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Is a paternity test accurate?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2022 | Paternity

A former partner comes to you and gives you a surprise: They have a child and they claim that it is yours. They want you to pay child support. 

You didn’t even know they had a child, so you’re naturally a bit wary. Yes, the two of you were together in the past, but it’s been some time. Is the child really yours? Or are they just looking for a way to get you involved even though you’re not even remotely related to this child? 

You decide to get a paternity test done. It feels like the only way to actually find out where you stand and what obligations and rights you may have. How accurate is that kind of test?

DNA testing is 99.9% accurate

The good news is that modern DNA tests can tell you with 99.9% accuracy that the child is not yours. If there’s no match, it’s very clear to the lab technicians. They do not make very many mistakes and these tests are considered to be incredibly reliable. Older tests may not have had the same level of accuracy, leading some people to believe that they can be wrong, but DNA tests are accurate so often that it’s not even a concern. 

That’s why getting a paternity test is usually a good idea if there’s any question. This is an important legal situation, and it’s not just about child support. If the child is yours, you may also be interested in child custody or other obligations. Either way, you definitely need to know all of the facts before you decide what steps to take.

Once you do, then you can begin looking into all of your legal options as you seek to protect your interests and those of your child.