The paternity test: how does it work and when is it done?

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Philippe Gloaguen
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Paternity test

How does the paternity test and when is it possible to do so? The paternity test is the test that allows you to ascertain whether a man is actually the biological father of child. How the test works? When fertilization occurs, the new human being has half the genetic heritage of the mother and half of the father, therefore by analyzing the genetic profile of the child and comparing it with that of the parents it will be possible to know if the presumed father is actually the biological father.





DNA testing for paternity is mandatory

Il paternity test it is not mandatory, but it can become when requested by a judge in the case, for example, of judicial dispute for the custody of children in the event of separation. In general the Paternity testing may be required in case of:



  • disputes regarding separation between spouses and custody of children;
  • death of the mother and the legal need to establish the actual biological paternity of the child;
  • to ascertain paternity for the family reunificationand, a frequent circumstance, for example, when it comes to immigrant minors who arrive in our country without being accompanied;
  • in case of inheritance disputes;
  • in cases of medically assisted fertilization to establish that the gametes actually coming from the couple have been used in the implant.

Legal paternity test

We must distinguish the legal paternity test from that simply informative. The legal paternity test can be used in judicial seat in the event of disputes or disputes concerning children, an inheritance, family reunification.



The paternity test with legal value must be carried out in an accredited laboratory that uses modern techniques aimed at biological and genetic identification. There must be the consent of both parents and the collection of samples must take place in the presence of an expert.

Informative paternity test

In many cases it is possible to ask the laboratory for a kit for DNA analysis which can be done at home for pure purpose informative. The kit allows you to take a simple saliva sample which will then be analyzed in the laboratory. The result will only tell if there is compatibility or incompatibility biological between samples and cannot be used in court. In many cases it is possible to request an informative paternity test also by sending samples other than saliva, such as cigarette butts, traces of blood or seminal fluid on clothes, used handkerchiefs, chewing gum and others.

Paternity test on the hair

Generally the paternity test is made with a withdrawal of blood and analysis of parent and child samples, but it is also possible to perform the examination using less invasive methods which are particularly useful especially when talking about very young children or babies. Typically the mouth tampon, that is the removal of cells present in the mouth and saliva which allows to have a good quantity of material on which to perform the examination. But i can also be used hair, as long as they have been torn and have not simply fallen. In fact, the hair bulb, around which genetic analysis is actually conducted

Pharmacy paternity test

A few years ago, kits were released on the market to take the paternity test at home. These kits, which allow you to do the analysis by taking a sample of saliva or even epithelial cells taken from the face or other parts of the body using a special tool, are sold in pharmacies and guarantee yes, anonymity and discretion, but they cannot tell each other completely reliable. Certainly the release of these tests recorded a boom in sales, today they sell many less and in many pharmacies it is difficult to find them, however the sale on the web continues unstoppable.

Read also: How much parents' DNA affects their children

Paternity test in pregnancy

It is possible to do a prenatal paternity test but it is a invasive examination for the child. It is in fact necessary to take a sampling of the chorionic villi, ie stem cells of the fetus found in a particular area of ​​the placenta, and compare the sample with that of the presumed father.

Paternity test where the exam is carried out

Better to contact a laboratory who performs the DNA paternity test of their city that is accredited and be wary of internet sites that offer the low cost test, they are often not reliable and there is no certainty of the result.

The paternity test carried out in accredited laboratories uses advanced technological systems to identify genetic profiles using up to 16 different genetic markers.

Paternity test, times

Typically for a legal or informational paternity test it takes us from 3 to 7 days to get a result. As stated on the Genoma website, in particular cases, which are evaluated individually, it is possible to request one urgency procedure which guarantees the result within 48 hours.

Paternity test, the cost

Il cost of a paternity test is quite high. For a test that has legal validity it can take between 600 and 800 euros, while for an informative one between 150 and 200 euros.

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