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Best at Home Paternity Test

Paternity DNA tests are becoming more and more popular and can now be purchased online. These kits come with easy-to-follow instructions for the user to perform the test from the comfort of their home and send the sample for analysis to a laboratory. The results obtained from a home paternity test are in general reliable, but when ordered by a judge, the test should be performed at the medical laboratory or health center prescribed in the court order.

This post describes the best home paternity tests available and what you should look out for when planning to buy a home paternity test kit.

Most Accurate Paternity Tests 

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Price

4.3/5

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4.8/5

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4.3/5

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This home paternity testing system permits is intended for testing a suspected father and child. The laboratory is accredited with the AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks), and the manufacturer boasts of an accuracy rate of 99.999%. 

How to Order the Test Kit and Perform the Test

The STK Paternity Test Kit can be purchased online on Amazon. The manufacturer conducts all purchases through Amazon, so even if you place an order on their website, you will be redirected to Amazon.

The kit comes with one instructional brochure, one triplicate sample form, eight sterile swabs, four tamper seals, four swab envelopes, and one postage paid return mailer. 

DNA samples are collected using a buccal swab. The procedure is simple, non-invasive, and takes a few minutes to complete. The kit can be used in all age groups, including newborn babies.

After collecting your DNA sample, you’ll have to send it for analysis to the STK laboratory, which is located in the United States. There’s no additional shipping cost since the kit includes a pre-paid return mailer. You should make sure that you collect the sample and store it as instructed by the manufacturer. 

DNA profiling will be performed a few hours after the sample arrives at the testing facility and the final report will be available about three to five days later. You can access your results online and print them out or request that STK mails a hard copy of the results to your address.   

Pros

  • The laboratory is ISO 17025 compliant and AABB accredited and the test kit includes FDA approved components.
  • The laboratory is ISO 17025 compliant and AABB accredited and the test kit includes FDA approved components.
  • It has a high accuracy rate (99.999%).
  • It provides paternity testing for 16 DNA loci.
  • Results are available within a few days after sample is mailed.
  • STK provides professional support and can help you interpret your results by phone.
  • You don’t have to worry about confidentiality issues.
  •  You get free shipping of your sample (for all orders from 50 states in the US).

Cons

  • You should expect hidden costs, for example, in case you wish to also test a sibling.
  • Some users have reported delays in tracking their results online.
  • Occasional delays in results have also been reported, with some users having to wait for up to two weeks to get their results.

Although it is about $24 more expensive than the STK Paternity Test Kit, this test offers the advantage of testing 24 genetic markers; other manufacturers offer the possibility of investigating 16 or 21 genetic markers. The manufacturer also boasts a high accuracy rate (> 99.999%).

The test is intended for testing an alleged father and one child, but an additional fee is required if testing additional individuals. Laboratory fees are included when the kit is purchased, and the test is easy to perform at home.

Results should be expected approximately two to three business days after the sample arrives at the laboratory and can be checked online as soon as they become available.

Pros

  • Up to 24 genetic markers are investigated.
  • The laboratory is AABB accredited.
  • High accuracy rate (ensured by testing twice).
  • Professional customer service.
  • Quick turnaround time.

Cons

  • Expect additional cost to test more persons.

The manufacturer claims an accuracy rate of 99.9999%The test can also be performed at home and results sent to the laboratory for analysis. Results are available seven to ten days after your hair or saliva samples are received at the testing facility.

Like the other tests reviewed above, the Paternity Depot test requires only a single payment, which also includes payment for laboratory analysis.

Pros

  • The laboratory is AABB accredited.
  • The test is approved for use by the US government.

Cons

  • Some users have experienced extreme delays in receiving their test results.
  • Expect additional cost if the results are to be presented in a court order.
  • What Should You Consider before Buying a Paternity Test Kit?

What Should You Consider before Buying a Paternity Test Kit?

If you’re looking forward to buying a paternity DNA test kit, there are a few things that you should know before taking the leap.

How a Paternity DNA Test Works

The basis of paternity DNA testing (also referred to DNA fingerprinting or genetic profiling) is the DNA molecule, which determines the phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of an individual.

The genetic code contained in DNA is specific to every individual, with about 0.1% of the code sequence varying from one person to the other. Note that code sequences are identical only in identical twins, although more complex techniques have been developed​ to solve paternity and forensic cases involving identical twins as alleged fathers or originators of DNA traces. Also note that code sequences can be similar in people from the same family–​a characteristic that is exploited in paternity DNA testing.

When a paternity test is performed, the parentage and ancestry of a person can be traced. During the process, researchers identify genetic markers that permit them to pinpoint traits that are common to two persons. In the legal context, this is important as it permits a court to determine whether a person can claim to be a legal heir​ or an alleged father is (or is not) the biological parent of a child​.

Some people choose to have a paternity DNA test in case of uncertainty to have the assurance that they’re the biological father of “their” child.

Cost of the Test

If you’re on a tight budget and still wish to purchase a DNA test that gives you accurate results, it is important that you find out what a brand has to offer and whether you’re willing to pay for that.  

How to Perform the Test

Samples should be collected from all the persons whose genetic linkage is being investigated. Samples can include hair, skin, semen, blood, saliva, umbilical cord (after delivery), or cheek swab; samples collected from any part of your body can be used for genetic profiling since the DNA in all your body cells is identical.

To take a test sample from your mouth, you just need to wipe the swab around the inside of each cheek about six times on each side. You should do it firmly and gently. The process should be painless and is aimed at capturing loose cells from the inside of the cheek and not bits of the inner lining of your mouth or blood.

After collecting the sample, put the swab into the collection tube while ensuring that you don’t touch the tip of the swab with your fingers.

The samples are analyzed in a laboratory by the polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism.

When to Perform the Test

A paternity DNA test can be performed either before or after the birth of the baby. Before delivery, the methods can be invasive or non-invasive. 

In the non-invasive technique, the mother’s blood is collected and analyzed to get the baby’s sample, which is then sent for DNA testing. This method can be performed as early as nine weeks into the pregnancy.

An invasive technique can be used to perform the test before delivery and is typically performed in case the paternity needs to be determined prior to the delivery of the baby.

 Two invasive techniques are used to collect samples for paternity testing: amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.

Both amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling carry medical risks both to the mother and her unborn child. In amniocentesis, the physician inserts a needle through the mother’s abdomen to collect a amniotic fluid, which contains the fetus’ genetic material. Amniocentesis is usually performed after the 14th week of pregnancy and the procedure can be very costly at some medical centers. 

Some doctors do not recommend performing an amniocentesis because it carries a risk of miscarriage and prefer to perform the test after the delivery of the baby unless there’s a strong medical reason to do so. 

In chorionic villi sampling, the physician uses a needle to collect cell samples (called chorionic villi) from the placenta where it attaches to the uterine wall. The procedure is typically performed around the 10th to 12th week of gestation and has been associated with adverse outcomes, including fetal loss​. ​

Accuracy of the Test

Although paternity tests are usually very reliable, these are not always 100% accurate. There is a very slim chance that two unrelated persons can have common genetic markers (one in a billion probability). Consequently, it is typically recommended to test more than one genetic marker during DNA profiling in order to have a reliable result. Unfortunately, it is very time-consuming and expensive to test multiple genetic markers.​

Precautions to Take

Don’t perform the test within three months of having a blood transfusion if you wish to have the best result. 

If you plan to provide a mouth swab for paternity DNA testing, it is best to avoid eating, drinking, smoking, or brushing your teeth at least one hour prior to sampling. These are the best practices to follow so that you increase your chances of getting an accurate test result. 

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a reliable home paternity DNA test, you should be assured that the tests reviewed here will offer you the best possible results. If you have the budget, the STK Paternity test is the best option. Otherwise, you can go for the Paternity Depot – Paternity Test Kit, which is not only the cheapest option in this list, but also provides accurate results. Nevertheless, you should bear in mind that these tests can be marred by procedural delays and you might have to call the customer service of the manufacturer to follow up on your test results. 

Further Reading

  1. ​Karpiewska A, Kowalczyk E, Dobosz T. Paternity testing at the Department of Forensic Medicine of Wroclaw Medical University (Poland). Leg Med (Tokyo). 2017 May;26:18-24. doi: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2017.02.002. Epub 2017 Feb 27. PubMed PMID: 28549543.
  2. Niederstrasser SL, Hammer K, Möllers M, Falkenberg MK, Schmidt R, Steinhard J, Klockenbusch W, Schmitz R. Fetal loss following invasive prenatal testing: a comparison of transabdominal chorionic villus sampling, transcervical chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis. J Perinat Med. 2017 Feb 1;45(2):193-198. doi: 10.1515/jpm-2015-0434. PubMed PMID: 27416616.​
  3. ​Caulfield S, Stern AM. Shadows of doubt: the uneasy incorporation of identification science into legal determination of paternity in Brazil. Cad Saude Publica. 2017 May 8;33Suppl 1(Suppl 1):e00110016. doi: 10.1590/0102-311X00110016. PubMed PMID: 28492708.
  4. ​Toya W. Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Japan on the Determination of Blood Relationship via DNA Testing. Asian Bioeth Rev. 2017;9(1):19-32. doi: 10.1007/s41649-017-0009-9. Epub 2017 Jun 30. PubMed PMID: 28943970; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5585996.
  5. ​Weber-Lehmann J, Schilling E, Gradl G, Richter DC, Wiehler J, Rolf B. Finding the needle in the haystack: differentiating “identical” twins in paternity testing and forensics by ultra-deep next generation sequencing. Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2014 Mar;9:42-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fsigen.2013.10.015. Epub 2013 Nov 8. PubMed PMID: 24528578.
Princila
 

Hi! Thanks for visiting. I'm a science geek and proud mom of two adorable kids. I love to research, learn, and write about personal improvement, healthy living, and fertility. On this site, I'll be reviewing the best fertility and ovulation tests as well as discussing tips to help couples trying to conceive. I appreciate you visiting my website, and I'd be glad to answer any questions you may have. Are you a research fanatic? Connect with me on Research Gate (visit our About page for more details about me).

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Michael - November 20, 2017

Wow I had no idea there were so many paternity test out
There to choose from. I do not have a child yet but may be trying in the future with my wife.

Out of all of these which one would you say is your favorite?

I like the idea on how some of these you can send off to labs to give you a very accurate reading.

Reply
    Princila - November 21, 2017

    Hi Michael,
    Your visit is always a pleasure.
    My fav? The STK Paternity Test of course. That’s the test that I usually recommend. It is as effective as My Forever DNA and approximately $25 cheaper. What a better way to say on $$ and still have great results. A couple of persons whom I know have complained about delays, but these are issues that should be expected with any manufacturer. However, I like how STK’s customer service handles such issues.

    Reply

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