How Much Does A Paternity Test Cost?

How Much Do Paternity Tests Cost?

There are two main types of paternity tests: Home paternity tests and legal paternity tests. The average cost of a home test is between $180 and $500 and an accredited legal test is between $400 and $1,000.

Why The Difference In Price?

A home kit can be purchased online or in many major stores like Walmart and Kmart. It is perfectly adequate for determining paternity if you don't need to use the results in a court of law. Be aware, when you buy a kit in store it may retail for as little as $25 or $30, but if you read the fine print, you'll see you need to pay a further $100 to $200 when you send your sample to the lab for testing.

The results of a legal paternity test can be used in court. It needs to be carried out at an accredited paternity clinic. While the test is virtually the same as the home test, you need to do it in the presence of a clinic employee who can testify that the sample is actually yours (so-called Chain of Custody). All the extra paperwork this involves accounts for the extra fee.

Examples Of Home Testing Kits

1. Identigene DNA Paternity Test Kit (Walmart or direct from Identigene online): $30 plus $129 lab fee. This kit allows for 3 Party testing - Mother, child, alleged father. You can rush your results (next day results) for an additional $99 ($228 total). Identigene state they examine "up to 17 genetic markers*".
2. DNA Confirmation Center: All-inclusive, Accurate Home DNA Paternity Test (online): $189.

Examples Of Legal Tests

1. LabCorp DNA laboratory offers a 21-marker genetic analysis*: $525 for 3-party testing - that is, mother, child and alleged father. They have 1,500 collection sites across the U.S.
2. BRT Laboratories, Inc: $399 for 3-party testing. They don't mention how many genetic markers they test for.
3. Center For Medical Genetics-Dad Test: $475, plus $30 sample collection fee. Results will be emailed or posted to you within 7 to 10 days. If you wish to speed up the process, it can be very costly. Expect to pay an additional $1,000 for results the next business day or $700 for a two-day turnaround.

*Genetic Markers
Children inherit their DNA from their parents. Scientists have discovered special locations in DNA that are most likely to be inherited. These are known as genetic markers. The more markers you test, the more accurate the paternity test result. The industry standard to test is 15 markers. Some companies, like LabCorp go beyond this by checking 21 markers.

Related Questions

How accurate is a home paternity test?
Can a paternity test be done without the father?
How do you get a paternity test?

• Need more information? See: Paternity Testing

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