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Best Paternity Tests

Updated December 2021
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Best of the Best
My Forever DNA Paternity DNA Test Kit
My Forever DNA
Paternity DNA Test Kit
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An exemplary paternity test that delivers results and confidential service to a high standard.


Excellent customer service that allows you to speak to an actual person prior to submitting the test. Results received within 3 days.


The test has 24 markers, which is complex and the instructions are difficult to understand.

Best Bang for the Buck
STK Paternity Test for Child and Father
Paternity Test for Child and Father
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Affordable test that is simple to use with a fast turnaround.


The test is ISO compliant and has full accreditation. You can check the status and results of the test online.


The results of this test cannot be used in court.

Paternity Depot Paternity Test Kit
Paternity Depot
Paternity Test Kit
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Paternity test for the budget-focused buyers in mind – look out for the waiting time.


The FDA approval of the test makes it a value for money when you pair it with the price. The test is accurate and results can be emailed for privacy.


Results take up to 5 days, which is longer compared to other tests.

Identigene DNA Paternity Test Collection Kit
DNA Paternity Test Collection Kit
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Low-cost paternity test with a huge hidden fee – buyer beware.


Economical test to buy if you can wait to process the full test later.


You have to pay more than $100 in lab fees in addition to the cost of the test.

DNA Direct Paternity Test Kit
DNA Direct
Paternity Test Kit
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The test for people who need results quickly


Low-cost test including shipping to the laboratory. The test takes 2 days, which suits people who need answers now.


The test only has 22 markers – other options on the market have more. The markers point to the accuracy of the test.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best paternity tests

Paternity tests are a simple way to verify a father’s relationship with his child. They’re usually quick and non-invasive as long as you follow the test’s instructions. Once you’ve collected samples from the father and child, you send them to a lab that tests the samples and reports on their findings. It usually takes several days to receive results.

While most modern paternity tests check a number of genetic markers and are pretty accurate, you don’t want to take any chances. That’s why it’s crucial that you select your paternity test carefully so you know you’re working with a reputable company that will deliver reliable results.

Here’s a short guide to help walk you through all of the key factors you need to think about when choosing a paternity test.

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New York has strict laws surrounding DNA testing. Labs will not be able to process your at-home paternity test results if you have a New York address. Residents of other U.S. states do not need a court order or physician’s request to order a paternity test.

Key considerations

The two most important factors to focus on are accuracy and processing time.

Test accuracy

A paternity test is useless if it’s not accurate, so it’s crucial that you choose a test with a proven track record. The most accurate tests evaluate more than 20 genetic markers. By looking at multiple markers, they’re able to better determine whether the possible father and child share the same genes. If a test only looks at a few markers, it becomes harder to say with accuracy whether the adult and child are related. We recommend choosing a test that checks at least 20 genetic markers.

Processing time

Once you’ve collected the samples, you must mail them to a lab for evaluation. It may take anywhere from two to five business days after the lab receives the samples before you receive any results. It’s up to you to decide how quickly you need the answer, but if you’d like to know as soon as possible, we suggest choosing a paternity test with a two- or three-day turnaround time. The manufacturer usually lists this information, so it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out how long it will take to receive results.


There are several other features to consider when selecting the right paternity test for you.

Sample type

Most paternity tests use cheek swabs for samples because they’re simple and non-invasive, which is especially important when you’re trying to sample a young child. The manufacturer should indicate which type of sample is required on the packaging so you know what you’re getting before you buy.

Results delivery

If you want the quickest results possible, choose a paternity test that delivers your results online. When you purchase your test kit, it should include instructions on where to log in to access your results once the testing is complete. If you choose a test that mails results, you will have to wait longer for the results to be delivered to you.

Multiple adult samples

A typical paternity test contains two cheek swabs, one for the suspected father and one for the child. But if you’d like to test multiple men to determine who is the father of the child, some tests give you the option to add an additional cheek swab for an extra charge. Others require you to purchase a whole new test if you’d like to test someone else. This can be expensive, so if you plan to test multiple possible fathers, you’re probably better off going with a test that lets you add an extra sample to your original kit. You may need to contact the testing company directly if you wish to do this.

Separate delivery

Paternity testing can be challenging when the father and child live in different states. Some paternity testing companies will split up the samples, sending one to each party. Both have the same case number, so they will be paired together when they reach the lab, and both parties will have access to the results once they are available online. You may need to contact the company directly to arrange this special delivery.


Most at-home paternity tests are not admissible in court. They are merely meant to provide the family with information on a child’s paternity. But if you need a test that’s legally admissible, some at-home testing companies can still help. They can send you a different version of the test, which you must take in front of an unbiased third party who can verify that you took the test and submitted it to the lab. Alternatively, some companies may require that you come to one of their labs directly to take the test. However, before you go this route, you should double-check that this evidence is permitted in courts in your area. If you don’t need a legally admissible paternity test, we recommend using an at-home test instead because they’re cheaper.

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Did you know?
Some paternity tests may use blood drops or saliva for a DNA sample, but most use cheek swabs because they are quick and painless.

Paternity test prices

There are three potential costs you can incur with an at-home paternity test.

The first is the cost of the test kit itself. These can range anywhere from $15 to $125, with most costing between $90 and $100.

Next, there is the cost of lab fees. Some of the more expensive tests include these fees in the price of the test kit, while cheaper kits often do not. So before you jump at the $15 test kit, it’s wise to look into the test’s lab fees. It’s not uncommon for these to cost $100 or more, so you end up paying about the same as you would for a more expensive test.

Finally, there’s the cost of shipping the samples to the lab. Again, some test kits may include a postage-paid envelope with the test kit so you don’t need to pay for shipping, while others may nickel-and-dime you. It’s smart to check with the manufacturer to figure out all costs associated with the paternity test before you buy.


  • Always read the instructions thoroughly before taking the paternity test to be sure your results are accurate.

  • Some tests give you the option to include the mother’s DNA as well. This may help you get a more accurate result.

  • If you’re concerned about privacy, make sure that the company you choose does not sell your information to third parties or keep your samples after the testing is complete.

  • Place the swab directly into the provided container and seal it. This will help prevent cross-contamination.

Other products we considered

The Rapid DNA Paternity Test Kit is a great choice for those interested in an affordable test kit with no hidden fees. All lab and shipping costs are included in the price of the kit, which uses cheek swabs to test for over 20 genetic markers. Results are delivered via email or text message as soon as they are available, usually within about two business days of the lab receiving the sample. If you have any questions, you can contact the company’s customer support department at any time. The Genovate DNA Paternity Test is another excellent choice for those who want a quick turnaround. You’ll receive results in as little as two business days after submitting your cheek swab samples to the lab. You can view your report online as soon as the results are available. If need be, the company can send the test components to different locations if the suspected father and child do not live in the same area.

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If you’re testing two related alleged fathers, you should notify the lab of this special circumstance so that they can provide you with the most accurate results.


Q. Is it safe to use a paternity test with an infant?

A. Yes. Most paternity tests use cheek swabs to obtain their DNA samples, and this should not pose any danger to the child.

Q. Do I need the mother’s DNA in order to do a paternity test?

A. The mother’s DNA is not required, but it can improve the accuracy of the results. Some paternity tests include a third cotton swab so the mother can provide her DNA as well.

Q. Can I perform a paternity test if the alleged father is deceased?

A. A traditional paternity test would not be possible unless you somehow had access to the deceased father’s DNA. However, if the man had other children, you may be able to do a sibling DNA test. Alternatively, the alleged father’s siblings may be able to provide their DNA. However, results from these tests are not as definitive as a traditional paternity test.