Paternity test without child knowing

Casey Randall AlphaBiolabs

By Casey Randall, Head of Genetics at AlphaBiolabs

Last reviewed: 06/02/2023

In this article, we discuss how you can get a paternity test without a child knowing, and what consent is required for a paternity test.
Table of contents
  • What is paternity testing?
  • How can I get a paternity test without a child knowing?
  • Do I need the child’s consent for a paternity test?
  • Where can I buy a paternity test?

What is paternity testing?

A paternity test is a type of DNA relationship test that is used to verify a biological relationship between a child and their alleged father.

To perform the test, DNA samples are collected from the child and the alleged father using cheek (buccal) swabs: a simple, pain-free method of sample collection that means the test can be performed at any time on a person of any age, including new-born babies and grown-up children/adults.

These samples can then be analysed and compared in the laboratory to identify matching DNA markers (loci) in the DNA samples.

When testing the biological father of the child, both the man and the child will share enough identical sections of DNA to confirm a biological relationship.

If the tested man is not the biological father, this will not be the case.

How can I get a paternity test without a child knowing?

Paternity testing is an extremely sensitive subject.

Understandably, this means that many parents who have questions regarding their child’s paternity are reluctant to discuss this with their children.

For a paternity test, DNA samples are usually collected using cheek (buccal) swabs. This simple method of sample collection requires cheek swabs to be rubbed on the inside of the mouth to collect cheek cell DNA.

While this quick and painless method of sample collection is easy to perform on children, some parents may not feel comfortable doing so, especially on older children when asking for a cheek swab sample could lead to difficult conversations.

In these circumstances, a more discreet method of DNA sample collection known as a viability DNA test or viability study might be preferred.

We offer two alternative methods of sample collection for members of the public looking to perform a paternity test without a child knowing.

  • Toothbrush DNA Test – for £49 (plus the cost of your chosen DNA relationship test), our geneticists will attempt to extract a DNA profile from a used toothbrush instead of a cheek swab sample.

    If a DNA profile can be retrieved from the used toothbrush, the paternity test can then be performed by analysing and comparing the DNA profile from the toothbrush with the DNA profile of the alleged father, obtained via cheek swabs

  • Nail DNA Test – for £49 (plus the cost of your chosen DNA relationship test), our geneticists will attempt to extract a DNA profile from fingernail clippings and/or toenail clippings instead of a cheek swab sample.

    If a DNA profile can be retrieved from the nail clippings, the paternity test can then be performed by analysing and comparing the DNA profile from the nail clippings with the DNA profile of the alleged father, obtained via cheek swabs

A major advantage of toothbrush DNA testing and nail DNA testing is that samples can be collected in a subtle manner.

For a paternity test, this means that a child would not need to be made aware that a test is being undertaken. All you would need to do is send in their regular, used toothbrush, or a sample of their fingernail clippings and/or toenail clippings.

Please note however that whichever DNA test you choose, the appropriate consent must still be provided before the test can go ahead.

For children under 18 years of age, consent for their DNA samples to be tested can be provided by a person with parental responsibility for the child. However, a child aged 16-17 may also give their own consent.

Anyone over the age of 18 must provide their own consent for DNA testing.

It is illegal to perform a DNA test without the appropriate consent.

Where can I buy a paternity test?

It’s easy to order your peace of mind home paternity test online now from just £99, with next working day results.

Simply place your order online and we will ship your test kit out to you in discreet, plain packaging, for full confidentiality.

Your home test kit will contain everything you need to collect your samples and return them to our UKAS-accredited laboratory for analysis by our in-house geneticists.

Please note: our home paternity test is for peace of mind only. This means that the results are purely for your information and cannot be used for official/legal matters.

Before taking a paternity test, we would always encourage you to think about the potential implications for both you and your family if you do not get the result you want.

If you require a DNA test for official matters such as changing the name on a birth certificate, or for child maintenance or custody disputes, you will need to request a quote for a legal DNA test.

For confidential advice on whether this test is right for you, call our friendly and discreet Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300 or email info@alphabiolabs.com.

Home Paternity Test

Order our Paternity Test online now from just £99, with next working day results.

Casey Randall AlphaBiolabs

Casey Randall

Head of Genetics at AlphaBiolabs

Casey joined the AlphaBiolabs team in 2012 and heads up both the DNA and Covid-19 testing teams.

An expert in DNA analysis and a member of the International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG), Casey holds an MSc with Distinction in DNA Profiling and a First-Class BSc with Honours in Forensic Science.

Casey is responsible for maintaining the highest quality testing standards, as well as looking for ways to further enhance the service that AlphaBiolabs provides and exploring new and innovative techniques in DNA analysis.

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