A paternity test compares the DNA of the child to the DNA of the alleged father to determine if the alleged father is the biological father of the child. Once a child is born, there are two choices for paternity testing: a Legal DNA Paternity Test or a Peace-of-Mind DNA Paternity Test.
We also offer a Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test to determine if the alleged father is the biological father before the child is born.
Legal DNA Paternity Test
There are several reasons to have a Legal DNA Paternity Test as opposed to a Peace-of-Mind DNA Paternity Test.
- Changes or additions to a birth certificate.
- Cases involving child custody, visitation rights, and child support.
- Child’s rights to potentially receive benefits including: medical insurance, Social Security and Veteran benefits, inheritance rights including life insurance payouts.
- Divorce proceedings or other cases where a judge orders DNA paternity testing.
For both a Legal and a Peace-of-Mind test, the child and the alleged father’s DNA are collected with buccal swabs where the inside of the cheeks are swabbed with sterile cotton swabs.
For the results of a DNA paternity test to be legally admissible in court or for use in other legal proceedings, the DNA has to be collected using a chain-of-custody protocol. The chain-of-custody protocol requires a third party (Heartland DNA) to swab all parties being DNA tested and to obtain copies of government-issued picture ID’s and/or pictures to provide proof of who was tested.
State laws also require DNA testing to be done at an AABB accredited lab. Heartland DNA uses an AABB accredited lab for all chain-of-custody DNA testing.
Peace-of-Mind DNA Paternity Test
A Peace-of-Mind DNA Paternity Test, also called a Home Kit, provides the same results as a Legal DNA Paternity Test, but because the DNA is not collected using a chain-of-custody protocol, the results are not considered legally admissible in court and cannot be used for legal proceedings.
Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test
A Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test can determine if the alleged father is the biological father before the child is born and the results of that test can be used for legal purposes. The earliest a prenatal test can be performed is 7 weeks into the pregnancy and the mother cannot be expecting multiples (twins or triplets). The alleged father’s DNA is collected by a buccal swab. The DNA of the baby is extracted from the mother’s blood which is drawn from a vein in her arm. This test is considered non-invasive because there is no disruption to the baby or the uterus when drawing blood from the mother’s arm.
Heartland DNA offers other ancestry tests to prove grandparentage, half-/full-siblingship, and avuncular (i.e. uncle/nephew) relationships. While Heartland DNA does not offer DNA testing to determine ethnic and geographic origins, if you have found someone through research on one of the popular ancestry websites or other means who may belong to your family tree, give us a call so we can see if there is a DNA test(s) available to determine a direct genetic connection!
In some cases, these tests can be used to indirectly prove paternity when the alleged father is not available for testing. You should seek an attorney’s opinion before relying on any ancestral test to indirectly prove paternity for use in legal proceedings.
Heartland DNA offers tests to help determine if a significant other is cheating. A Semen Detection Test will determine whether or not semen is present on a piece of clothing or linens. A Y-STR Test can identify if there is male DNA on the item and if there is more than one male DNA profile present. If male DNA is detected by the Y-STR Test, a DNA Comparison Test can determine if the DNA profile detected matches the significant other’s DNA collected with a buccal swab.
Each situation is unique so a phone consultation is the best way to determine which tests are best for you. As with all cases, testing is confidential.