Modern paternity testing allows families and single parents to determine the results they seek without the hassle of involving a clinic or a smut-infused television show. Instead of enlisting Maury or Dr. Phil, turn to those handy-dandy Q-tips and envelopes you’ve most likely not been saving for moments like this. There’s no denying that finding out the father of your child is a taxing process, but at-home testing dials down the stress. Read on to learn more about at-home paternity testing so that you can get this done and over with.
Things to Keep in Mind
Paternity tests use noninvasive methods like a series of cheek swabs to determine results in three to five business days. In atypical postnatal cases, a blood sample may be needed to gather DNA, but this is rare. Even though the markers used to determine genetic kinship are consistent across legal and at-home paternity tests, the number of markers vary depending on the company. The quality of the lab you select, your ability to follow testing directions, and the length of time the kit has been sitting out will influence accuracy.
To avoid potential inaccuracies, remember that lower-costing tests are that way because they use fewer genetic markers. This is how the DNA companies cut back on expenses. With fewer markers, the statistical probabilities of the results, as well as the number of times that the specimens are run, decrease. Look for accreditations like the American Association of Blood Banks to ensure your purchasing a quality kit.
Where Can I Get Them?
You can easily find at-home paternity testing kits at your local pharmacy, see locations. Kits are also sold online. When you purchase a kit, you pay the retailer, and then pay a separate lab fee once it’s time to test. After the test is taken, register your kit online and send the cheek swabs to the lab. Results will be sent via mail or through a private online account. Make a quick search for ‘paternity testing near me’ to see what your specific options are in your area.
Why Do An At-Home Test?
Many home paternity tests claim to match the accuracy of court-ordered tests because the genetic markers used are the same ones that law enforcement agencies rely on. The only other difference is that DNA collections are compiled differently for at-home tests and legal tests. The testing process at the lab is the same for both. The only added benefits of getting a court-ordered test are that it legalizes paternity proceedings, and officializes custody and essential child support.
The ease of performing a paternity test at home is the main benefit of choosing at-home testing over legally witnessed testing. Determining the father of your child may very well be a stressful and emotional process. Being in the comfort of your own home takes the edge off of the whole ordeal, allowing you to mentally process all aspects of testing and the results, at your own pace.