Best Paternity Test: (Comparison and Reviews 2017)
With the increasing popularity of paternity DNA tests, easy-to-use home testing kits are now available for online purchase. These kits provide all the materials and instructions needed to conduct a cheek cell swab test. The user simply needs to follow the instructions to conduct the test, and then send the sample to the laboratory, where it’s analysed. The home testing facility is good enough, generally speaking, but if the paternity test has been ordered by a court then it needs to be conducted at the laboratory/testing facility prescribed in the court order. That’s because a home paternity test is not admissible in court.
DNA testing was originally synonymous with paternity testing because it’s considered the only sure way of checking if a particular man is the biological father of a particular child. Even though DNA tests are also conducted for forensic testing (criminal investigation) and gene therapy (testing for genetic conditions), parental testing remains the most common reason for DNA testing. It involves identifying the unique genetic code present in a person’s DNA molecule, which will be shared, either in part or in full, only with people who are closely related. This means a child will have genetic markers in common with his parents.
Taking this logic forward, you can even verify sibling links through this kind of testing. Given the growing popularity of such tests, a large number of laboratories around the world are providing paternity DNA testing services these days. It can, naturally, become difficult to find out how effective any one of them is, and the best paternity DNA test is one that will be able to successfully identify those markers with maximum accuracy.
To get you started, let's go through the two best DNA kit for paternity, one by one:
Product Reviews: The Top 2 DNA Paternity Test
The Rapid Paternity Test Kit claims to be a high accuracy testing device which compares more DNA than other brands.
Inclusive of laboratory fees, this kit can test a set of two individuals for paternity. It also provides free FedEx express shipping to the purchaser.
What makes this worth the price is that it tests 21 markers instead of the usual 16 tested by other kits. The ease of use is another advantage worth considering while choosing this kit, which has a stated accuracy of over 99.99%. Security is another thing guaranteed with this test.
Things We Liked
- FDA approved and certified by AAB, besides having various accreditations
- Equipped to painlessly test 21 genetic markers of DNA
- Double testing of the samples (cheek swabs) to ensure reliability
- Results assured in 3-5 business days (with money back guarantee)
- Reports kept completely confidential
Things We Didn't Like
- Complaints of inconclusive results
- Poor customer service
- Prolonged delays in results in some cases
With the promise of 99.99% accuracy, the STK Paternity Test Kit, which includes all lab fees for one child and one suspected father, is another popular choice for those looking for an effective and simple paternity testing kit.
The test is designed for 16 genetic markers. Online tracking and access to results are among the features of this kit that attract users.
Things We Liked
- Kit is ISO 17025 compliant and AAB accredited
- Provides paternity testing for 16 DNA loci, which is three more than the FBI requirement for DNA testing
- Includes 6 swabs for sample collection
- Reports are shared within 3-5 business days and are kept confidential
- Free return mailer, as well as a helpline number, makes the process a breeze
Things We Didn't Like
- Certain hidden costs may be involved, such as for sibling testing
- Results are often delayed beyond the promised 3-5 working days
- Problems with online tracking also reported
Conclusion: Which DNA Test for Paternity To Pick?
Given the fact that both the tests reviewed here are marred by procedural delays and the STK Paternity Test Kit has the additional negative of testing only 16 genetic markers, the Rapid Paternity Test Kit with DNA Testing of 21 Markers does seem to be the better choice of the two.
If you’re looking for the best paternity DNA test to be conducted at home, you’d probably be better off going with the Rapid Paternity Test Kit. Not only does it test for more markers, it’s extremely easy to use, painless and it doesn’t fare any lower than the STK when it comes to reliability and accuracy.
Buying Guide: What to Consider Before Buying a DNA Test for Paternity
What paternity DNA testing involves
DNA is a double helix shaped molecule that lies at the core of paternity DNA testing, also known as DNA fingerprinting or genetic profiling. This molecule is what contains the genetic code of every person and influences his/her physical appearance and personality traits. Of the 3 billion pairs which go into the making of the genetic code, 99.9% are identical in all humans, whereas the remaining 0.1% of the code sequence varies from person to person. These unique sequences, or gene markers, are identical only in the case of identical twins. However, you may find some of the markers being similar in people closely related to one another. That’s where paternity testing comes in. It helps trace the parentage and ancestry of an individual. Experts in DNA testing know which genetic markers need to be identified to spot common traits between two persons. Such DNA tests are common in family or ancestry related legal cases, where it becomes important to establish the credentials of a person claiming to be the legal heir of a particular person or family. However, many people go for such tests out of curiosity or on account of some suspicion related to paternity.
How such paternity DNA test is conducted at home
Biological samples of both persons involved are taken to establish the genetic linkage between them. Since the DNA contained in all body cells of an individual is the same it is possible to take the samples from any part of the body, be it blood, skin, hair follicles, saliva, and so forth. You may have heard of samples being taken from under the nails of a victim and compared with blood samples of the suspected assailant to match for DNA. The principle in paternity DNA testing is the same and can be validly conducted using disparate body samples of the two individuals. The main techniques applied in DNA testing related to the use of PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) and RFLP (Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism).
Is paternity DNA test at home always accurate?
Now that’s a moot point. Unfortunately, even though a paternity DNA test is a good way of checking on paternity it’s not completely fool-proof. Chances of error remain even though the possibility of two unrelated individuals having common genetic markers is one in a billion. Hence, more than one genetic marker is usually recommended to be sure of the result. The problem is that testing multiple genetic markers is not only time-consuming but expensive too. Though other methods, such as ABO Blood Group Typing and use of human leukocyte antigens are also available for genetic profiling, DNA testing is still considered the most accurate and advanced technique for the paternity test.
Precaution to be taken
Unlike some other medical tests, paternity DNA testing also requires little preparation beforehand. Unless you’ve had a blood transfusion done in the past 3 months, the only thing you need to worry about to get a good result is ensuring that you don’t contaminate the sample you’re sending to the lab for testing.
Is it possible to get the test done during pregnancy?
If you’re wondering whether it’s possible to conduct a paternity DNA test before the birth of a child, the answer is yes. For this, however, you’d need to get the test done at two stages – one during 11-13 weeks of pregnancy and the other during 16-22 weeks. Given the risk of miscarriage involved, especially in the second stage, doctors don’t usually prescribe pregnancy paternity DNA testing. Eventually, however, it’s a personal decision and there are cases of such a test being conducted during pregnancy.
Other relevant information about paternity DNA test
Cost, of course, is one important factor to be taken into account when deciding to identify the best paternity test for your needs. How much time will the report take to come, and whether that matches with your need, is another aspect you may like to consider. The time-frame depends on which part of the body the sample has been taken from, and may vary from 5-10 days to 3-4 weeks.