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4 minutes
1 Aug 2023

Do I need a legal paternity test?

In this article, we describe the key differences between a legal paternity test and it's peace of mind counterpart. As a result, this will help you decide which version will suit your needs, avoiding potential delays and sometimes costly incorrect assumptions.

Legal paternity test

ISO certification and DNA testing

The laboratory report from a legal paternity test can be used as evidence for several situations, these include:

Legal paternity test reports are accepted as evidence in these situations because of the strict chain of custody processes. These include verified identification for all test participants and collection of mouth swabs by a certified sample collection officer. After this, established procedures ensure compliance to chain of custody over the samples and documentation. In addition, DNA test analysis must be performed by a UKAS 17025 accredited laboratory facility that is listed on the Ministry of Justice approved provider list in the UK.

What about peace of mind paternity testing?

Conversely, peace of mind paternity testing does not require test participants to be legally identified. However, the chain of custody and laboratory facility is the same, providing a high degree of confidence in the testing process and analysis. As a result, peace of mind paternity testing should not be viewed as an inferior DNA test. Furthermore, because there is no requirement for ID, paternity self-collection kits can be used, providing further choice and flexibility for the collection of samples. Our paternity self-collection kits are available from both Boots, and our own Home DNA Paternity Test online shop.

What is Legal DNA Testing

Are there any legal situations when just a peace of mind test will do?

Unfortunately, no. Attempting to use a peace of mind paternity test report for legal reasons will lead to rejection from the organisation you submit it too. This does not happen often, but people can be tempted by the flexibility and lower price of a DNA self-collection kit, only to have a peace of mind report rejected.

However, there are occasions when it could be beneficial to have a peace of mind paternity test. For example, if there is a big element of doubt regarding the paternity of a child, a much cheaper peace of mind paternity test could be performed prior to the expense of its legal counterpart.

In addition, a paternity DNA test is not required to add the name of a father to a birth certificate that is blank. However, many of our clients do undertake a peace of mind paternity test to ensure the man is the biological father before doing so.

Further advice for legal paternity testing

So, while the decision is straightforward on having a legal paternity test or not, there could be certain situations where advice is needed. Our Clinical Advisor team is always on hand to provide this advice. And with our unique network of DNA Clinics, you can have confidence in an effective appointment process and accredited testing facilities for your DNA testing needs.