If you’ve ever stayed out of school sick, you’ve seen at least one episode of Maury. You know how it goes.
A man is accused of being the father of someone’s baby, and the audience sits on the edge of their seats to learn if they are.
You don’t have to go on live TV to find out if you’re the father of someone’s child. You can order a home paternity test.
These tests are simple enough to take, and you can buy a kit from your local drug store. Before you grab one, you’ll need to know how to take it.
If you mess up the cheek swab, the results won’t be accurate. Check out this guide to learn more.
What Is Home Paternity Testing?
So, first thing’s first, what is a home paternity test? As the name suggests, it’s a DNA analysis that you can do while you’re sitting on your couch.
You won’t have to bother making an appointment at your local clinic and driving. After you get a sample of your DNA, you’ll send it off to a lab for testing.
When it comes to testing options, you’ve got two that you can do from home. You can drive to your local drug store and pick up a kit or order one from a lab. They both come with their own pros and cons.
Drug store tests are kits that come with everything you need to collect your DNA. After you finish the cheek swab, you’ll pay a fee to send it off to a lab.
As long as you buy the right kit, it will tell you who a child’s genetic parents are, but if you find yourself in a hip hop uncensored Jay Z situation, you’ll need to opt for lab testing.
Lab testing offers the same experience as home testing. The difference is that you won’t get your kit from a drug store. You’ll order your DNA testing materials from a lab.
They’ll ship them to you, you’ll do the cheek swab, and send your DNA right back to the lab. Lab testing is superior to drug store testing in that you can get one you can use in court for an extra fee.
How Is the Home Paternity Test Performed?
So, how is legal paternity testing performed? It’s not as complicated as you might think. All you need is a DNA sample.
You can submit saliva, blood, or a cheek swab to your local lab. Depending on the type of kit you buy, you might be able to use a few strands of your hair.
Whatever sample you decide to submit, make sure that you follow the instructions on the box to get it. You’ll also need to perform a few preparation steps.
Follow the Instructions on the Box
It’s possible to mess up your home paternity test. If you don’t follow the instructions on the box, the results will be skewed.
Since cheek swabs are the most common, we’ll talk about how to do those. First of all, take the sample an hour after you eat. You can drink water, but that’s about it.
Scrape the inside of your cheek with the swab for about a minute. After you get your sample, put it right in the container provided by the lab or drugstore test. Be careful not to bump the end of the cotton swab against anything.
Being Sterile Is Important
When it comes to DNA extraction, being sterile is key. Wash your hands and slip on a pair of gloves before you even think about touching your kit.
After you get your sample, make sure that you don’t place it on your countertop or any other contaminated surface. The slightest thing can throw off the results of the test.
Follow the Shipping Instructions
The last thing you want is for your sample to get lost on the way to the lab. That will happen if you don’t follow the shipping instructions provided by the lab.
Unfortunately, we can’t give you any basic shipping information because every single lab is different.
How Accurate Are Home Tests?
There are a lot of factors that play into the accuracy of home paternity tests. The first is the quality of the test. If you don’t buy one from a reputable company, the results might be a bit off.
Nine times out of ten, getting one from an actual lab is going to be a bit more accurate than getting one from the drugstore.
The other factor is how well you follow the instructions on the box. If you take matters into your own hands, you may contaminate the test.
Are Clinical Tests Better?
If you’re conducting a paternity test for the sake of curiosity, doing a test at home will be fine.
If you’re doing it for legal reasons, going to a doctor to take a test in person is better. You can get a legal one from a lab, but clinical ones are more accurate.
Understanding the Ins and Outs of Home Paternity Tests
Home paternity tests can give you some peace of mind without you ever having to leave the comfort of your house. Extracting your DNA is quick and convenient.
The only problem is that you can’t use it in a courtroom. If you find yourself in a custody battle, make an appointment at an actual clinic.
For more information on paternity and DNA testing, feel free to explore the rest of our blog.