Why are personal paternity tests not admissible in court?

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Paternity testing is attained for many different reasons. A Paternity test may be needed for a legal basis such as child support, child custody, or even social security purposes. Other times a paternity test may be needed for peace of mind when paternity is in question. Either way, they give much needed answers.


Paternity test kits can be purchases at local retail outlets for personal paternity testing. Samples are collected in the convenience of your own home then mailed to the testing laboratory, and in just a few days you receive your results. So why wouldnít these self collected at home paternity tests not be admissible in court? Why do you need to pay more for a legal test opposed to the personal paternity test?


Personal Paternity Testing vs. Legal Paternity Testing


With personal paternity testing, because the samples are collected by the participants the laboratory doing the DNA testing canít confirm whose sample they essentially have. There is no verification of the authenticity of the samples received from the participant. Forcing a legal test for court purposes helps prevent paternity fraud.


With legal testing the participants are sent to a collection facility to be collected by a non-interested third party. The collector establishes a chain-of-custody for the all samples taken; they witness the collection, verify identification, and take photos of participants in most cases. The collector also sends the collected samples directly to the testing laboratory to prevent samples from being interfered with. This keeps the chain-of-custody intact, and helps verify participants samples are legitimate, and in turn help to prevent paternity fraud.


Legal paternity testing is used in cases of Immigration, child custody, child support, or even social security benefits when applicable.


Why do legal paternity tests cost more if the testing process in the laboratory is the same?


The price difference between a legal paternity test and a personal paternity test includes the collection process and the paperwork used to establish identification and chain-of-custody. The legal paternity test may cost a bit more then the at home personal test, however, when paternity results are needed for legal purposes using the legal paternity test method is the best option.


If you simply want peace of mind, and legal purposes are not an issue, the personal paternity test may be the option for you. If you are ever unsure on which test may be best for your situation itís recommended that you contact the paternity test laboratory performing the test to advice.


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