Should I Get Lab Testing or a Home Paternity Test Kit?

Home Paternity Test Kit

Deciding to do a paternity test can be a difficult one. There’s the possibility that you might not get the results you’re hoping for.

That said, there are a few different types of paternity tests available, so it’s important to understand the differences between them before making a final decision. 

Among the most common options you’ll come across include lab testing, which is done by a professional, and a home paternity test kit which you can do on your own at home. 

So, which one should you choose among the two? Continue reading to find out more.

What Is DNA Lab Testing?

Professional paternity testing using a lab is the most popular option. It’s often considered the “gold standard” of paternity tests because it provides an official government-issued DNA test report that you can use in court.

Professionals do lab paternity tests, and the accuracy rate is extremely high. However, what you order isn’t typically what you get. Lab testing is typically more expensive than home testing, and because laboratory professionals are doing the test, you don’t get to choose which testing method they use. Lastly, lab testing does not detect half-siblings or paternity fraud as home kits can.

What Is Home Testing

Paternity tests are done in a laboratory using legal-quality DNA samples that you will provide. While there are different home testing kits available, they all use cheek swabs for DNA samples. Cheek swab samples are painless and easy to collect (no needles used), and all you need to do is mail the samples back to the lab for testing. 

However, they can all accurately determine parentage, maternity, and sibling relationships. You can purchase a home paternity test kit online or in retail stores, but the cost of these tests is typically much lower than lab testing prices. 

Home paternity tests can detect half-siblings and include a full list of paternal relatives, while lab tests typically don’t provide this information. However, these tests aren’t as accurate as lab testing, and there’s also a small chance that anyone with a vested interest could tamper with the sample. 

There are also known sample mix-ups that can lead to false results, so it’s important to purchase a test from a reputable company.  

So, Which One Should You Use?

Overall, both kits are accurate. However, home testing kits are usually preferred by people who want more convenience and control over their paternity tests. Benefits of home testing include:

  • Testing your child yourself to avoid any mix-ups with a laboratory
  • Getting results sooner by doing the test in the comfort of your own home
  • Cheaper cost for similar testing accuracy to lab tests, and can detect half-siblings
  • Informative paternity test result reports that include paternal relatives’ contact information

Winding It Up

Paternity tests are recommended for many different reasons. Fathers want to make sure they are the biological parents of their children, and mothers may want to know who the father is so they can be included in child support decisions. Many spouses also use paternity tests to avoid financial responsibilities after a divorce.

If you want to do a paternity test but don’t want to go through the hassle of lab testing, home tests might be perfect for you. Whether you choose a professional laboratory or a home kit, make sure you purchase your kit from a reputable company.

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