DNA Paternity Testing FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about Paternity Testing

Paternity Testing FAQs

Below you will find questions and answers to everything you need to know about both peace of mind and legally-instructed DNA paternity testing.

If you cannot find the answer to your question, call 01 402 9466 or email and one of our paternity testing experts will be happy to help.

How does paternity testing work?

An AlphaBiolabs paternity test analyses up to 45 DNA markers – double the industry standard for paternity testing – to examine the child’s DNA and identify which half is inherited from the father.

When testing the biological father of the child, both will share enough DNA markers to confirm a biological relationship. If the tested man is not the biological father, this will not be the case.

A peace of mind paternity test is done purely for your own information, and the test results cannot be used in court.

Once you have ordered your test, we will send out a test kit to an address of your choice for you to collect the swab samples at a time convenient to you.

You can then post them back to our laboratory for the required analysis and we will email out a report which will confirm the likelihood of paternity.

What type of paternity test should I use?

If you need a test purely for your own information, then you can order a peace of mind paternity test. For a peace of mind test, a kit will be sent to an address of your choice, for you to collect your cheek (buccal) samples at a time that suits you.

As the name suggests, a peace of mind paternity test can help you get the answers you need, but the results cannot be used for legal reasons.

If you need a paternity test for legal matters, you will need a legally-instructed paternity test, which we can also provide. For a legal paternity test, samples must be collected under strict chain of custody conditions in order for the results to be admissible in court.

If you require a paternity test before the baby is born, you will need a Prenatal Paternity Test.

We can also provide Y chromosome testing if the father is not available for any of the paternity tests, using another male family member from their side of the family. However, if the father is available we highly recommend that the test is performed with the alleged father whenever possible.

What is the difference between a peace of mind test and a court approved paternity test?

A ‘peace of mind’ paternity test means that you can collect your own cheek (buccal) samples yourself at home using one of our kits, that we will send to an address of your choice. The results are purely for your own information, and the test results cannot be used in legal proceedings.

Although not admissible in court, the results of a peace of mind paternity test are still 100% accurate based on the samples we receive at our laboratory.

A legally-instructed or ‘court-approved’ paternity test is a test that can be used as proof of paternity in legal cases, including for child maintenance or custody disputes, child welfare cases, immigration cases and inheritance disputes.

A legal paternity test is performed in exactly the same way in the laboratory as a peace of mind paternity test. However, the sample is collected by a third party who can certify that the correct person is being tested, and ensure that the required chain of custody procedures are followed during the sample collection process. This reduces the possibility of an individual tampering with the test samples.

If you require a paternity test for your own knowledge, you can order a peace of mind paternity test kit now.

If you require a court approved test then you will need to order a legal paternity test. We can then arrange for one of our trained sample collectors to visit you at an address of your choice at a time that’s convenient to you.

We also offer free sample collection for legally-instructed paternity tests at our Dublin walk-in centre.

How much will the test cost in total?

You can order a Paternity Test online now for just €135.

For legally-instructed paternity tests, please contact our team to request a quote.

How long will it take to receive my results?

Once you order your Paternity Test online, your kit will be sent out the same day in first class post (provided you instruct us before 2pm).

Once we receive the samples back into our laboratory, your secure, password-protected results will be emailed to you either the next day* (as standard) or the same day* for an additional €50. We send our results out from 4pm onwards on the day.

*working days from when the samples arrive at our laboratory before 10 am

At what age can the child be tested for a paternity test/can you do prenatal paternity testing?

A paternity test can be conducted with a child of any age. There is no minimum age requirement and the procedure is totally painless.

We can also test the paternity of a child before they are born. We can perform non-invasive prenatal testing to determine the paternity of the baby. However, the mother will need to have been pregnant for at least 9 weeks before this test can be conducted. Please see our Prenatal Paternity Testing page for more information.

Is the test confidential?
Our testing is 100% confidential.

We follow strict procedures from start to finish with all of our sample collection. We will not disclose results or personal information to third parties and we password protect all of the data so we will only discuss any details of the testing with those who are entitled to know (on receipt of correct passwords or answers to unique security questions).

Does the mother have to give a sample?

An AlphaBiolabs paternity test is performed without the mother’s DNA. You will still receive a conclusive result.

This is because by collecting cheek (buccal) cells from the alleged father and the child, we are able to analyse and compare DNA markers to determine which half of the child’s DNA is inherited from the alleged father.

How are the results analysed?

An AlphaBiolabs paternity test uses the very latest technology available, for a 100% accurate result.

A child is born with half of the genetic footprint of its mother and half from its father. When analysing a genetic footprint we look for individual points in the sequence which we call markers.

We are fully accredited for DNA testing using up to 45 markers, utilising the very latest DNA technology to ensure the reliability and accuracy of our genetic testing.

Paternity test case examples

In DNA test example (A.) you can see that the child’s DNA footprint is made up of half the mother’s DNA, and half the alleged father’s DNA.

In DNA test example (B.) you can see that the alleged father does not share any markers with the child and is therefore excluded from paternity (i.e. he cannot be the father).

How accurate are the results?

The results of an AlphaBiolabs paternity test are 100% accurate, based on the samples we receive at our laboratory.

We also analyse up to 45 DNA markers – double the industry standard for DNA testing – making our paternity tests (and other relationship DNA tests) the most accurate and conclusive on the market.

AlphaBiolabs is also an ISO 17025 accredited testing laboratory, meeting internationally recognised quality standards for DNA testing.