Can Consumer Genetic Testing Deliver Accurate Results?

First, How Does The Paternity Test Work?

Paternity Test, like other forms of Family test (brother, mother, etc.).) is a relatively simple practice. Other forms of DNA analysis are based on understanding the genes involved and their relationship to the disease. In the paternity test, scientists are simply checking to see if the DNA matches at different points. In this article, we will focus on DNA paternity testing.

To understand how this process can identify someone as a direct member of the family, you need to understand a little about genetics. A human begins as two different cells, the sperm and the egg. Inside these cells is exactly half the DNA needed to create a human. Both cells contain 23 chromosomes or parts of DNA.

Half Mom, Half Dad.

Chromosomes inside the egg have a corresponding chromosome inside the sperm. When they merge during fertilization, the single created cell has 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs. This cell replicates, grows and replicates many times. Cells differ in specific tissues and organs, and a multicellular man was born in the world. Each of your cells contains a copy of the original 46 chromosomes.

In other words, you share half your DNA with your father, and half with your mother. Without knowing any of the specific genes within your DNA, a lab can tell if you are related to someone directly.

Half Mom, Half Dad.

To do this, simplyā€¯ read ” DNA in many places. They do it on your DNA, then on the other DNA sample you have. If all the stains are identical, it’s very likely that you inherited the DNA from that person, or that you inherited it. If the places are not compatible and you share much less than half of the places tested with the other sample, it is likely that you are not related to the person.

How Accurate is the Paternity Test in General?

In that case, it’s probably a very strong word. With an accuracy of more than 99%, the results can be considered valid. The reason is biological. First of all, the only thing that can change your DNA is a mutation. This could show a false positive if the Stars line up. In that case, the lab would think two people are related. Actually, the mutations may have changed your DNA to make it look like you’re related.

It’s highly unlikely. Scientists measured the mutation rate and showed that there are on average only 175 mutations per person in the DNA code of more than 6 billion nucleotides. Not only should all these mutations occur, they should land specifically on the portions of DNA that the lab is testing. Even then, mutations should be the correct nucleotide (1 out of 4) to match the other sample. The statistical probability that a good paternity test is a false positive is incredibly low.

The only other way to confuse a paternity lab is to have the DNA of an identical twin. If so, the two individuals share the same DNA. It would be really hard to tell who the father was, since genetic testing would be the same.

In addition to these two extremely unlikely situations, paternity tests are very accurate. Many genetic testing companies, such as 23andMe, offer paternity and kin testing as a feature of their platform. Because they already test so many points inside your DNA, the test becomes easy to conduct. In addition, being one of the first forms of genetic testing, paternity tests have become easily accessible and quite inexpensive. They can also be found in Walgreens and Walmart.

Should I use a Paternity DNA Test at Home?

There are several positive and negative aspects of paternity tests and family relationships. In most versions, you buy a kit online or at the pharmacy. Swab the cheek cells and those of the other person being analyzed. Send the kit to the lab, where the DNA samples are analyzed.

Paternity testing is relatively simple compared to other forms of genetic analysis, and many companies offer safe and effective methods for paternity testing. Whether or not you should use a test at home depends very much on the motives.

If you’re trying to prove that your brother is really adopted, these tests would be cheap enough to get quick answers. If you’re taking a paternity test in a complicated legal battle, you may have to do your research to make sure the evidence is admissible.

Best at the Paternity Test?

Look at our paternity testing companies on our homepage where we compare DNA tests. In essence, all major companies that have multiple plans available for DNA testing also offer home paternity testing as part of their offer. You can read full reviews on this site that describe exactly what it includes and whether they are admissible in court.

What’s the Legality of the DNA Paternity Test?

United States

In the United States the legality of paternity tests is complicated. Every parent can test their children for paternity and can do so using a paternity test. However, if the results are to be used for legal issues, most home kits are not eligible in court. This is not due to the fact that the tests are necessarily less accurate, but simply to the fact that the courts require a chain of custody, which is discussed below.

In each state, the rules can vary even more. Some courts require paternity tests to be performed by the laboratory they normally work with. Other states require that any laboratory may be used, provided it is accredited in accordance with ISO / IEC 17025. Many laboratories carry this standard and there are more than half a dozen certification agencies. Usually, the paternity test is ordered by the court and tried in a lab of their choice. U.S. immigration procedures require testing to be performed by an accredited laboratory of the AABB. A list of these laboratories can be found here.


Under Canadian law, paternity testing is only regulated for accredited laboratories. While personal paternity test kits can be found and purchased, the government recommends that tests be carried out only in accredited laboratories.

Within Canada, two bodies are solely responsible for the accreditation of laboratories. The Council of normalization of Canada and the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation also certify laboratories according to ISO 17025, which is a general standard of laboratory competence.

United Kingdom

Like us and Canadian laws, there are no restrictions on personal paternity testing. They can be purchased and analyzed by different companies and laboratories. However, when it comes to paternity tests ordered by the court, only laboratories accredited by the Ministry of Justice. A complete list of test laboratories and information on obtaining a paternity test in the UK can be found here.


Ineligible paternity tests are readily available in Australia, as in the other countries mentioned above. Australia has specific paternity testing laws, and all tests must comply with the 1984 family law rules. According to these standards, the laboratory completing the test must be accredited by the National Association of testing authorities.

Are Private Tests as Cheaper as Accredited Laboratories?

This depends on the company, but many companies argue that their results are accurate and accepted in court. Many companies market separate versions of their product for this purpose. An admissible test is almost always performed by a third party to ensure that the samples are not tampered with. The third also checks the identity of the persons concerned to ensure their results. It is a common legal practice to document the process, known as chain of custody.

If you don’t need the results to get up in court, and you don’t want to pay extra for someone else to dab your cheek, the results are just as accurate in normal versions. The lab will probably use the exact same process to analyze both types of samples. If you need the results to get up in court, definitely look for a company that offers services through a third-party tester. This can be more expensive, but it certifies the results with an independent laboratory, ensuring that the judge will accept the evidence.

What’s the Difference between Home-made Tests and lab tests?

What's the Difference between Home-made Tests and lab tests?

To be honest, this is a complex question to answer. In short, they are similar, but a professional laboratory dedicated to court-admissible tests will be more rigorous than home DNA paternity tests.

Unfortunately, no paternity test is regulated by the FDA. This has allowed many companies to market products that actually test only a few sites within the DNA. This greatly reduces the accuracy and validity of the test. Paternity labs often cost more, but there are several advantages. The chain of custody of evidence is guaranteed for the purposes of court proceedings. The laboratory can also offer a higher level of analysis, although direct tests to consumers are rapidly recovering.

Sites like 23andMe automatically find other relatives on the platform, based on paternity tests. Although the results of these types of matches have yet to be thoroughly tested in court, the results are scientifically accurate. Many consumer-directed genetic testing kits include this aspect, simply as a by-product of the analysis of other genes.


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