At what point can a paternity test be performed?

Paternity tests are used in different scenarios, ranging from a father who wants to obtain his parental rights or a person who wants to access a nationality through his father. There are two types of paternity tests. The first is prenatal DNA testing which consists of a test that can be performed from the 7th week of pregnancy and for which the laboratory requires a blood sample from the mother to get the baby’s DNA. If the baby is already born, you can opt for the second option: a home DNA test kit. In this case, the laboratory will send you a kit containing everything you need to collect saliva samples from the two people who will be tested. Both tests are equally reliable as long as you follow the instructions provided by the laboratory.

Are these tests reliable?

Some people question the reliability of these tests because the person receiving the kit is the one collecting the samples instead of a medical professional. First, it is essential to know laboratories specially design these kits so anyone can perform the test, regardless if they have experience in the medical field or not. Second, the laboratory will always verify if the samples are in acceptable conditions for testing. The laboratory will notify you if the samples are contaminated, and if you have to purchase a new kit. Remember, you are responsible for taking samples from the right people. If you collect saliva samples from your neighbor instead of the alleged father’s, it will be obvious that those results are not reliable because you did not take the samples from the right people.

What can you do with the results?

Laboratories offer you the possibility of buying a cheaper kit of which the results you can use at home for information. If you decide to pay for this test, please consider that you cannot use the results in a legal proceeding. If, on the other hand, you require the results to be admissible in court, then you should choose the legally valid DNA test. This test is more expensive because the court requires the samples to be taken by an authorized third party who certifies that the samples were taken from the correct persons. In addition, the laboratory has to ensure that the sampling travels safely to its facilities to avoid tampering. Finally, the laboratory must deliver the results directly to the judge. This guarantees that the results have not been altered since the laboratory is responsible for the validity of the results.

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