Paternity testing for child support

Paternity testing for child support

The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) will sometimes order you to take a paternity test for child support. Performing a DNA test is the most accurate scientific method of establishing a biological relationship between two or more people, including children and their father.

How does paternity testing for child support work?

When a child is conceived, they inherit DNA from both parents. A paternity DNA test analyses specific DNA markers, helping us to identify which half of the child’s DNA came from the mother, and which half came from the father.

If the man undergoing DNA testing is the child’s biological father, both will share identical sections of DNA at each marker. If the man is not the child’s biological father, there will be differences in the DNA.

What type of paternity test do I need for child support?

In child maintenance cases, you will need to undertake our legal DNA test. This is because the results of the test must be legally defensible.

Our legal paternity test can be used to stand as evidence in court, for child custody issues, or to change the name on a birth certificate.

This type of test needs to be performed under specific instructions, known as chain of custody.

In these circumstances, a trained sample collector will ensure that the correct person is providing the sample by checking ID, taking photographs and obtaining signed paperwork. Samples will also be sealed with tamper tape. We have a network of sample collectors across the country who can visit you to collect your DNA samples under chain of custody.

Legal samples can also be collected for free at any one of our nationwide Walk-in Centres.  

How much does a paternity test for child support cost?

AlphaBiolabs feature on the government’s list of accredited DNA testing laboratories. The fee for the test is £239.40, however this will be refunded by the CMS if the DNA test concludes that you are not the child’s biological parent.

The CMS may also pay the testing fee if you cannot afford to pay it, but you will have to pay it back if the test proves that you are the child’s biological parent.

You can learn more about how to get a DNA test on the government’s website. Alternatively, if you’d like to speak to us about paternity testing for child support, you can call us on 0333 600 1300 or email