Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to our most-asked questions here. Have more? Contact us for a free consultation.

Home Paternity

Pre-Test & Testing

What do I need to do to get a home paternity test?

To get a home paternity test, you can order it online now or—if you are a U.S. resident—look for our kit at your local retail store. NOTE: Per the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), New York residents can only do a legal paternity test. See testing guidelines for New York State here.

Can I do a home paternity test if I need results for child support or custody?

No; you should not do a home paternity test if you need results for child support, custody, or any other legal reason. Courts do not accept results unless they are from a legal DNA test that maintained a strict chain-of-custody process. If you need results for court, contact one of our specialists for a no-obligation, free consultation at 800.681.7162.

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How soon can you DNA test a baby after birth?
You can DNA test a baby after birth as soon as the baby has been cleaned up by hospital staff. Because a cheek swab is used, it’s important that the baby’s mouth be free from meconium, amniotic fluid, breast milk, or formula when doing the DNA collection.

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What types of samples does DDC use for a home paternity test?
DNA is collected by test participants at home, using cheek swabs (also called buccal swabs). Cheek swabbing is a quick and painless way to collect cheek cells containing DNA. This is not a saliva test. To prevent swabs from getting “too wet,” avoid gum areas and do not spit on the swabs. If they seem very wet, wave swabs in the air for 60 seconds prior to placing them in the paper sample envelopes.
Is there a difference in accuracy between cheek swabs and blood?
No, there is no difference in accuracy between cheek-swab and blood samples. DNA is the same in every cell of a person’s body, regardless of whether it is a blood cell or cheek cell. It has been demonstrated that DNA from a blood or cheek swab sample from the same person produces identical paternity test results.
Can a home paternity test be performed without the mother?

Yes; a home paternity test can be performed without the mother. If the mom cannot, or does not want to be tested, we can still perform a home paternity test. A “motherless” test could require more extensive analysis to produce conclusive results, but the results are just as accurate as those of a standard paternity test with the mother included. Keep in mind that consent from a legal parent or guardian must be obtained for testing a minor child. If the mother participates in a home paternity test, she is guaranteed to receive a copy of the test results.

Are home paternity tests accurate?
Home paternity test results are accurate for the samples provided to the laboratory. For at-home testing, the lab relies on test participants to make sure samples being analyzed by the lab belong to the correct people. If you do not trust other participants’ integrity with submitting correct samples, you can either make sure you’re all together in the same room during swabbing or you should choose a legal paternity test (with witnessed DNA collection) instead.

The DDC Dual Process™ system adds an extra layer of surety to the accuracy of your test results. Each post-natal paternity test is performed twice by independent teams, so you can be confident in your results.

What happens if the tested parties live in different cities or states?
The easiest thing to do if tested parties live in different cities or states is to call us during business hours at 800.681.7162 to set up the test, and we’ll take care of sending DNA-collection kits to the different locations.
Can a paternity test be performed if the alleged father is missing or deceased?
A paternity test cannot be performed if the alleged father is missing or if he is deceased and no blood card is available from the funeral home. However, other testing options are available in these types of situations. DDC specializes in finding alternative family members to test to determine the true biological father.

Other tests include:

We’re ready to help. Call us at 800.681.7162

There are two possible fathers and they’re related. Is this a problem?
If two possible fathers are related as full brothers or father and son, they may share many of the DNA markers used in paternity testing. This means that if the laboratory is not aware of these relationships, both men could test positive as the child’s biological father. DNA testing is strong enough to determine paternity in a case involving closely-related fathers, but the laboratory must be made aware of these situations before the testing process begins.

DDC offers two options for cases involving possible fathers who are related:

Option 1: Test both fathers, the child, and the mother at the same time. By comparing both fathers’ DNA profiles with the child’s DNA profile, our expert laboratory staff can achieve accurate and conclusive test results. There is an added fee for the additional father.

Option 2: Test one father with extended analysis. This option is for when only one of the fathers is available for testing. To produce a conclusive result, we must perform extended testing and statistical analysis. There is an additional fee for the extended testing and analysis.

If your testing scenario involves two possible fathers who are closely related, contact us to set up your test at 800.681.7162.

I live in New York State. Can I do a home paternity test?

Per the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), New York residents can only do a legal paternity test with a prescription from their doctor or attorney. See testing guidelines for New York State here.

Test Results

How long does it take to get DNA paternity-test results for a home test?
Results are posted 2 business days after samples are received at the lab. 1-day or same-day results once samples arrive at the lab are available for an additional fee.
How will I receive my results?
For security reasons, we do not send a copy of your results via email. Instead, a PDF report can be downloaded from your secure online account on our website. We immediately send a notification email to the address on file as soon as the online report is ready to view. If eligible to receive results, you may also request a hard-copy of the report for an additional fee.
What do test results look like, and how do I interpret them?

We follow all paternity-test guidelines for the language used in the report. For this reason, your paternity test results will say whether the possible father IS EXCLUDED or IS NOT EXCLUDED as the biological father of the child tested.

  • IS EXCLUDED: Means that he cannot be the father because testing determined that he and the child do not share a biological parent/child relationship.
  • IS NOT EXCLUDED: Means that he is likely to be the biological father because testing determined that he and the child do share a biological parent/child relationship with a high degree of probability.

A paternity test result includes a table that lists:

  • The allele sizes of the different DNA markers examined and used in the statistical analysis portion of the test (i.e., the DNA profile)
  • A Probability of Paternity value
  • A Combined Paternity Index (CPI) value

You will want to focus on the probability of paternity percentage. A result of 0% means the alleged father is not the biological father; a result of 99.99% or higher means the alleged father is most likely the biological father. The CPI value represents the odds against another random, unrelated, untested male in the population having the same results as the tested man. IMPORTANT: Paternity testing is calculated using statistics. Therefore, a probability of paternity can never be 100%, because that perfect score would require testing every man on earth with the same racial background of the man tested—which isn’t possible. A probability of 99%+ is considered conclusive for paternity.

SEE A SAMPLE REPORT AND LEARN MORE ABOUT RESULTS

Can I use my home paternity test results to obtain child support?
No; home paternity-test results cannot be used to obtain child support. Because a strict chain-of-custody process with supervised DNA collection hasn’t been followed for a home paternity test, results are not accepted for any legal reason and are not recognized in courts. If you anticipate needing results for legal reasons some

Billing, Payment, & Other Questions

How much does a home paternity test cost?
Our home DNA paternity test (for personal knowledge and peace of mind only) costs $150 to $200.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept the following forms of payment:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Pre-paid credit cards
  • Western Union Quick Collect
  • Money orders
  • Cashier’s checks
  • Personal checks (with the payer’s driver’s license number written on the check’s memo line)
  • Checks by phone (U.S. patients only)
Do you have payment plans?
As part of our mission to make the best DNA testing services accessible and affordable, we offer flexible payment plans to individuals who need time to pay for their tests. If you want to take advantage of our payment plans, call us at 800.681.7162.
Do you protect my privacy?
We take our customers’ privacy very seriously: both for your case and your DNA data.

  • We will not release any information about your case to anyone without your authorization.
  • We will always follow any special instructions you give us for communicating with you or other parties involved in your test.
  • We never release test results over the phone.

SEE OUR FULL PRIVACY POLICY

More Paternity Questions

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Have questions or need assistance? Contact our team.

DNA Technology Park
1 DDC Way
Fairfield, OH 45014

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