Best at-home paternity test : guide


Do you have doubts about your child’s paternity and would like reliable answers? Numerous paternity tests are available to accurately confirm parentage. To simplify your search, our genealogists have analyzed and compared the best paternity DNA tests to select the most reliable ones.

Our selection of the best at-home paternity tests

  1. EasyDNA : best paternity test with state-of-the-art analysis technique and accurate results
  2. Family Tree DNA : best DNA test for confirming paternity and tracing paternal lineage.
  3. iGenea : best DNA test for confirming paternity and exploring ethnic and genealogical origins.
  4. Quick DNA : best reliable paternity test with fast delivery.

Accuracy 99, 9 % 99, 9 % 99, 9 % 100% (double-checking)
Result time 3 to 5 working days From 4 to 6 weeks 5 to 7 working days 72 hours
Sampling options Standard (mouth swab) Standard (mouth swab) Standard (mouth swab) Mouth swab, discreet test (hair, handkerchief, chewing gum, etc.)
Particularities Economical and reliable Goes back 1000 years in the paternal lineage Provides information on ancestral and ancestral origin Discrete test capability
Web site

EasyDNA: a reliable, affordable paternity test


With 99.9% accuracy, EasyDNA allows you to quickly resolve any doubts you may have about your child’s paternity. Once ordered online, the test is easy to perform from the comfort of your own home. EasyDNA also offers :

  • A non-invasive prenatal paternity test ;
  • A legal paternity test ;
  • An immigration paternity test

Results are available within 3 to 5 working days.

Read our full EasyDNA review to find out more.

Family Tree DNA: advanced technology at the service of your genealogy


Unlike EasyDNA, Family Tree DNA offers a Y-DNA test specifically designed to determine paternity. This test uses the Y chromosome, passed down from father to son through the generations, to identify similarities between genetic markers.

As female children do not have a Y chromosome, the test can be performed on a brother, uncle, father or male cousin. The advantage of this Family Tree DNA test is that it allows you to go back up to 1,000 years in paternal ancestry. Not only can you confirm your parentage, but you can also learn more about the history of your patrilineal line.

Read our Family Tree DNA review to find out all about its tests.

igenea: the paternity test that also reveals your roots


Accurate and fast, iGenea uses advanced genetic markers to determine living genetic relatives and confirm paternity. In addition to confirming paternity, this DNA test can provide valuable information about your ancestry and genetic lineage. Results are available 5 to 7 working days after receipt of samples.

Our full iGenea review is available, so you can find out everything you need to know about the various tests.

Quick DNA : the quick and reliable paternity test


The Quick DNA paternity test reliably establishes the paternity link between a father and his child. Analyses are carried out in an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory, guaranteeing 100% reliability of results. What’s more, our molecular genetics specialists use the most advanced DNA techniques and double-check the samples.

Results are sent by e-mail within 72 hours of receipt of the kit by the laboratory. Sampling kits are sent in unmarked envelopes, ensuring the confidentiality and security of processed data, with no transmission to third parties.

Read our QuickDNA review

What is a paternity test?

Every man inherits the genetic heritage of both his progenitors (half from the father and half from the mother). This unique, indelible genetic fingerprint links a child to its biological parent. The paternity test, also known as DNA test, confirms the existence of a biological parent-child relationship between a father and his child.

This test compares the DNA of two individuals to accurately determine whether they share a biological parent-child relationship.

3 reasons to do a paternity test

To confirm a child’s parentage

According to recent data, nearly a third of men would raise children without being their biological father. Faced with this reality, paternity testing can help reveal long-hidden truths.

This expertise doesn’t just confirm or deny a biological relationship. It can also bring inner peace to those seeking to understand their true bond with the child they love.

To settle parentage disputes

The paternity test is of vital importance in the legal context. In particular, it is used to define parental rights or financial obligations. When parentage is in doubt, or the child is not recognized by his or her father, a judgment can establish this link. Several legal situations may require such a judgment:

  • The search for paternity, for unacknowledged children;
  • Restoring the presumption of paternity, particularly in the event of divorce;
  • Contestation of paternity;
  • Inheritance issues;
  • Immigration procedures

This filiation link entails obligations, such as the payment of alimony or inheritance rights. The request for a paternity DNA test frequently comes from mothers seeking child support.It can also come from fathers seeking visitation or custody rights, or from fathers doubting their biological link to the child.

Just out of curiosity

Pushed by curiosity, some people opt for paternity testing simply to understand their genetic heritage. This approach, while less formal than legal or emotional reasons, is just as valid.

The test can reveal hidden branches of the family tree, confirm family histories passed down from generation to generation. It can even reveal links to unexpected cultures and regions.

How does it work?

DNA paternity testing involves comparing fragments of the child’s genetic code with that of the individual presumed to be the father. Identifying specific sequences, or markers, can accurately establish whether these collections share a common origin. This process, though complex, is simplified for the user.

A sample, often saliva, is taken using a swab. It is then analyzed in a laboratory. A blood sample can also be used for analysis. The confidentially treated result then reveals the degree of genetic match.

The different paternity tests available

There are essentially two types of paternity tests. The most common DNA test is carried out after the birth of the child. This simple, non-invasive test is generally based on a buccal swab of the child and the presumed father to establish a biological link.

Modern technology also offers the possibility of determining paternity long before the child is born: prenatal paternity testing. 

When the child is still in the mother’s uterus, specific prenatal tests can be carried out. Unlike the standard test, these tests are more delicate. They often require samples of blood or other fluids, both from the mother and the fetus, to analyze the DNA.

Reliability and accuracy of results obtained

Paternity tests are renowned for their quality and accuracy. Sample analysis is generally carried out by quality laboratories certified to international standards: ISO 17025 and AABB

They double-check the samples to avoid any margin of error (which is why they request the collection of two samples per participant). 

The tests have a minimum probability of 99.99% in the event of paternity confirmation. Otherwise, the test proves with great accuracy the non-existence of a biological link between the father tested and the child.

Are all paternity tests identical?

Although the basis of these tests is DNA analysis, there are different methods and reasons why these tests are carried out. 

The standard DNA paternity test compares the DNA of a presumed child with that of a potential father. However, there are more complex situations, such as when tests involve twins. For example, identical twin fathers present a particular challenge due to their almost indistinguishable DNA samples.

Furthermore, there is a distinction between home testing and legal testing.

Home tests are generally performed for peace of mind.

On the other hand, legal tests are used in legal situations, such as child support or custody cases.

Also, the technology and methods used can vary from lab to lab. Some may analyze more genetic markers than others, which can influence the accuracy of the result.

How to perform an emergency DNA test ?

Many laboratories offer an express service for DNA sample analysis. The process is simple: start by ordering your test kit directly online. Once received, follow the instructions to perform the sample collection via buccal swab.

After this step, simply send the samples to the laboratory in the envelope provided. Thanks to this accelerated service, you can expect to receive your results within 2 to 3 days of sending your samples. Choose the laboratories with the shortest lead times. That way, you can be sure of receiving your genetic information quickly and efficiently.

How to take a legal paternity DNA test ?

Taking a DNA paternity test within a legal framework is subject to rigorous rules. Far from being a trivial procedure, it is strictly regulated by law and can only be initiated in well-defined circumstances. To perform this test, you must: 

  • Justify the legitimacy of your request 
  • Clearly identify the individuals concerned by the test
  • Present the judge’s order to the laboratory

For this type of test, self-sampling is strictly inadmissible. Samples must be sent to the laboratory for processing. 

This procedure guarantees the integrity and legality of the process, ensuring the reliability of the results obtained.

Can paternity testing be performed without the consent of the parties?

A person can refuse to undergo a paternity test, but obtaining consent is essential. Performing the test without the agreement of the individuals involved can lead to ethical and legal complications. This is why the majority of laboratories require formal authorization before performing the test.

For a minor, the agreement of a parent or legal guardian is required.If the alleged father is deceased, some laboratories allow his direct descendants to authorize the test from discrete samples (hair or handkerchiefs). Private DNA test kits are available for those simply seeking to clear up a personal doubt.

Can a paternity test be carried out without samples from the mother?

Although its participation is often recommended, it is possible to perform a paternity test without the mother’s DNA. However, in some rare cases, the mother’s DNA can help improve results.For example, if two alleged fathers are brothers, it’s essential to include the mother’s DNA for stronger results.

In addition, for legal or court-ordered tests, the mother’s participation may be required. You should carefully consider the situation before deciding to exclude the mother’s sample.

How to do a DNA test without a Y-DNA sample from the father?

The paternity test is carried out with the participation of the presumed father to obtain the best results. However, in the event of his unavailability (death, disappearance, prolonged absence, reluctance), there are other ways of carrying out the test.

Using discrete samples

When the father or child can’t provide a typical sample, you can resort to other sources to extract DNA. Alternatives such as hair, blood clots, fingernails, cigarette residue, biopsies or tissues can be used. 

Since DNA molecules don’t degrade easily, you can obtain DNA from samples that are several years old. Nevertheless, the amount of recoverable DNA may vary depending on the source and the age of the sample. Remember to submit your samples promptly to optimize the probability of a successful extraction

Use DNA from other direct relatives 

In the absence of the alleged father, you can use DNA from other family members sharing similar genes. This can help establish a potential relationship with the child concerned, but the results obtained are not always accurate and conclusive.

Using paternal grandparents’ DNA

If the alleged father or his DNA sample is unavailable, paternal grandparents can help confirm paternity. By analyzing their DNA, we can check whether they share genes with the child, indicating a family link. You can get results as reliable as if the father had been tested directly.

Perform test on male parents

It is possible to determine the biological parentage link thanks to Y-STR analysis. This is a recent DNA technique that studies the Y chromosome to determine male genetic links between a child and his grandfathers or great-uncles.

This method is useful even if the father is absent, as genes are passed down from father to son through the generations. Y-STR DNA analysis is intended only for boys searching for their father and offers 100% accuracy.

DNA testing on siblings 

If paternity is in doubt, DNA from half-siblings can clarify the genetic link to the child. Similarly, siblings of the alleged father can be included in the analysis, as they share similar genetic sequences.

Before proceeding with this test, we recommend that you provide the laboratory with details of your case. In this way, they will be able to direct you to the most suitable tests and inform you of the possible results.

How long does it take to get a paternity test?

For a standard paternity test, a highly accredited laboratory should provide results in one (1) to two (2) business days. Some laboratories, particularly those that outsource overseas, may take 3 to 12 weeks or more.

If the test is carried out as part of a legal procedure, the process can take longer. Why? Because it requires additional steps such as obtaining a court order and coordinating DNA collection.

How to read the paternity test results?

Paternity results are generally presented in terms of inclusion or exclusion.Inclusion indicates the probability that the man tested is the biological father. As an example, an inclusion of 99.99% means that it is almost certain that the man tested is the father. Conversely (0%), exclusion means that the man tested is not the biological father.

Reports often mention loci, which are the specific DNA points compared between the alleged father and the child. The higher the number of loci compared, the more accurate the test. In some reports,the term trio may be used. This refers to the mother, presumed father and child, all tested for more accurate results.

You can always consult an expert or the laboratory if you have any doubts or questions about your results.

Home paternity tests: what about their reliability?

The home paternity tests are carried out by accredited laboratories. They have a team of genetic experts and use modern sample processing techniques. Test results are reliable and accurate for most laboratories. Although this kit is convenient, the result is generally not admissible in court.

Paternity testing: legal implications and privacy rights

In many countries such as France, Australia, the UK, privacy and the non-consensual use or appropriation of genetic material are strictly regulated. These regulations aim to protect the rights of individuals and prevent any violation of privacy.

Laboratories are under a legal obligation to guarantee the security of their customers’ personal information. In contrast, other countries take a more flexible approach, allowing paternity tests without the authorization of a judge and a health professional. Despite this flexibility, data confidentiality remains a priority for these laboratories.

How much do paternity tests cost?

The cost of a paternity test varies according to the type of test and where it is performed. Here are the prices of the paternity tests in our selection:

  • Easy DNA : €169
  • Family Tree DNA : $119
  • iGenea : €179- €279
  • Quick DNA : €99.90


Paternity tests are powerful tools that lift the veil on biological ties and answer deeply personal questions. Science offers precise answers, but it’s just as crucial to understand the legal and emotional implications.

Before you take the plunge, get informed and weigh your decisions carefully.