Paternity Testing – You Have 4 Options

We are in a recession, and people are becoming more and more price sensitive. When someone is unsure about paternity and wants a paternity test they care about one thing. Price. And there is nothing wrong with that. Times are tough. The fact is, the paternity testing industry is becoming more and more competitive, and that helps consumers in two ways. First, overall prices of tests are falling. Second, companies are providing more options for paternity testing. So, before you go purchase the cheapest paternity test on the market make sure it’s one that fits your needs. There are four major options. Each one has different characteristics and price ranges. The four options are: Legal Paternity Testing, Home Paternity Testing, Prenatal Paternity Testing, and Discreet Paternity Testing. Here’s an explanation of each.

Legal Paternity Testing

If DNA test results are needed for court or may be needed for court, then you should take a legal paternity test. You may need the results for court if you suspect any issues with anything from child support and child custody to paternity or adoption. This type is different from other methods because it uses a strict chain of custody, which makes the results court admissible. The key to maintaining a chain of custody is the DNA collection. In order to be court admissible the DNA samples must be collected by a non-biased third party. The person must be unrelated to the participants and uninterested in the results of the case. The cost of a quality legal paternity test ranges from $400 – $525. Unfortunately, the cost is not covered by health insurance because it is not considered medically necessary.

Home Paternity Testing

If you want a DNA test simply for your own peace of mind, then a Home Test is probably the right choice. This type is the most affordable, and most convenient way to have questions about paternity answered. The cost for a home test varies from $79 – $400. Keep in mind that not all tests are created equal. In order to get the most accurate results find a lab that tests 16 genetic markers. Also, make sure the lab is AABB accredited. If you need the DNA results for legal purposes a Home Paternity Test will not be admissible.

Prenatal Paternity Testing

If you need answers before the child is born, then this test will give you the results you need. A prenatal test involves a procedure called an amniocentesis or a chorionic villus sampling. In either case the procedure is performed by a doctor. There are risks involved with the procedures, so make sure you consult your physician before going through with a prenatal test. The results of a prenatal test are court admissible. Typically, the cost of a prenatal paternity test is between $500 – $850.

Discreet Paternity Testing

This test is useful if you want results without other parties knowing. In this situation a laboratory will test a non-standard sample(something other than a cheek swab) and will compare it to other cheek swab DNA samples. For example, the father can come into an office for a DNA collection, and can give the child’s toothbrush to the lab. The lab can compare the samples without bringing the child in for a DNA collection. This test is not court admissible and the cost ranges widely from $500 – $1500.

This is a basic overview of your testing options. When considering paternity testing you should consult a DNA case manager from an experienced laboratory. There is more to the test than just price comparison, although price is one key factor.