special DNA test from Walgreens because the father refuaes to be tested and I will be testing myself, the mother of the father.
    Thank you

    • Hi, Julie. The kit at Walgreens is specifically for testing one alleged father + one child + the mother. Since you are a grandparent, the testing process is different. Please call us at 800-681-7162 and one of our experts can assist you in ordering the test. Please keep in mind that if the child is a minor and you do not have the legal authority to act on behalf of the minor child, it is your responsibility to get the proper consent from the legal parent or guardian.

  21. If the baby and paternal grandfather were tested with a standard paternity test (not a grandparent’s test) and the result came back as 0%.
    Does this mean there is no chance the alleged father is the biological father? The mother and paternal grandmother were not tested.

    • Hi, Pat. The test answered one question and one question only: Is the man tested the biological father of the child tested? The answer is 0% probability of paternity, which is what you would expect. It does not mean there is no chance the alleged father is the biological father.

  22. I am 53 yrs old. I was told about 6 years ago that the man that is on my birth certificate isn’t my biological father. I’ve questioned it myself. Anyway, my mother is deceased and the man i knew as my father is deceased. How can i find out if he was my biological dad or not. None of his siblings are living. My cousin from one of his sisters said she would do a dna test with me as i have no contact with my brother or sister. Would it tell me if he was my father or not doing the dna test with my cousin.
    Thank you

    • Hi, Gayle. You and your cousin only share 12.5% of your DNA, so the chances of getting anything near conclusive results is next to none. Sorry about that!

  23. I have a question, so i may have found my biological father, if so he passed away in 2010.
    His mother and father are still living, he has two biological brothers, and also has 8 known children.

    I moved away from the state of IL to the state of TN, i was wondering if there is anyway, i could possibly find somewhere close that would take my DNA sample, and find somewhere close to them in IL that could take his parents DNA or one of his brothers, and test it and mail a copy to each party?
    Due to the amount of travel time with two children, it would be very difficult for me to drive all the way there and back with no immediate answers.

    I also seen, if the father is not present something about needing the biological mothers DNA as well, her and i dont speak anymore.. is there a way it can be done this way, with me and either both parents or an uncle?

    How much would it cost, to do such a thing?

    • Hi, Jezebel. If both the possible father’s parents are willing to test, it is very likely that you’ll get conclusive results, even without your mother’s participation. If you call us directly, we can send testing materials to you where you live and to them where they live. The cost of the test starts at $300. Just give us a call at 800-681-7162.

  24. Hi I’m pregnant and one of the alleged fathers wants nothing to do with this baby, I want to prove for peace of mind that he is the father, can I test his sister on the prenatal paternity test or does it have to be him specifically?
    Thanks in advance

  25. I am 15 weeks pregnant and do not know who the father is. It is between two different men. I don’t want either of them to know I am getting a paternity tear done is that possible or do that have to know? Thank you.

  26. I have a friend who mother wouldn’t tell her who her father was. What DNA test woulld she use? Her mother pass away four months ago. I want to give it to her as a gift . When she was really,she talk about it. Nothing happens but talk.

  27. How much does it cost to do a dna test with a aunt or uncle? My father recently passed away and i wasnt told. The family isnt very helpful. Also wouldnt the morgue have a sample of his DNA or something that can be used?

    • Hi, Dawn. An aunt/uncle test is $300-500, depending on how you want to use the results (legal or peace-of-mind). The morgue may have a blood card on file. If so, we could use that for testing, yes.

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