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Paternity DNA Test

Updated: Jun 30

test adn de paternité

How to do a paternity test?

A paternity test is a DNA test that can help determine if a man is the biological father of your child. It is also known as a genetic relationship test or DNA fingerprinting.

Technically, the paternity DNA test involves a genetic comparison between the profiles of the participants to determine if there is a match that can either include or exclude a biological relationship. During the transmission of DNA from a father to a child :

half of the father's profile is randomly passed on to the child.

Therefore, it is crucial to establish during the test that half of the child's profile perfectly matches half of the profile of the tested father. If this is the case, then paternity is confirmed; otherwise, it is excluded.

It's important to note that sharing several genes with a person does not necessarily determine a biological relationship. In the case of a paternity test, laboratories typically exclude paternity after finding only three different genetic markers between the participants.

How to do a legal paternity DNA test?

If you're wondering about legal paternity DNA tests and how they're conducted, this article provides answers to all your questions. It explains how the process works, how to confirm the biological link with your child, and how to use the results in court or with an administrative body.

The following steps should be followed to perform a legal paternity DNA test. First, make sure you have:

  1. The consent of the presumed father.

  2. The consent of the child (if of legal age).

  3. If the child is a minor, the consent of a parent is mandatory. ‼️

  4. In some cases, make sure you have the consent of the mother.

For a legal paternity DNA test, it's important that the samples are not taken anonymously. In this regard, the laboratory and the participants must adhere to the traceability chain, allowing you to confirm the identity of the test participants. To achieve this, you can:

  1. Collect the samples directly on-site.

  2. Collect the samples remotely with the help of a general practitioner.

In both cases, during the analysis of the genetic profiles, the laboratory will follow a strict procedure regarding the treatment of personal data. It's crucial that the participant's name is unequivocally linked to their sample.

Conducting an analysis of a legal paternity DNA test allows you to use the results for any judicial or administrative procedures, even if the tests were performed before the start of the analysis.

However, depending on your situation, it's always essential to discuss it with your lawyer to confirm the usefulness of these results. In the vast majority of cases, only the judge can decide whether to consider the report in their decision, and the well-being of the child will always be more important than the proof of biological parentage.

How to do a home paternity DNA test?

A home paternity DNA test 🏠 is a method to determine if a man is the biological father of a child.

Why at home? Because you don't need to go to a laboratory for sample collection.

Instead, you'll receive the materials to collect your samples by mail in your mailbox. The process involves collecting DNA samples from participants, typically saliva, and sending them to a laboratory, then waiting for the results.

These at-home tests, which remain just as reliable, are for personal and private use only. Since the participants' identities have not been verified by a third party like a doctor, you cannot use the results for legal purposes.

Note that during a home paternity DNA test, the names of the participants are based on the declaration made during purchase. For the laboratory, the test is always conducted anonymously.

Can you do a paternity DNA test during pregnancy?

test adn de paternité prénatal

- Yes ! It is now possible to do a paternity DNA test during pregnancy.

This is called a prenatal paternity test, which requires a simple blood sample from the mother and a saliva sample from the presumed father. This DNA test is just as reliable as the paternity DNA test you can do after the baby is born.

To take this test, it is recommended to wait until the 7th week of pregnancy for an accurate and reliable result. The laboratory will initially look for the genetic information of the fetus present in the mother's blood.

If the test is performed too early, there may not be a sufficient quantity of genetic material.

We also list in this article the different situations that do not allow for the prenatal test.

Le test ADN de paternité lorsque la mère est enceinte vous permettra de prendre une décision rapide dans le cas ou ne souhaitez pas garder le bébé et provoquer un avortement. Pour cela, il est primordial de bien se préparer, car l’analyse étant disponible sous quelques jours, vous devrez vous organiser pour la prise de sang avec un médecin, une infirmière ou un laboratoire et renvoyer les échantillons le plus rapidement possible.

How to perform a paternity DNA test after a death?

If you want to perform a paternity DNA test after a death, you need to know that it's not an easy procedure 😥. There are many things you need to consider before proceeding with this test. Here are some tips that will help you in this process:

  • For example, if you want to perform a paternity test after a death, you need to consider the date of death and other factors such as cremation or burial. Depending on the situation, some samples will be easier to recover than others. But it is generally more advantageous to anticipate with samples preserved in advance.

  • The second important piece of information concerns the consent of the deceased. You must provide the consent of all participants in a DNA test. If the person did not explicitly give consent during their lifetime, then it is up to the family to provide documents that attest to consent and a biological relationship.

💰 What is the cost of a paternity DNA test?

The cost of a paternity DNA test will depend on the laboratory that offers it.

Generally, a private paternity DNA test involving a father and a child using saliva samples will be around 130 to 190 euros.

For this price, laboratories offer the shipment of materials for taking samples at home.

If you want to take samples directly on-site, you need to add an additional hundred euros per participant. Be careful 🚩 of ads that offer much lower prices, but which in reality do not include the entire procedure or participants.

The price of a legal paternity DNA test is a bit more expensive today, with a market starting around 280 euros. It can exceed 400 euros at some laboratories. This analysis includes complete sample tracking to ensure a traceability chain regarding the identity of the participants. If the laboratory does not offer on-site sampling, you will need to use a general practitioner 🩺 who may also charge you for the sampling consultation.

Note that for all paternity DNA tests done remotely, in the vast majority of cases, you will have to send the samples back to the laboratory at your expense. Depending on the shipping method, the cost of shipping may vary from one location to another.

DNA test for paternity recognition 👨🏻‍⚖️

The paternity DNA test allows you to perform a genetic comparison between an alleged father and a child to determine a biological relationship. Depending on the result, you can use this analysis report to initiate a legal procedure to establish the paternity of a child. It is important to consider that the test result may differ from what is expected, so it is crucial:

Anticipate both scenarios and plan what you want to do if the result is positive or negative.

Who are the participants in the paternity test?

The participants in a paternity DNA test are:

  • The children, who can be boys or girls 👧🏼 👦🏻

  • The alleged father

  • The biological mother

The participation of the biological mother is not mandatory to obtain a reliable and accurate result. However, it can be added to have the complete genetic distribution in the results. You can then verify for yourself the genes that come from the mother and those from the father.

‼️ Attention: If paternity doubt arises between two fathers from the same family, such as brothers, cousins, uncles, it is mandatory to perform the paternity test including both alleged fathers as well as the biological mother and the child. Otherwise, the test will not differentiate between closely related genetic profiles.

Which sample to use for a paternity test?

échantillon biologique

The buccal sample 🧬

We recommend using a saliva sample for a DNA test. It is the easiest sample to collect and can be preserved for several weeks between the time of collection and the start of the analyses.

Most laboratories offer the saliva sample as the standard sample included in the highlighted price.

Moreover, when you want to perform a test to determine origins, the saliva sample is the only sample you can use.

Non-standard samples 🩸

It is still possible to extract a person's DNA from another type of sample, such as:







The peculiarity for the use of this type of sample is the reliability concerning the extraction.

Will your sample provide enough DNA for the laboratory to create a genetic profile and then use it in a comparison?

To avoid ending up in a situation where a sample is not sufficient for the paternity DNA test, we recommend following the instructions listed in our article.

In short, it is important to send the samples to the laboratory promptly after collection. Additionally, we also advise being cautious about storage methods to avoid any contamination or deterioration of the samples.

Which DNA test to confirm paternity?

The paternity DNA test involves a comparison of genetic profiles to determine if two individuals are related as parents and children. If a man has no biological connection to a child, he cannot be the father of that child. 🙅🏽‍♂️

However, depending on your situation, it may be that the father is not available to take the DNA test. In this case, it is possible to conduct a DNA test with other family members to establish a paternity link.

Sibling DNA test:

You can conduct a sibling DNA test with your brother or sister to determine if you share paternal genes. This analysis will provide a percentage of relationship based on your genetic inheritance.

It is recommended, if possible, to include the DNA of the biological mother of the children in this test to improve result accuracy.

Y-Chromosome Test :

The Y-chromosome test can be conducted with all males in your family who are descended from the same paternal lineage as the presumed father. Since this chromosome is passed from father to son throughout the family lineage, conducting the test with a brother, uncle, cousin, or grandfather will allow you to confirm by deduction whether you belong to the same lineage and thus include or exclude paternity.

The X-Chromosome Test:

In contrast to the previous test, the X-chromosome DNA test can only be conducted between sisters to confirm a common paternity. 👱🏽‍♀️👩🏽‍🦱 Since a woman possesses a pair of X chromosomes, one from the biological mother and the other from the father, the laboratory can determine by comparing samples from two sisters if they share the same paternal X chromosome.

This test can also be performed by comparing the X chromosome of a granddaughter with that of her paternal grandmother. Because during the transmission of this gene, the presumed father, having received his X chromosome from his mother, will have inevitably transmitted it to his daughter afterward.

The test of filiation with the uncle or aunt:

This is also known as an avuncular DNA test. It allows for the comparison of a child's DNA with that of your uncle or aunt on your father's side. To confirm paternity, it is important to conduct the test with the full sister or brother of the sought-after father.

Like the sibling DNA test, the avuncular DNA test will provide a percentage of relationship based on shared genes.

It is also advisable to include the DNA of the biological mother of the children for better reliability.

Grandparentage DNA test: 👵👴

This analysis can be done with both parents of the presumed father. The laboratory can determine if a biological relationship exists between the genetic profiles of a grandfather, a grandmother, and the genetic profiles of the grandchildren.

It remains a probability result that will give you a percentage of relationship based on the always random inheritance.

Is the paternity DNA test free?

Unfortunately, no, it is not currently possible to obtain a paternity DNA test for free.

The cost of the analyses remains substantial for laboratories providing DNA testing services. Moreover, it is not considered by insurance companies and health plans as a medically necessary service, which means it won't be fully covered when you place an order.

However, you may want to check with your health insurance provider to confirm the amount that might be covered if you decide to undergo a DNA test.

Keep in mind that if you choose to have a private test, it will not be covered by social security. On the other hand, a genetic test conducted for legal reasons, such as establishing the father's identity in cases of divorce or disputes over child custody, might potentially be covered by social assistance.

Can a paternity DNA test be done at a pharmacy?

test adn en pharmacie

A paternity DNA test is not available at pharmacies.

You need to visit a medical laboratory and schedule an appointment to undergo the test, either on-site or remotely. For on-site sample collection, all participants must bring:

  • Birth certificate

  • Identification card

  • Consent form

  • Passport-sized photo

This is the procedure for conducting an analysis for a legal paternity DNA test. 🏛

However, you can also collect your samples at home. To do this, you must place an online order to receive the kit from the laboratory. It is also possible to purchase buccal swabs at the pharmacy, which can be used to collect saliva samples from the participants.

What is the reliability of a paternity DNA test?

A paternity DNA test is a medical procedure that uses a sample of your DNA to determine if you are the biological father of a child. This procedure is highly accurate and reliable, making it one of the safest ways to prove paternity. The reliability comes from the simplicity of the analysis; during the paternity DNA test, the laboratory performs a simple genetic comparison between the father's and the child's profiles.

  • If there is a perfect match between the two profiles, paternity is confirmed.

  • If there are differences in certain markers, paternity is excluded.

In this scenario, doubts are quickly dispelled, as there are only two possible results. You cannot be in between.

The reliability of the test also depends on the analysis methods and the laboratory's accreditation.

We explain this in more detail in our article: Accreditation and Reliability.

It is essential that the laboratory adheres to international standards for genetic analysis. We also recommend companies that use a double-verification method during tests. This method avoids human or equipment errors by conducting parallel analyses by two teams that must arrive at the same results.

What is the accuracy of a paternity DNA test?

The accuracy of a paternity DNA test is 99.9% for a positive result and 100% for a negative result.

This is possible due to the number of genetic markers used during the comparison. It is internationally mandatory to use a minimum of 15 genetic markers to determine an individual's DNA profile. 🔬

However, for paternity testing, laboratories today offer comparisons using a minimum of 21 markers, with some going up to thirty genes.

The more points of comparison you add between individuals, the more reliable and accurate the result becomes. This significantly improves the certainty of the relationship and allows individuals to dispel doubts about their children.

Can a paternity DNA test be done without the mother?

Yes, it is possible to conduct a paternity DNA test without the biological mother. However, this may yield less precise results in certain situations than a test conducted with the mother's DNA. The reason is that when you include the mother's DNA, the laboratory can determine the origin of all the genes that make up the child's genetic profile.

For you, it will be easier to understand the final test report because you can verify the correspondence of genetic markers between the child and both parents.

Including the mother's DNA may be mandatory in some laboratories, especially if the test is conducted legally and is intended for use in a legal proceeding.

Generally, if you want to conduct a private paternity DNA test, it is not mandatory to include the mother's DNA to obtain a reliable and accurate result.

How to search for an unknown father?

A paternity DNA test is a type of genetic test that uses DNA to determine the relationship between two or more people. It is therefore an analysis of the comparison between two genetic profiles to determine biological relationship. Unfortunately, if you are searching for your biological father and do not know any family members connected to him, then the relationship test may not be useful.

In this case, you will need to first conduct genealogical research 🌳 to discover information about your potential presumed father.

In addition to traditional research, you now have the option of conducting genetic genealogical research. Through your DNA, laboratories specializing in origin searches can help you connect with people who may be part of your family. It will be up to you to contact these individuals and organize research to select people who can help confirm your paternity search.

You will then have the opportunity to confirm the filiation link with members of the father's family, using any type of test with:

The father in question


Uncles and aunts



Can a paternity DNA test be done in Belgium? 🇧🇪

It is possible to conduct a paternity DNA test in Belgium, whether during a legal procedure, outside of it, or simply on a private basis. There is currently no law that opposes the search for a filiation link through the genetic analysis of participants' DNA. You can order a paternity DNA test from a laboratory to receive the kit at home and perform the test out of curiosity. Alternatively, you also have the option to go to a hospital or laboratory to have the samples taken on-site with the assistance of medical personnel.

Can a paternity DNA test be done in Switzerland? 🇨🇭

Yes, you can perform a paternity DNA test in Switzerland. However, you need to find a laboratory that can conduct the test and bring all concerned parties to the laboratory for the test. Indeed, a paternity DNA test requires the consent and participation of the presumed father, the biological mother, and the child.

Therefore, it is not possible in Switzerland to perform a paternity DNA test without the participation of the mother, even if the child is of legal age. As in all other European countries, you have the option to perform a private DNA test with a foreign laboratory, allowing you to compare only the genetic profiles of the father and the child. This test will have no legal value but is just as reliable as a test offered by an accredited center in Switzerland.

Can a paternity DNA test be done in Algeria? 🇩🇿

Yes, you can perform a paternity DNA test from Algeria. To do this, you need to have a sample from the father and the child and send it by DHL or FEDEX courier. You can collect this sample at home or from a general practitioner. The paternity DNA test you can perform from Algeria will be purely private. If you want to initiate a legal or administrative procedure, then you must request it from a competent judge who can compel the participants to undergo a test directly in a laboratory on Algerian territory.


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