The Truth about Paternity Testing Myths

Finding out the identity of a baby’s father provides certainty, allowing the mother and child to move on with their lives or help the possible father to assert his parental rights. Moreover, getting a paternity test may be necessary for important legal reasons. Despite DNA paternity testing being around for many years, several aspects of testing are still widely misunderstood. In this article, we separate fact from fiction. We hope the following paternity test facts eliminate any remaining doubts you might have about these tests. 

1. “Paternity testing is expensive.”

Just a few years ago, paternity tests cost more than £700. Due to significant advances in technology, paternity tests can now be performed for as little as £79. The cost depends on who performs it as well as whether the results need to be used for personal knowledge only or for legal purposes. Quality should never be sacrificed for price, especially in situations as sensitive as paternity testing. Nevertheless, efficient and accurate paternity testing should be affordable. Some companies, including DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC), can start the testing process as soon as they receive a deposit.

2. “It doesn’t matter where a paternity test is performed because all labs are created equal.”

All labs aren’t created equal. You need to check the accreditations of any laboratory you’re considering. And it’s advised to ask the lab if your DNA samples will be tested twice, because this double-check helps to ensure accuracy and mitigate the possibility of false results. Not all laboratories fulfill these requirements. 

DNA testing involves far more than technique and instrumentation. It requires the experience and expertise of qualified scientists, careful laboratory protocols, and client-service professionals who understand the unique needs of each client. DDC has held AABB accreditation since 1996, while also receiving multiple perfect inspection ratings from various accrediting organizations

3. “I can’t order a paternity test because the potential father lives hundreds of kilometres away from me.”

Some companies have satellite DNA-sample collection sites. DDC has more than 5,000  collection sites in all 50 states and 168 countries around the world. Each DDC sample-collection site is equipped to handle the chain-of-custody process, which requires that a neutral third party take samples. Chain of custody is mandatory for court cases. Separate appointments for sample collection can be made to accommodate individuals not living in the same area. And samples can also be collected at different times and collection sites.


4. “My ex-boyfriend is gone. Without him, I’ll never know who the father of my child is!”

In some situations, the possible father is unavailable or unwilling to partake in a paternity test. In these situations, a grandparent test can be performed. This test uses the paternal grandparents’ DNA to determine if the child is biologically related to them. If the child is determined to be a descendant of the grandparents and they have more than one son, all sons would be considered the potential father of the child.

5. “Paternity testing takes too long and I need results now.”

If a lab can dedicate a team to your case, testing can be done in as quickly as one business day. It will cost more if you need the results quickly. In most cases, a few labs offer results in five days, on average. DDC has the capability of providing results in 1-2 business days. If you’re using a private lab, you should receive prompt service and results. If you’re planning on going through a government child-support agency, it could take months for the processing and paperwork to go through, even though the actual testing may only take a few days.

6. “Paternity testing divides families.”

Paternity testing has many benefits. It’s used in adoption, immigration, genealogy, and other family-building cases. Testing benefits the child in cases in which paternity must be verified for inheritance or insurance purposes, as well as child-support and custody cases. Of course, you need to prepare yourself emotionally for the results, but finding out the truth enables you to make important decisions and move on with your life.


7. “If I get a test, people will find out about it.”

Each case is unique and should be handled with the utmost confidentiality, privacy, and discretion. At a private laboratory like DDC, your results are confidential. Keep in mind if you go through a child-support agency, your results may be public record. In addition, if the case goes to court, a judge may need to see the results. Selecting a privately-conducted test provides you with sole control of what to do with the results after you receive them.

8. “A $79 test is the right choice for me.”

A $79 paternity test can be more expensive to the consumer in the long run. These tests don’t hold up in court. They’re generally not reliable because the testing may be done outside industry protocols and/or performed by inexperienced staff, which could lead to results that are interpreted incorrectly. If you’re inquiring about a paternity test for any legal matter, further testing is required, which means additional fees. Wouldn’t it be better to pay only once for something so important? DDC offers legal paternity testing options that provide the definitive answers you need, as well as a document that can be used for legal purposes (e.g. child support and custody).


9. “I can’t stand the sight of blood or needles, so I could never participate in a paternity test!”

While a blood sample is one method of testing, most labs today, including DDC, use a painless buccal swab to collect samples for all postnatal testing. The swab is similar to a cotton swab but made of a material called Dacron, which creates a consistent surface for the cheek cells to adhere to. As mentioned above, this collection process is painless.

10. “I have to wait until the baby is born to have a paternity test done.”

That’s simply not true in this day and age. Paternity can be established before the baby is born using a prenatal paternity test. DDC’s innovative prenatal paternity test makes it possible to get accurate answers in a safer way than ever before. We encourage you to read more about our prenatal DNA tests.

Speak with an Expert

One issue not addressed above, because it isn’t a myth per se, is the common concern that samples might get contaminated. As a highly-accredited laboratory, DDC takes this responsibility seriously and has established strict processes to ensure samples aren’t contaminated at the lab level. As a participant in the testing, it’s your responsibility to follow instructions and due diligence by sending us samples in the best condition possible. 

We recognize that every situation is unique and so offer a variety of testing options and payment plans to fit your specific needs and circumstances.