The 10 Best Paternity Tests to Help You Find out Who the Father Is

Get the answers you need for peace of mind and better security for your future—and your children’s.
Compare the best paternity test options on the market to make your choice.

 Last Updated September 2019

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1. MyHeritage

Explore millions of historical documents

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  • Time to results - 3-4 weeks
  • Collection method - Cheek swab
  • Price - $59 per person

MyHeritage has built up a database of 9 billion historical documents, 300 million photographs, 34 million family trees and 2.1 billion family names, all since its founding in 2003. The site has become a standard bearer of sorts in the genealogy research field, and has helped millions of customers not only track the history of their ancestors through their DNA, but also through public records, newspapers, censuses, boat manifestos, and more.

While MyHeritage doesn’t offer a direct paternity test like some other options listed below, it is easy for users to gain definitive paternity answers through the use of MyHeritage DNA tests. After a user has sent in a test for a DNA analysis, the company can tell them if it matches another user’s DNA test that was sent in with consent given for comparison. Paying for 2 tests makes this option just slightly more expensive than some of the direct paternity tests on the market, and it can take a bit longer to receive results – between 3-4 weeks. Nonetheless, it’s an effective way to get an answer about paternity, and also to get acquainted with one of the best genealogy resources on the market today.

With MyHeritage’s DNA Matching feature, you won’t need to purchase 2 test kits if you have DNA results from another test source. All you need to do is upload your previous results to the MyHeritage database and it will match them for free.

An added value of going with MyHeritage is that on top of information about relatives, you’ll also get an ethnicity report, detailing the geographic makeup of your ancestors. So not only will you discover living relatives, you’ll also learn about the origins of your family.

The size of MyHeritage’s database along with its added features makes it a great choice for anyone who needs to do a paternity test and has time to wait for some of the most detailed results around.

Pros 

  • Billions of historical documents
  • Accepts DNA results from other sources
  • Leading brand with millions of users

Cons

  • No specific paternity test
  • Users have to compare individual results

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2. Who'zTheDaddy?   

Paternity tests for peace of mind

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  • Time to Results - 5 working days
  • Collection method - Cheek swab
  • Price - $119

Don’t let the name fool you – Who’zTheDaddy? is serious when it comes to paternity testing. The company promises results within 4 days and over 99% accuracy on testing that checks 21 parameters. The test kits come with swabs for up to 3 people, as well as consent forms, detailed instructions, and a pre-addressed envelope.

Who’zTheDaddy? offers court admissible results which can also be ready and emailed in 4 working days, though these tests cost considerably more – starting at around $299 as opposed to around $119 dollars for the non-court admissible “peace of mind” home paternity test.

Some users have reported the Who’zTheDaddy? results to be difficult to read, which is why each report comes with a short summary below it.

Either probability is 0%, which means you are not the father of the child, or it reads 99.9%, in which case you most likely are the father.

All in all, the Who’zTheDaddy paternity test is a solid choice for anyone looking for a speedy kit with accurate results and can understand detailed reports.

Pros 

  • Tests for 21 genetic markers
  • Quick results
  • Live chat support

Cons

  • Results can be difficult to interpret
  • Whimsical name can be a turnoff to some

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3. homeDNAdirect​  

Court-admissible paternity results

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  • Time to results - 3-5 working days
  • Collection Method - Cheek swab
  • Price - $129

HomeDNA Direct offers a wide variety of paternity tests including ones admissible in immigration and family court. The company’s home paternity test costs $129 and tests 21 genetic markers with the results provided within a matter of days by email.

The company offers an immigration test which is recognized by the immigration and naturalization services of the United States and costs $499, as well as a version which can be used in court for custody issues, which costs $299.

The home paternity test is simple and easy-to-use and the company provides customer support options to help users work through any possible issues.

Another great feature that HomeDNAdirect offers is a free online chat with a DNA consultant, and you can even have the company call you to discuss your case over the phone. All things considered, HomeDNAdirect is a solid choice for anyone who needs a fast DNA test with transparent pricing and customer service that goes the extra mile.

Pros 

  • Tests 21 genetic markers
  • Extensive customer support
  • Special legal and immigration kits

Cons

  • Specialty kits can be expensive
  • Options can be overwhelming

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4. International Biosciences 

Testing from globally accredited laboratories

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  • Time to Results - 3-5 working days
  • Collection Method - Cheek swab
  • Price - 120.32

International Biosciences is a UK-based DNA testing company that provides 99.99% accurate paternity tests that are ready in 3 to 5 business days and check off 21 genetic markers. The tests are carried out at laboratories that meet strict accreditation requirements of the UK Ministry of Justice, and can be used for legal and immigration purposes.

The home paternity test costs $119, while if you’re looking for a test that can be used in a family law court, it will cost you $299, and a non-invasive prenatal paternity test will cost you $1,195.

The company also ensures confidentiality and provides a customer service help line and email.

The advantage of using a company with a US-based lab cannot be understated. First off, a US-based lab is what makes it possible for your results to be sent to you within 5 business days—sometimes as quickly as 3 business days. Also, it means less travel time and less likelihood of postal mishaps.

One more added bonus of going with International Biosciences is its online resources, such as the FAQ page, knowledge base, and glossary. This company wants to provide you with as much education and know-how as possible so that you don’t feel lost during this sometimes arduous process.

International Biosciences is a good choice for those looking for an easy-to-navigate website with transparent pricing and a solid knowledge base.

Pros 

  • Tests 21 genetic markers
  • Website filled with education resources
  • Secure results delivery

Cons

  • No live chat support
  • Customer service in European time zones

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5. EasyDNA 

Customer-service-orientated paternity tests

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  • Time to results - 3-5 working days
  • Collection method - Cheek swab
  • Price - $119

EasyDNA is just what the name claims to be. An at-home paternity test, this DNA kit is an easy-to-use cheek swab, highly accurate, and tests 21 genetic markers. Results are received in 3-5 days, so there’s no waiting for your pressing answers.

Customer service and accuracy are both top-quality with EasyDNA, but what’s exceptional about this service is the breadth of tests available. Unlike other services that offer a single paternity kit to suit everyone’s needs and purposes, EasyDNA provides you with a full selection of kits to choose from including:

Legal paternity test kit

Legal paternity test kits will give you court-admissible results that can be used in court and for other legal purposes in case you need to prove the relationship between a father and child.

Immigration DNA test

This test kit does the same thing as the legal paternity kit for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. So, if you need to prove relationship status with an American citizen, this is a good way to do it.

Prenatal paternity kits

This is a convenient test that expecting mothers can take to clarify who the father is. The test is non-invasive and comes with a 99.9% accuracy rate.

Discreet testing kit

Discreet testing is available for situations when you cannot get the father’s DNA sample. In such situations, forensic testing is done within the EasyDNA labs on items containing blood, or samples from a variety of items like a used tissue, nail clippings, ear swabs, hair follicle, cigarette butts, chewing gum, or toothbrush. This is a convenient solution for someone who needs to know paternal linkage but isn’t able to ask the father directly or obtain the necessary DNA sample for a full paternity test. Not to mention, this is the cheapest option, clocking in at just $80.

Pros

  • Impressive variety of tests
  • Live chat support
  • Options for expedited results

Cons

  • Website could be better organized
  • Specialty kits can be pricey

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6. Rapid DNA Testing 

Quick paternity results

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  • Time to results - 2 working days
  • Collection method - Cheek swab
  • Price - $78.87

Rapid Screenings DNA testing offers a totally confidential, highly accurate, and affordable paternity testing kit that is convenient and fast. You can take the paternity test at home using painless cheek swabs to collect the DNA sample. After the labs receive your samples, the results will be prepared and ready in 2-3 working days. Rapid Screenings provides DNA test results with 99.99% accuracy rates, testing for 16-21 genetic markers depending on the test.

Additionally, Rapid’s DNA test kit comes with a lowest price guarantee. That means if you find a DNA testing lab that is offering the same testing services as these for a lower price, Rapid will match that price. It says a lot about the service that is willing to make and back up a claim like that.

Rapid’s test results may be submitted to all US courts as genetic match evidence, being accredited as an AABB lab. Results can be used for a variety of legal reasons, including child custody, child support, immigration, wills, estates, court orders, birth certificates, tax forms, adoptions, and more.

Pros

  • Straightforward test kit
  • Results in 2-3 days
  • Online dashboard

Cons

  • Only 16 loci tested in most cases
  • Limited customer service

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7. STK Test Kit 

Straightforward paternity testing

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  • Time to results - 3-4 business days
  • Collection method - Cheek swab
  • Price - $99.99

STK is a paternity test kit option that spawned from an unlikely beginning. You might recognize the name SterlingTek as the brand printed on your batteries, card reader, or laptop adapter. Through a series of unusual events, SterlingTek also fathered an AABB, CLIA, CAP, ISO/IEC by ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board/FQS- accredited DNA testing kit, and the rest is history.

Today, STK’s paternity DNA test kit has one of the highest probabilities of accuracy rates, 99.99%. The exclusion rate pushes that number up to 100% though. It tests more than 20 markers for paternal links, and all tests are done twice to maintain that accuracy level. STK kits cost $99, and that includes all lab costs, so you won’t be hit with another bill you weren’t expecting. Plus, STK throws in free shipping to make the price even more reasonable.

You’ll also be able to get your STK test kit results quickly. The online results are available in 3-5 business days, but it’ll take a little longer if you want them to mail you a copy of the results. One rare feature that sets STK apart from the rest of the paternity test kit competitors is the after-test support. If you have any questions, if the report is unclear to you, or if you have further investigations you want to pursue, you can reach out to an STK professional to get expert advice and answers to your questions. This is not only unusual for the industry, but it can be extremely helpful and reassuring for someone who is going through a difficult time and needs guidance.

Pros

  • Tests more than 20 markers
  • All tests run twice for accuracy
  • Above-average customer service

Cons

  • Limited information online
  • Limited options for upgrade

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8. Bio-Gene DNA 

Identify biological fathers in 2 days

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  • Time to results -As little as 1 working day
  • Collection method - Cheek swab
  • Price - $119

Bio-gene is possibly the fastest paternity testing kit available today. The kit should arrive within 2-3 business days, and then you can get your results as soon as the same day in some cases. That’s exceptionally fast.

Another unusual benefit of using Bio-gene is that you can send additional kits out without having to pay for an entirely new service. Additional kits cost just $9.95 per kit and that includes USPS priority shipping and overnight UPS return mailer for the DNA samples taken. Aside from the fact that that is a really generous package deal, this is beneficial if you have more than one child you want tested or more than one adult that is being tested.

Bio-gene has another unique feature people can take advantage of. If you're in a hurry to get your results, you can make your own at-home DNA test kit. This way you don’t have to wait the 2-3 business days for the test kit to arrive. Bio-gene explains on the website how to create a kit, take the DNA samples, and package the samples to avoid contamination during mailing.

Pros

  • One of the most accurate tests  on the market 
  • Tests 24 markers instead of 16 or 21
  • Great for testing multiple children

Cons

  • No customer service chat
  • Customers required to reach out via email

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9. DNA Direct Solutions 

Quick, effortless paternity testing

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  • Time to results -2 working days
  • Collection method - Cheek swab
  • Price - $79

DNA Direct Solutions’ paternity testing kit is as simple as 1-2-3. You’ll order the DNA test kit online. When it arrives, you use the 2 cheek swabs to collect your DNA sample. Samples are collected from both the father and the child. In some kits, you’ll also take the DNA sample from the mother to narrow down the DNA strands found in the child’s sample to just those of the father. If the mother’s DNA is not available, a DNA Direct Solutions paternity test can still be done with just father and child. Once you finish collecting your samples, send the DNA into the labs using the prepaid return mailer provided by DNA Direct Solutions in the paternity testing kit.

When DNA Direct Solutions’ labs receive the samples, they will analyze the DNA and return your test results in 2 days to your provided email address. This is fast, easy, and non-invasive. What’s more, the results come in an in-depth, detailed, and descriptive report that is several pages long. Despite the results going into such detail, they are easy to understand and written in plain language. Everything is color-coded for simple referencing, making it even more comprehensive. Between the ease of use, speed of delivery and results, and thorough test results, DNA Direct Solutions makes an obvious case for top paternity testing kit.

Pros

  • Results in as little as 2 days
  • Simple process from beginning to end
  • Easy-to-interpret results

Cons

  • Limited customer support
  • Website could have more educational resources

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10. Paternity Depot Kit 

Quick, effortless paternity testing

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  • Time to results - 7-10 days
  • Collection method - Cheek swab
  • Price - $59

With a $59 paternity test kit, Paternity Depot is the least expensive option of its kind. Despite having such a cost-efficient option, Paternity Depot uses some of the most advanced technologies to test your DNA samples for 16 loci and delivers 99.99% accuracy for inclusions with an astounding 100% accuracy for exclusions. As you can see, this company is serious business. Paternity Depot’s labs are based in both New York and Toronto, and test kits can be mailed to anywhere in America. The non-invasive procedure is a simple cheek and tongue swab performed on father and child.

Paternity Depot labs are fully accredited, and all testing is done by trained doctors with PhDs. These test results can be used for both legal and informational purposes, whether it's in court, for documentation, or any other use. As with other reliable DNA testing kit services, Paternity Depot runs all tests twice to ensure accuracy. You can have your results sent to your email as soon as they’re completed, or you can get a phone call with the results. This is a useful option if you are not going to be near your email soon or if you want someone to explain all or part of the results to you.

Pros

  • More affordable than other kits
  • Results analyzed twice for accuracy
  • PhD-trained analysts

Cons

  • Results take longer than other companies
  • No live chat support

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What is a DNA Paternity Test and What are the Best Options?

A paternity test is a way to determine a child’s biological father, by examining the DNA taken from the child and the suspected father. Typically this involves a small swab of saliva from the inside of the cheek, from which DNA can be extracted and examined.

DNA paternity tests are quick and accurate and the chances of a false positive are astronomically low, with the odds of two non-related people having identical DNA profiles standing at less than one in a billion. DNA is our body’s unique “fingerprint,” which no one else (except an identical twin) shares. Parents pass some of their DNA down to their children, who receive 50% of their DNA from each parent. By examining the DNA of a child, mother, and suspected father, testing can prove paternity with 99.9% accuracy.

Today the market offers all types of options for DNA tests which can be performed quickly and painlessly at home for a nominal cost. These tests can provide the answers parents are looking for, bring closure, or open up a whole new beginning.

How Does It Work?

DNA testing is largely known these days from the world of television police dramas, where a positive DNA match cracks a case wide open. In recent years DNA testing has become the most accurate way to define paternity for parents – and children - who are looking for answers.

The DNA from any two people is 99.9% identical, but it’s the remaining .1% that makes all the difference. These genetic markers can’t be faked and can prove paternity better than any method that came before.

When performing a paternity test, the key is to find similarities between the two DNA samples. Technicians start by separating the DNA from the cells and making copies which can then be analyzed closely to find common threads.

Who’s It For?

Sometimes life isn’t as easy as we want it to be. Questions about paternity can start even during pregnancy and can cast a dark cloud over one of the most emotionally and physically difficult times in a woman’s life. After a baby is born, uncertainty about paternity can be a serious emotional burden for mother and child, and by finding answers, both parents can finally begin the process of doing what’s right for their child.

A paternity test – when admissible in court – can also establish the paternity of the child in a legally-binding manner. This can make all the difference for a mother trying to secure child support and/or custody, or for a male custodian trying to get out from under the financial and emotional responsibilities of another man. It can also be crucial in immigration law, where a test can prove whether or not a child should be awarded citizenship through their parent. Typically such tests are more involved than simple home paternity tests and involve the presence of a neutral 3rd party who collects the samples and processes them.

Paternity can also help parents determine where the child will receive legal and social benefits from, and can also provide insight into the medical history of the child’s father. Knowing the father’s medical history can help shed light on what medical problems the child could potentially face down the road and for parents, this can help prepare for a healthier and safer future.

For mothers who are unmarried, some states require a paternity test so as to register the father of the child.

DNA testing can be carried out prenatally, and immediately after birth at the hospital. For our purposes though, we’ll look at home paternity tests and what the market offers.

How to Choose the Best Paternity Test?

What to Look For:

  • Accuracy. When shopping around for a paternity test, first focus on accuracy. Most top paternity test companies promise 99.9% accuracy, but you should also look for official certification from a body like the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), which would confirm that the testing is carried out at a certified, professional facility. In addition, make sure that the company guarantees your confidentiality.
  • Price. Such certification can be important if the test will be used for a legal proceeding, such as one involving custody or child support. If you need a test that is admissible in court, make sure that the test you order fits the bill.
  • Confidentiality. In addition to being admissible in court, some paternity tests offer the option of being able to split up the kit and send the swabs to different locations, in the event the parents live in different cities. Some also offer animal DNA testing services, which can be utilized by breeders and kennel owners who need to check the progeny of their animals and by owners who want to get an idea of the medical issues that may arise in the future. These tests can also be used to determine if it’s your neighbor’s dog that’s been leaving a little present in your lawn when you’re at work.
  • Simplicity. You’ll also want a test that is simple to take and which doesn’t leave anything to the imagination when it comes to the results. A paternity test can be a life-changing experience and you want one that will be easy to handle on your own. In addition, once you finish taking the test, you’ll probably be eager to get the answer, so find a company that can assure delivery of the results within 5 days or less.
  • Reliability. Finally, reliable customer service can help you figure out how to take the test if you have any issues, and also how to troubleshoot any problems that could come with the shipment or results.

Main Advantages for the User

What can you expect from your DNA paternity test? Almost all DNA paternity tests promise 99.9% accuracy, a greater burden of proof than any other means of proving paternity that you could find. With a paternity test in hand you have evidence that can finally give you answers and which can often be admissible in court, allowing you to help ensure your child has a second parent providing for them.

Genetic testing can also predict future health problems down the road, allowing parents to plan ahead, potentially helping ensure better treatment for their children.

Bottom Line

Establishing paternity can be a life-changing experience for both parents and children alike. It can provide a final, clear answer which is necessary to move forward and provide children and parents with the security they need both in the way of child support payments and establishing custody and immigration rights. Luckily, with home paternity tests it’s easier than ever before to get these answers.

All 10 of these paternity tests are perfect for a variety of needs and reasons. Some stand out for their vast networks of users and detailed ancestry reports, while others have a really fast turnaround process and transparent pricing. Whichever paternity testing company you choose, know that you’re getting accredited and quality service that can help answer this pressing question.