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Best At-Home DNA Paternity Test Kit 2023 - Reviews & Comparison

Michael Graw
Best Paternity Tests

Not sure whether you are a child’s father or need to prove that you are? A paternity DNA test can offer a quick and inexpensive answer. These tests can be more than 99.99% accurate and offer results in as little as a few days.

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about paternity DNA testing and review the 10 best paternity test kits.

Our Best At-Home Paternity Test Kit in 2023:

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Our Picks for The Best At-Home Paternity Test - Reviews:

  • 1
    MyHeritage DNA

    MyHeritage DNA

    • Price$49
    • Collection methodCheek swab
    • Time to results3-4

    MyHeritage has built up a database of 9 billion historical documents, 300 million photographs, 34 million family trees and 2.1 billion family names, all since its founding in 2003.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
  • 2
    STK Test Kit

    STK Test Kit

    • Price$99.99
    • Collection methodOral swab
    • Time to resultsThree to five days

    The STK Paternity Test is a no-frills paternity test. At just $99.99, it’s more affordable than many competing paternity test kits.

    The test kit includes sample materials for the alleged father and child but doesn’t offer testing for the child’s mother for increased accuracy. The test requires an oral swab and you cannot submit alternative sample materials. It only tests 16 genetic markers but is still 99.999% accurate in cases where the tested father is the child’s biological father.

    STK has a basic website where you can view results using your kit’s unique ID. There are no online resources like an FAQs page to explain the kit, but STK does have limited phone support available if you have questions. Results are available online three to five days after your kit is received by the lab.

    Pros
    • Less expensive than comparable tests
    • Results online in three to five days
    • Phone support available
    Cons
    • Only accepts oral swab samples
    • Only tests 16 genetic markers
  • 3
    Paternity Depot Kit

    Paternity Depot Kit

    • Price$59
    • Collection methodOral swab, forensic samples
    • Time to resultsSeven to 10 days

    Paternity Depot offers one of the most inexpensive paternity test kits I’ve seen. For $59, the company will test oral swabs from the alleged father and child. Results are available in seven to 10 days and can be accessed online. Paternity Depot can even send kits to different locations if the alleged father and child don’t live in the same place.

    Paternity Depot also offers legal paternity tests for $109. While inexpensive, this test only offers a chain of custody form and doesn’t require a witness. It may not be admissible in all courts. 

    You can get in touch with Paternity Depot if you need help with your kit. Helpfully, the company offers support in Spanish and French in addition to English.

    Pros
    • Very inexpensive
    • Can send kits to two locations
    • Support in English, Spanish, and French
    Cons
    • No clear privacy policy
    • Legal test does not require a witness
  • 4
    DNA Direct Solutions

    DNA Direct Solutions

    • Price$79
    • Collection methodOral swab
    • Time to resultsTwo days

    DNA Direct offers a home paternity test kit for an alleged father and a child for $79. The kit doesn’t include supplies for the mother, but you can add testing for the child’s mother for $25. Results are available in just two days, and DNA Direct offers next-day and same-day rush options for those in a hurry.

    DNA Direct does not offer legal or immigration paternity tests—it only offers home tests. The company has a clear privacy policy describing what it does with your data and how you can request to have your data deleted. In addition, DNA Direct offers customer support five days a week by phone, email, and live chat.

    Pros
    • Test includes free return shipping
    • Same-day and next-day results available
    • Excellent customer support
    Cons
    • Doesn’t offer legal paternity tests
    • Testing of mother’s DNA not included
  • 5
    homeDNAdirect

    homeDNAdirect

    • Price$129
    • Collection methodOral swab, forensic samples
    • Time to resultsThree to five days

    homeDNAdirect offers home, legal, immigration, and non-invasive prenatal paternity test kits. The kits test 21 genetic markers, providing more than 99.99% accuracy when the tested father is the child’s biological father.

    You can submit an oral swab (included with your kit) or a wide range of forensic samples like hair, blood, semen, and more. Just note that there’s an extra $80 fee for submitting a forensic sample. homeDNAdirect can deliver results from your test in just three to five business days.

    homeDNAdirect stands out for offering access to a DNA consultant via live chat. This is a great resource if you need help interpreting your test results or want to know more about how accurate your results are. You can also request a callback if you prefer phone support.

    Pros
    • Tests 21 genetic markers
    • DNA consultant available by phone and live chat
    • Accepts forensic sample materials
    Cons
    • Charges extra for forensic samples
    • Legal paternity test can be expensive
  • 6
    EasyDNA
    • Price$119
    • Collection methodCheek swab
    • Time to results3-5

    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
  • 7
    My Forever DNA

    My Forever DNA

    • Price$139
    • Collection methodOral swab, alternative samples
    • Time to resultsOne to three days

    My Forever DNA stands out for testing 34 genetic markers with every paternity test, compared to the 21 markers that most other companies test. The increased number of markers increases confidence in the test results, especially in cases where the alleged father is in fact not the child’s biological father. My Forever DNA will also test a mother’s DNA at no additional charge to further increase the accuracy of its tests.

    Another thing I like about My Forever DNA is that the company streamlines testing for an alleged father and child who are in different locations. The company can ship two test kits to different locations for a $35 fee, and return shipping is included for every kit. 

    Pros
    • Tests 34 genetic markers for increased accuracy
    • Includes testing of mother’s DNA at no additional charge
    • Can ship kits to different locations
    Cons
    • Additional charge for samples other than oral swabs
    • Does not guarantee samples will be disposed of after analysis
  • 8
    International Biosciences

    International Biosciences

    • Price$119
    • Collection methodOral swab, alternative samples
    • Time to resultsThree to five days

    International Biosciences offers a variety of paternity tests, including home, legal, prenatal, and immigration DNA tests. The home paternity test offers results in just three to five days after your sample is received, making it one of the speediest options for testing paternity. All that’s needed is an oral swab from the alleged father and child. For increased accuracy, you can also send in an oral swab from the child’s mother at no additional cost.


    If you cannot get an oral swab, International Biosciences can also conduct paternity testing using alternative sample materials. The company offers testing on blood, semen, nail clippings, hair, bones, and skin. It can even test chewing gum, soda cans, drinking straws, and toothbrushes. You must submit a consent form and provide photo ID to have these alternative samples tested.

    Pros
    • Results in as little as three days
    • Includes testing the mother for increased accuracy
    • Accepts alternative sample materials
    Cons
    • Legal paternity tests are for the UK only
    • Prenatal paternity test is expensive
Compare Top Paternity Test Kits
1
MyHeritage DNA
2
STK Test Kit
3
Paternity Depot Kit
4
DNA Direct Solutions
5
homeDNAdirect
6
EasyDNA
7
My Forever DNA
8
International Biosciences
Reviews97 reviewsWrite ReviewWrite ReviewWrite ReviewWrite ReviewWrite ReviewWrite ReviewWrite Review
Price
$49
per person
$99.99
$59
$79
$129
$119
$139
$119
Collection method
Cheek swab
Oral swab
Oral swab, forensic samples
Oral swab
Oral swab, forensic samples
Cheek swab
Oral swab, alternative samples
Oral swab, alternative samples
Time to results
3-4
weeks
Three to five days
business days
Seven to 10 days
days
Two days
working days
Three to five days
working days
3-5
working days
One to three days
Three to five days
working days
Results by
Online
Online
Email
Email
Email
Email
Email and mailed copy
Email
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my at-home paternity test results be used in a legal custody case?
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You must take a legal paternity test rather than a home paternity test to use your test results in a court of law or legal custody case. A legal paternity test includes a chain of custody or a witness to ensure that the samples are not tampered with prior to analysis.
How much does a DNA paternity test cost?
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DNA paternity tests vary in price, but you can expect to pay $59-$139 at most testing companies. This price includes shipping to your home and return shipping to the lab as well as DNA testing for both the alleged father and child. Legal paternity tests cost $250-$500.
How can you tell if a baby is yours without a DNA test?
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There are a limited number of ways to help you determine paternity without using a DNA test. These might include blood tests and eye- and hair-color tests.
Can a DNA test be done with just the father and child?
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Most DNA paternity tests can be done with just samples from the father and the child. While it can help with accuracy to have both the mother and father tested, an accurate paternity test can be done without using a mother's sample.
Do both parents have to be present for a paternity test?
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No, a paternity test generally requires only the child and the father. Some paternity test companies say that a mother's sample can increase accuracy, but a paternity test doesn't need both parents present to provide accurate results.

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 Do Paternity Tests Work?

The basics of paternity tests are pretty well-known. Each child gets half of his/her genetic information from his/her mother and half from his/her father. By taking a sample of the child's DNA and comparing it to both the mother's and the father's DNA, scientists can see if it matches. If the child has sections to his/her DNA which don't match either the mother or the father, then you’ve got the wrong daddy.

Cheek swab paternity tests work using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), which multiplies the tiny sample of DNA from the swab billions of times (that's how they can get a reliable answer from just a dab of saliva). Lab scientists then take just 16 specific DNA fragments from the sample, of which 8 should match the mother's DNA, and 8 should match the father’s.

Paternity tests usually take a few days to process and return an answer, but if you’re in a hurry and need a definite answer ASAP for legal reasons or to fill in the name on a birth certificate, or for any other reason, then you can get an expedited test for results in just one day.

Who Can Use Paternity Tests?

  • Some states require an unmarried mother to get a paternity test in order to know who the father is for legal purposes.
  • Both women and men have a legal right to request a paternity test in order to prove fatherhood. If the mother or possible father refuses, the case can go to court for a paternity hearing, and the whole process takes a lot longer.
  • A child can also get a paternity test. This happens most often with children who were adopted or who grew up without a father and want to learn for certain who their father is. Legally, anyone can request that the person they suspect to be their father take a paternity test, but different states have different rules about whether the possible father has to agree.
  • If a child has a legal guardian, then the guardian also has the right to ask for a paternity test for the child, even if the guardian isn’t a biological relative.

How to Choose the Best At-Home Paternity Test Kit?

What to Look For:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 one of the DNA companies that can assure delivery of the results within 5 days or less.

5. 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.

DNA Tests for Finding Biological Parents and Children 

There are many reasons why people do DNA testing—to explore ancestry, confirm paternity, screen for health issues, and to look for biological relatives. If your reason for taking a DNA test is to find children you put up for adoption or to find parents who put you up for adoption, you’ll need to make sure to take the right DNA test. 

In this case, the Autosomal DNA test is preferred—it can give you an ethnicity estimate and show you relative matches up to 6 generations on both your mother and father’s sides. Other tests, like YDNA and mtDNA, show you only the paternal line and maternal line, respectively. While you can do the latter 2 tests as well, Autosomal is essential if you’re looking for recent relatives.

Matching Birth Parents with Children Who Were Put Up for Adoption

When you take an Autosomal DNA test, what you’re hoping for is that your biological children/parents also took the test, and entered their results into the testing company’s database. Because the premise of finding a match is based on comparison—the lab will analyze your DNA markers and then compare it to other samples to see if there’s a match. If your relatives haven’t done a DNA test, the lab won’t be able to find one.

Baby Gender Test

If you’re anxious to find out whether you’re having a boy or a girl, a baby gender test (also known as fetal sex test) is an easy way to find out. Baby gender tests can be conducted as early as 7 weeks from your last menstrual period, but accuracy is improved if you wait until at least 10 weeks. Like prenatal paternity tests, DNA testing to find out the gender will require an NIPT, so you’ll need to do a blood test. Also like prenatal paternity testing, baby gender testing can be done through DNA testing kit delivery services. 

Tests typically costs about $200 and you get results in up to 2 weeks. 

When taken between 7-20 weeks, these tests are 95%-98% accurate. Of course, there’s no need to take this test if you’re able to find out your baby’s sex at your 14-week ultrasound. On the flip side, if you take a baby gender test, that doesn’t give you the green light to skip an ultrasound! Ultrasounds not only reveal the gender of your baby, but they can show you many other important things as well.

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.

What You Should Know Before You Test

Before taking a paternity test, it’s important to understand how these tests work. Paternity DNA tests compare your DNA and a child’s DNA to see if they have specific genetic markers in common. If an alleged father and child don’t share a set of identical genetic markers, it’s highly unlikely that they are related.

In most cases, a paternity DNA test is 99.99% accurate. Including a DNA sample from the child’s mother can push the accuracy to more than 99.9999%. These tests are a highly accurate way to determine paternity.

Still, home paternity tests are often not permissible to use as evidence in a court of law. If you are taking a paternity test for legal or official purposes, make sure to get a legal paternity DNA test.

How We Compared Paternity Test Kits

We compared paternity test kits primarily on price, ease of use, turnaround time, and accuracy. For the majority of paternity test kits, these are the factors that matter most for getting results you can trust as quickly as possible.

We also considered the privacy policies of the companies offering paternity test kits. Although paternity tests only require sequencing a small portion of your genome, some companies may use your sample for purposes beyond just testing paternity. The best paternity DNA testing companies have policies in place to ensure your sample is never analyzed without your consent and your data is never shared.

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.

Michael Graw
Michael Graw is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Bellingham, Washington. His work has been published on a wide selection of popular websites, and he has built a solid reputation for his writing in the technology and finance sectors. Michael has a particular interest in new technology and runs a small business where he constantly puts the latest web, business, and consumer tech through its paces.