Frequently Asked Questions

What is a paternity test?

Performing a DNA paternity test is used to determine if an individual is the biological father of a child. The reason why this type of test provides the most conclusive result for paternity is because we all inherit our DNA from our biological parents — half from our mother, and half from our father. A DNA paternity test compares a child's DNA profile (which is unique) with that of the "alleged father(s)" to determine if there is a match. When performed correctly in an experienced laboratory, it's the most definitive proof of a biological relationship. 99.99% for an inclusive (positive match) or 0% for an exclusion (negative match).

The cost of a test which includes the kit and all lab processing fees is only $79 plus $29 for standard shipping and handling, or $30 for next day Fedex courier delivery). Many people ask us if there are any extra fee's and the answer is NO.
There are no other fees or charges of any kind, at any time, because are you dealing directly with our clinically precise, high volume DNA laboratory.

Shopping with your credit card with Paternity Depot is guaranteed to be safe and secure.
We take extensive steps to process thousands of Internet transactions securely and safely. Our secure server software (SSL) is the industry standard for securing credit card transactions over the Internet.
This software encrypts all your personal information into an unrecognizable code that is securely transmitted from you to us. When this encrypted information reaches our secure server, we translate it back to its original form and store it safely offline and inaccessible through the Internet.
To continue our commitment to your security, every credit card processed is run through an address verification process to verify that the card is registered to the billing address on the order.

Absolutely! We understand it's sometimes easier to talk to a "real person " when placing an order. Call us anytime Saturday from 9am to 5pm EST and Monday thru Thursday from 9am to 6pm EST. Our number is 1-877-206-5288 or 1-877-842-4827. We have representatives to assist you in English, Spanish or French.

We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover as forms of payment. We are have added Paypal as a form of payment as well (please call us at 1-877-206-5288 or 1-877-842-4827 for our Paypal option).

Yes that is possible however Paternity Depot does not offer this test. Please e-mail as we can direct you to a partner laboratory that we are affiliated with.

We will send you a DNA sample collection kit for easy at home use. There is a pre-addressed enveloped, form's, sterile buccal swabs and sample collection envelopes.

If for any reason you or we cannot obtain buccal swabs from any of the parties to a DNA test there are many alternative sources of DNA that often work quite well. Please e-mail for other options.

Primary Sources:

  • Blood - a few drops on any material
  • Toothbrush - even if several months old
  • Dental floss, toothpick, chewing gum
  • Nail clippings
  • Semen
  • Teeth or bones
  • Used Kleenex or handkerchief is an excellent source of DNA

Secondary Sources:

  • Urine, razors, cigarette butts, licked envelopes
  • Hair (if follicles are attached)
  • Clothing, if in intimate contact with the person
  • Who's involved?
  • We require the samples from the alleged father and child for conclusive results (typically over 99.99% accurate); the mother is not required to participate in the test.

We require the samples from the alleged father and child for conclusive results (over 99.99% accurate); the mother is not required to participate in the test however it is recommended in certain cases.

Results are provided in approximately 7-10 business days.

Results are typically over 99.99% accurate for inclusion and 100% accurate for exclusion of a potential father.

Understanding DNA
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) stores the genetic information in the cells of your being. It is made up of four similar compounds A.T.C. and G that are repeated over and over in pairs.

A gene is a distinct portion of a cell's DNA and provides the coded instructions that help structure and determine every aspect of your physical and mental being. These genes are parcelled in bundles called chromosomes. There are 23 pairs of chromosomes one of each are from the mother and one from the father. The 23rd chromosome is the sexual determinate. Testing is based on PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and the use of STR (short tandem repeats) to generate multiplex reactions where many STR regions are tested simultaneously. This produces a 100% result excluding the approximate .0000001% incidence of monozygotic genes (identical twins).

There has long been a perception that identical twins have identical genetic profiles. Our research indicates that this is not necessarily the case, and there may be, in some cases, genetic differences. This has been confirmed in studies that show that one twin may have a genetic predisposition to a disease that the other does not. This may be true in about 50% of cases. Environmental factors can cause an individual to gain or lose intracellular DNA in what is now recognized as a dynamic process. These same factors are evidenced in the fact that identical twins do not often have identical fingerprints.

You may choose to receive your results by mail, telephone, e-mail, and/or fax.

Paternity provides legal paternity tests in the United States, Canada and internationally. We have over 500 collection centers across North America so getting the proper chain of custody will not be a problem. If there are any questions, we can be contacted directly for assistance. Only the father and child are required for testing. The mother's participation is not required for conclusive results.

Adults must government issue identification containing a photo. For children, a birth certificate or health care card is sufficient. Photographs of all donors are also taken on site.

This scenario is very common and we will send you and the other person to be tested an individual separate kit at no extra cost (e.g. if you are located in Phoenix Arizona and your child is located in Dallas Texas then Paternity Depot will send a kit to both addresses at no extra cost). When ordering please indicate the second address in our form.

Not all the persons participating in a DNA test may reside at the same address or location. Paternity Depot offers the possibility to have separate DNA paternity testing kits sent to individuals residing at different addresses both within the same country as well as in different ones.

Paternity Depot is a worldwide leader in DNA testing and we handle many cases where the parties to be tested are not located in the same state, province or country. Since we have multiple office locations, we have the ability to ship the kit from the nearest office to the address of destination. This will ensure that the kit will arrive faster to the other location.

The additional kit required will incur a shipping charge which is dependent on the destination of the kit. Each kit issued will have their own unique reference number, and the testing will only commence once all the samples have been received (unless otherwise agreed to). To proceed with this method, go to our Order Form and choose 'Split Kit' or 'International Split Kit' under Shipping

Please note that all swabs used for sample collection kits are double treated with UVC rays at 265nm to ensure long life stability of up to a year for DNA samples.

Your DNA samples are absolutely stabilized during shipping to ensure a precise clinical result thanks to our UVC treatment, all at no extra cost.

How to fast track an order and save even more on your test?

Why wait for several days, or even a week or more depending on local Postal Services for your kit to arrive.

You can start the sample collection NOW and it is easy to do!

You will need:

  • Q-tips (or a comparable product) (two for each person to be swabbed).
  • Small paper envelopes (one for each person being sampled)
  • One larger envelope for mailing the samples.

We understand that for many clients, this will be their first experience with any kind of DNA testing. We at Paternity Depot have therefore put together this comprehensive guide to assist you in better understanding what your DNA test results are actually telling you

The results in simple terms

The DNA test results will either include or exclude a given person from being biologically related to another person. In paternity testing, the tested putative father is father is excluded as being the biological father when he shares an insufficient number of genetic markers with the child; in this case the probability of paternity reads 0% in your result. When alleged father and child share a sufficient number of genetic markers, he is "included" as the biological father; the probability of paternity in this case reads 99.99%.

The combined paternity index or CPI

The Combined Paternity Index (CPI) is a scientific algorithm used for DNA comparisons. When a given person's DNA undergoes analysis, the scientists examine what are referred to as the genetic Loci or very specific locations on their genetic makeup. These loci help accurately confirm or exclude the genetic relationship between the people tested. Paternity Depot analyses 16 genetic loci in order to run a complete and scientifically valid DNA test which adheres to international testing standards. The actual CPI of a test subject is the coincidence, or similarity level, of one person's 16 genetic markers in comparison with another. It is done by multiplying all 16 paternity indexes that are derived for every one of the 16 genetic loci we test. Using these values we can proceed to calculate the probability of paternity. This figure expresses how many times more likely the alleged biological father is the real father of the child when compared with an untested male in his same ethnic group. In this way DNA tests can positively determine genetic relationships to a startling accuracy of 99.99999% when testing for paternity.

Your DNA test results

During the DNA analysis at our laboratories, the loci required will be extracted, amplified and examined using a process of analysis known as PCR or polymerase chain reaction. This biochemical technology in molecular biology enables us to work with very small DNA samples and provide highly accurate results.

On the actual DNA test report sent to our clients, there will be two columns. On the left hand portion of the report will be the actual loci tested – all 20 of them. For each Loci identified, there are two numbers presented. For example, if the child's numbers for a particular locus are 12 and 14, the number 12 size loci will be inherited from one side (maternal or paternal) and the other number 14 from the other (paternal or maternal). Paternity Depot will be able to determine which locus was inherited from which parent by comparing the profiles of two or more people. Thus, if the alleged father has numbers 14 and 2 for the same locus, we can conclude that the child inherited the number 14 locus from the father and the 2 from the mother.

Contact us for more information.