5 best mitochondrial DNA tests for accurate maternal ancestry results


Wondering if that little cutie really inherited your eyes? Or perhaps you’re in the middle of a legal battle to prove your maternal link? Whatever the reason, the mitochondrial DNA test is the key to dispelling your doubts about your offspring. Unlike the pregnancy test, which is fairly straightforward, the maternity test encompasses a multitude of parameters, making it considerably more complex.

Our top best mitochondrial dna test

  1. EasyDNA : best mitochondrial dna test to trace your maternal ancestry based on 21 genetic markers
  2. Family Tree DNA : best dna test to contact relatives based on mtDNA
  3. Living DNA : improved mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test, enabling precise exploration of maternal ancestry
  4. iGenea : best dna test to search over 2,000 regions to confirm maternal parentage
  5. Quick DNA : best mitochondrial dna test with 100% accuracy and results delivered within 72 hours 
🌐 Website
📏 Database size in millions1831,5817
🔎 Search for relatives
🗺️ mtDNA and Y-DNA mapping
🛠️ Family tree builder tool
🕰️Results delivery time20-30 days6-8 days6-8 days6-8 days72 hours
💶 Price€326€148€98€179€99

What is maternity DNA testing?

The maternity test is a biological procedure used toconfirm the existence of a genetic link between a child and its putative mother. Based on DNA, this test evaluates specific microsatellites and detects chromosomal similarities between the two subjects.

The aim is to verify, with 99.9% accuracy, whether the child carries the genes of the mother in question. To do this, saliva or blood samples are taken and analyzed using the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) method.

When should you use a maternity test?

The maternity test is necessary in many situations such as:

  1. Checking the mother’s identity after in vitro fertilization
  2. Determining the biological mother after child abduction
  3. The identification of the biological mother after an adoption
  4. The search for origins for children without parents
  5. Resolving doubts about a possible exchange of children at birth
  6. Family reunification procedures
  7. Suspicion of confusion of children at birth

Who can request this type of DNA test?

Requesting a maternity test is strictly regulated by law. Only authorized persons can make the request. They are: 

  • The presumed mother of the child: if she has doubts or wishes to confirm her biological relationship with the child
  • The child: once an adult or with the help of a legal guardian
  • Heirs in the event of death
  • Legal authorities: in the case of adoption, abduction or presumed child exchange at birth
  • A court: in legal proceedings such as custody or support disputes

Whether for personal or legal reasons, only a magistrate of a high court can order this type of analysis to be carried out.

The different types of maternity DNA tests

Traditional maternity DNA testing

The traditional maternity DNA test is a method commonly used to establish a biological link between a mother and a child. It relies on the analysis of each person’s genetic fingerprints to determine whether they share specific DNA sequences. Samples, usually taken in the form of saliva or blood, are then analyzed in a laboratory. The results are reliable, with an accuracy rate approaching 99.9%.

Non-invasive testing during pregnancy

Non-invasive testing during pregnancy is a recent advance. It makes it possible to determine maternity without endangering either the mother or the fetus. This test consists of analyzing the fetal DNA present in the mother’s blood. This method is particularly useful for mothers who have undergone in vitro fertilization or other fertility treatments.

Other test methods

In addition to traditional, non-invasive DNA tests, there are other, less common methods of establishing maternity. For example, some tests may analyze specific proteins or antibodies present in the blood of mother and child. Others may rely on genetic markers less common than DNA. These uncommon methods can be used in specific situations when standard DNA tests fail to provide conclusive results.

What type of sample is used for maternity testing?

Different samples can be used to determine the biological relationship between a presumed mother and a child.

Mouth sample

This is the type of sample most commonly used for maternity testing. A buccal swab is taken by gently rubbing a cotton swab inside the person’s cheek. This collects DNA-containing cells that can then be analyzed.

Blood samples

Although less common than buccal swabs, blood samples can also be used for maternity testing. They offer a rich source of DNA and can be particularly useful in certain specific situations.

Who can participate in a maternity parentage test?

For a successful maternity test, the participation of certain people is required. These are:

  • The presumed mother(s): in the event that the maternity doubt concerns mothers from the same family.
  • The child: the individual whose maternal filiation is in question. This may be a baby, a child or even an adult.
  • The biological father: his participation is optional, but can help strengthen the accuracy of the test
  • Other family members: in some cases, other family members may be tested to help establish biological links, especially if the presumed mother is not available (mitochondrial DNA test).

How to perform a maternity DNA test

Performing a maternity DNA test is a scientific process and follows a very precise procedure. The first step ischoosing the right type of test. Indeed, there are legal tests intended for use in court and home tests for simple personal knowledge.

The second step is the sampling. This is done by gently rubbing a cotton swab inside the individual’s cheek to obtain the buccal mucosa. In some cases, a blood sample is preferable.

The step after sampling isto send the samples to the laboratory in a dedicated envelope. The laboratory analyzes and compares the DNA of the presumed mother and child to determine whether they share specific DNA sequences.

After analysis, results are usually available within a few days.They indicate with great accuracy whether the presumed mother is biologically related to the child.

Is it painful?

The maternity test is a non-invasive and generally painless procedure. However, the blood draw may cause slight discomfort at the time of puncture, but it is well tolerated by most individuals.

What are the analysis times?

Maternity DNA testing is a process that combines simplicity and precision. Once the samples have been taken and sent to the laboratory, the waiting time for results may vary. 

Most specialist laboratories provide results within a few days, often between 5 and 10 working days. However, certain factors, such as the volume of samples received by the laboratory or public holidays, can influence these times.

Find out directly from the laboratory near which the test is performed to obtain an accurate estimate of the time needed to receive results.

Focus on reliability rates and result accuracy

If the woman tested is indeed the child’s biological mother, the test validates this maternity with 99.99% certainty. If this is not the case, the test rules out this possibility with 100% accuracy.

Renowned laboratories systematically double-check samples to prevent any inaccuracies. 

The accuracy of the test is influenced by the quality of the samples and the number of genes analyzed. And this number is usually between 15 and 22 genes (STR Loci). To guarantee authentic and reliable results, analyses must be carried out in a laboratory complying with rigorous international standards, such as ISO17025 and AABB.

How to read the results

The results of a maternity DNA test are usually presented in table form. In this table:

  • Each column represents a participant, either the child or the presumed mother.
  • Each row corresponds to the different genes or “loci” that were compared.
  • The genetic sequence of each gene is indicated by one or two numbers for each individual.

To determine maternity, it is essential that the child shares at least one number with the presumed mother on each line. If the child and mother have matching numbers for all the genes examined, the maternal relationship is confirmed. On the other hand, if a single line shows no match, the relationship is often considered not established.

Can a maternity DNA test be performed without the father’s consent?

In French jurisdiction and in other European countries, a maternity test can be carried out without the consent or participation of the father. Laboratories focus solely on comparing the genetic profiles of the mother and child.

However, for any DNA test involving a minor, the consent of at least one legal guardian is generally required.

And if the father is the only legal guardian, then his consent may be required. We remind you that in the context of legal proceedings or other legal situations, the rules may vary. For this reason, we recommend that you consult a legal advisor to understand the specifics related to consent in the context of a maternity test.

Can a maternity DNA test be carried out without the mother?

A maternity test is performed to establish a biological link between a presumed mother and a child. However, there may be occasions when we wish to determine maternity without having access to the mother’s DNA. In such circumstances, it is possible to use other methods. 

Using DNA from another family member

This type of test uses DNA from other family members, such as maternal grandparents, siblings or other close relatives. By comparing the child’s DNA with that of these family members, scientists can deduce with some probability whether the child is biologically related to the presumed mother. 

Analyzing discrete samples

In addition to standard samples such as saliva, it is possible to use discrete samples from the presumed mother to perform a DNA test. These include fingernails, toothbrushes and hair. Before any use, consult the testing laboratory to ensure their acceptability and obtain specific guidelines on collection and dispatch.

Taking a mitochondrial DNA test

A mitochondrial DNA test is also an exploitable option. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test is designed to identify whether two or more individuals are descended from the same mother. It is based on the analysis of variations in mitochondrial DNA, a type of DNA transmitted uniquely by the mother to all her children, whether male or female.

Thus, this test makes it possible to confirm maternal links, for example between siblings wanting to verify that they do indeed have the same biological mother.

Price of a DNA maternity test

Average cost of test

The cost of a maternity test can vary depending on a number of factors, including the region, the laboratory chosen and the complexity of the analysis. On average, prices can range from 100 to 500 euros. Tests carried out in accredited laboratories, while potentially more expensive, offer superior accuracy and reliability.

Where to get a maternity test done?

Maternity tests can be carried out in specialized genetic laboratories or clinics offering DNA testing services. What’s more, with the advent of home DNA testing, many companies now offer kits that you can order online. Choose a laboratory or company with a good reputation and appropriate accreditations to guarantee accurate results.

Reimbursement for maternity parentage testing : how does it work?

Whether it’s a paternity DNA test or a maternity test, parentage tests are not covered by standard health insurance schemes. National health systems consider these tests to be non-medical. This means that you are responsible for the entire cost. But when the test is ordered by a court, the costs are covered or shared between the parties involved.


Maternity DNA testing is a powerful tool that offers remarkable accuracy in establishing a biological link between a mother and child. Whether for personal, emotional or legal reasons, this test can provide clear and reliable answers. DNA testing is more than a simple genetic examination, and can have profound implications for the lives of the individuals concerned. Knowledge of the various facets of this process can prove invaluable. But before you use a maternity DNA test, be prepared to discover the truth about your child or children.