Home and Legal paternity tests are the definitive scientific means of confirming paternity. Prior to doing a paternity test one should have a clear aim of what to do once they receive their results. Are they going to just use the results to settle the unrest in their minds causes by doubt regarding who the father is? Or are they going to take things to court?

Most people opt to do a home paternity test rather than a legal paternity test. Basically when wondering which to do, ask yourself ‘Am I sure about who the father is or do I only have a doubt?’ Unless you are sure you are taking things to court, it is not really worth the extra costs and complications of a legal paternity test. If you want to solve visitation issues, child custody issues and maintenance issues then again, you will need a court ordered paternity test.

I’m sure I am not the father. I need a legal paternity test

You can order your test with a number testing companies that will advise you on your case and ensure you understand every step entailed. Once payment has been made you will be sent a DNA testing kit. Inside the Kit you will find the oral swabs and consent forms necessary for the test. The swabs are simply rubbed inside the mouth in order to collect some check cells and saliva. The hitch: you will not be able to take your own DNA samples. You will need to go to a qualified doctor, nurse or even a lawyer who is independent of the test and who will act as Sampler (Sampler is the technical term in legal tests for the person taking the sample) and as a witness. The sampler will have to rub the swabs inside the mouth of the people required for the test, verify which swabs belong to which person and that the people swabbed are the people who are actually concerned in the legal paternity test.

This above all forms part of what is called ‘the chain of custody’ which will ensure you have results which will stand in court. The following will also be needed:

  • All people taking part in the test need to supply passport sized photographs showing their fully face
  • They will need to take valid identification such as a passport or driving license
  • Photocopies of the means of identification chosen

The swabber will need to check identification and sign the photographs of test participants declaring that there is a true likeness between the people who have been swabbed and the people in the photo provided. Once all the DNA sampling is over, the swabs are packed by the swabber and sent back for testing.

Legal aid paternity test: who needs to be swabbed?

In order to carry out your DNA paternity test and maximize results it is important that the father, mother and child or children be involved in the test. The test must work towards maximizing results including the mother’s sample will strengthen the results. However, if the mother is unavailable for testing the test can nevertheless go ahead although sometimes the court itself may specifically ask for the mother’s samples to be included.

Your court admissible paternity test: accreditation and results

It always best to opt for a legal paternity test that is accredited. An accreditation means that laboratory procedures are undertaken following strict testing methods and everyone involved has a high degree of technical competence. Your results will be sent to the person who demanded the test. The results will show an inclusion rate of 0% if the tested father is not the biological father of the child and an inclusion rate of 99.9% and higher if the alleged father is the child’s biological father. Including the mother’s sample can provide a higher result by excluding her share of genetic inheritance.

A Legal paternity test requires added procedures to guarantee your results stand in court. People can cheat, bribe or attempt to alter results of an at-home paternity test; legal tests pre-empt and stop this from happening.