7 At-Home Paternity Test To Help Put Your Mind At Ease

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Taking a paternity test to find out whether or not you are a child’s parent can be a delicate and emotional process. You want to do what is best for the child, protecting them emotionally while confirming whether or not you are their biological parent. To help reduce the stigma and process of visiting a doctor or lab for a paternity test, there are at-home paternity tests available that will give you confidential results from the privacy of your own home. And it takes only a few days to receive the results—which, depending on the company, can be up to 99.9% accurate.

However, with so many tests available on the market, it can be difficult to know which one to get. So to help you choose, we did the research for you by evaluating over 25 at-home paternity tests available today. We looked for those with the best accuracy, affordability, and accessibility, and a few other factors, such as whether the company uses accredited labs, the time it takes to get results, and whether the test results are admissible in court. Here are seven of the best at-home paternity tests.

7 of The Best At-Home Paternity Tests of 2023

A Note About At-Home Paternity Tests

New York has a different paternity-testing process than other states that requires a doctor or a lawyer to first authorize the DNA test. Then, an approved witness must supervise DNA collection and submission.

Some of the tests on this list will allow you to take DNA samples from the child or suspected parent without them knowing, which can be an ethical issue. Should you take this route to acquire a sample, the results are for personal knowledge only and are not legally binding or admissible in court. 

Most Testing Options : My Forever DNA Complete Paternity Test

My Forever DNA

My Forever DNA

Key Specs
  • Price: $139 and up
  • Availability: All states (except New York) and internationally
  • Results: 1 to 3 days after samples are received by the lab
Pros & Cons
  • Can ship test kits to different addresses, including internationally

  • Option to make your own kit with materials you have on hand

  • Court admissible results available

  • Shipping unavailable in New York due to state regulatory laws

  • Discreet or alternative DNA samples take two weeks to process

  • Court-admissible testing only offered in Omaha, Nebraska

Why We Chose It

My Forever DNA offers comprehensive paternity testing services to meet a variety of needs: It ships multiple tests to multiple locations, offers court-admissible results, and you can take alternative DNA samples if you want to keep the test confidential from the child or possible father until you know the results. You can also test multiple kids at once.  

An easy online ordering form allows you to select which of these features you’d like to be included in your kit. The kit will include the necessary materials to collect DNA samples depending on who you’d like to be a part of the test (mother, children, potential fathers). My Forever DNA prepares your personalized kit and mails it to you. Once you collect the DNA samples required, you send the samples back to the My Forever DNA lab with prepaid postage. According to the website, each test analyzes 34 genetic markers to verify paternity. Results are delivered within one to three business days after the samples are received.

If you are looking for fast results, you can choose the Make-Your-Own-Kit testing option. This option allows you to skip the wait for a mailed test to arrive and collect the DNA samples immediately using step-by-step instructions sent via email after your register for the test. My Forever DNA will also send kits to two different locations if the parties involved in DNA testing live in different areas. 

The My Forever DNA test kit (which supplies materials for DNA collection) is $139. You pay a flat fee of $99 for the DIY option. 

For Multiple Children : DNA Direct Solutions

DNA Direct Solutions

DNA Direct Solutions

Key Specs
  • Price: $79
  • Availability: Available in all states
  • Results: Within 2 days
Pros & Cons
  • Fast results

  • Available in all 50 states

  • Can test multiple suspected parents and up to six children

  • No weekend or evening customer support

  • Results only available via email

Why We Chose It

The DNA Paternity test offered by DNA Direct Solutions gives you the ability to test up to six children at a time. As with most standard paternity testing kits, each test kit comes with everything you need to take a DNA sample for one parent and one child via a cheek swab. What sets this test apart is that when ordering the test, you can also add testing materials for up to six children for $35 each. Upon completing the tests you will package your samples and, using the prepaid postage, send the samples to an Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies (AABB) & International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 17025 accredited laboratory

Results are delivered electronically via email, though hard copies are available upon request. If you need fast results, the company offers next-day results for $150 and results in under 24 hours for $300. DNA Direct ships to all 50 states in a discreet package to protect your privacy.

Best for Rapid Results : Home DNA Paternity

Home DNA Paternity

Home DNA Paternity

Key Specs
  • Price: $15 to $30, plus $139 lab fee
  • Availability: Nationally except in New York 
  • Results: 2 days after samples are received by the lab; same-day results available for a fee
Pros & Cons
  • Available in stores and online

  • 24-hour results available for a fee

  • Inexpensive

  • Test covers only one possible parent and one child

  • Shipping time to the lab can take seven to 10 business days

  • Not available to New York residents

Why We Chose It

HomeDNA Paternity provides a great paternity test option for people who decide to test spontaneously and who want fast results. The test kit is sold in pharmacies and other retailers for about $15 to $30. So if you decide to test on the spur of the moment, you can pick up a kit and send off samples the very same day. 

Each sample, which compares 15 to 17 DNA markers, is tested twice by two different lab teams to guarantee accurate results. The results are then reviewed and signed off on by a Ph.D. scientist trained in paternity testing. 

Once you’ve swabbed the cheeks of the child and possible parent, you can ship the kit to the lab for analysis, along with a payment of roughly $139. That fee can also be paid online at HomeDNA’s website, where you register your test kit in order to view results digitally.

If you use the prepaid envelope provided in the kit, HomeDNA cautions that it can take seven to 10 days to reach the lab. After that, your results will be posted online in two business days. However, if you want faster results, you can pay extra to have the sample shipped overnight, plus pay an additional processing fee that will give you results 24 hours later. 

Best Budget : Paternity Depot

Paternity Depot

Paternity Depot

Key Specs
  • Price: $59, plus $20 to $30 shipping and handling fee
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Results: Within 7 to 10 business days
Pros & Cons
  • If parents are in different states, test will ship to multiple locations

  • Available in New York, unlike many competitors

  • Customer service available in English, Spanish, and French

  • Slow timeline (7 to 10 business days) for results

  • No 24/7 customer service

  • Required shipping and handling fee

Why We Chose It

Paternity Depot offers the flexibility that complex family dynamics sometimes require: you can test paternity discreetly using DNA from hair clippings, used tissues, or other items that might be easier to obtain when a possible parent won’t consent to a cheek swab. You’re also able to test multiple children or multiple parents, and it is possible to ship test kits to two or more different locations. You can get your results by phone, email, mail, or fax, delivered in English, Spanish, or French.

In addition to offering an easy-to-use test, Paternity Depot offers many services some competitors lack. Each sample is analyzed twice by a team led by doctorate-level scientists with training in paternity testing. 

Many at-home paternity tests are not available to New York residents because of state regulations, but Paternity Depot is able to serve New Yorkers because it has offices in the state. 

Court-Admissible : Labcorp DNA Paternity Testing



Key Specs
  • Cost: $210 to $525 and up
  • Availability: Global
  • Results: 3 to 5 business days after results are received
Pros & Cons
  • Website is easy to use and ordering process is simple

  • Accommodations made for in-person legal paternity tests

  • Optimal customer service transparency and availability

  • More expensive than some brands

  • Only accepts credit cards, not other forms of payment like Venmo or Paypal

  • Doesn’t accept discreet DNA like some other brands do

Why We Chose It

Labcorp is a well-known and reliable source for both at-home paternity tests and legally admissible paternity tests. You can take them at one of its 1,900 facilities in the U.S., and more than 13,000 contracted locations globally. Legal paternity testing starts at $525 and includes the necessary components needed to follow the legal chain of custody procedures. Legal paternity testing requires an in-person appointment with a valid government-issued ID.

When ordering a court-admissible paternity test from Labcorp, you can either make the appointment yourself or request that a representative reach out to you for scheduling. Additionally, DNA tests for relationship testing, such as grandparent tests, aunt/uncle tests, and sibling tests are also available. 

The standard at-home paternity test from Labcorp starts at $210, and the base kit includes sample collection supplies for one mother, one potential father, and one child.

Best for Additional Genetics Markers : Genovate



Key Specs
  • Cost: $180 and up, plus $25 for one- to two-day results
  • Availability: Nationwide excluding New York state
  • Results: 1 to 3 business days after results are received
Pros & Cons
  • More than 30 different at-home tests available

  • Multiple options for building a paternity collection kit

  • Kits can be split and sent to different locations for convenience

  • Sample materials for the mother not included in base price

  • No phone or email customer service support

  • Tests are more expensive than other brands when not on sale

Why We Chose It

Genovate’s at-home DNA paternity test offers testing for a variety of combinations (children, suspected father, mother) in its kits. The process is easily completed like many other at-home paternity tests: Order the kit online, collect samples, and mail them back to a lab, then receive the results online.

In total, Genovate offers 39 tests in various categories, including relationships, health and disease, diet and fitness, behavior and traits, diagnostics, and ancestry. Genovate also offers a legal version of its at-home paternity test, but it requires an additional fee and an in-person appointment for sample collection. All of Genovate’s tests can be ordered online. Unfortunately, we cannot speak to the number of genetic markers tested as it is not disclosed.

For Fast Results : Home Paternity DNA Collection Kit

Home Paternity DNA Collection Kit logo

Home Paternity DNA Collection Kit

Key Specs
  • Cost: $99, plus $25 for each additional child
  • Availability: Nationwide excluding New York state
  • Results: 2 days
Pros & Cons
  • Affordable cost at $99 currently

  • Results delivered quickly online in two to three days

  • Samples tested twice for accuracy

  • Results not given over the phone or sent via email

  • Limited options for customizing DNA collection kits

Why We Chose It

At $99, the Home Paternity DNA Collection Kit is relatively affordable compared to other tests on this list. Plus it has a fast turnaround and high accuracy thanks to the double-check testing procedure that processes each test twice. The kit also features free shipping, fast results (two to three days after sample processing), and discretion. The company focuses specifically on paternity testing, so other types of relationship tests aren’t available. But accuracy is paramount. A standard kit includes sample collection materials for one possible father, one child, and the birthing parent; including the mother is optional. You can order materials for additional children and additional possible fathers for a fee.

Home Paternity uses the DNA Diagnostic Center (DDC) for all of its testing. The lab has more than 20 years of experience specifically with paternity testing as well as a healthy list of certifications and accreditations. The DDC uses automated testing to minimize the chance for error, and was the first American lab to normalize repeating the paternity test to ensure accuracy.

Compare the Best At-Home Paternity Tests

Company Approximate Cost  Availability  Time for Results (after receipt by lab)
For Most Testing Options My Forever DNA Complete Paternity Test  $139 All states (except New York) and internationally 1-3 days
For Multiple Children DNA Direct Solutions $79, plus $35 per additional parent/child All states 2-5 days
For In-Store Purchase Home DNA Paternity $15-$30, plus $139 lab fee Nationwide except New York 1-3 business days
For Easy Testing Paternity Depot $79, plus $20 to $30 shipping and handling fee All states 5-7 business days
For Court-Admissible Test Labcorp $210-$525+ U.S., Canada, international 3-5 days
For Additional Genetics Markers Genovate $180, plus $25 for 1- to 2-day results Nationwide excluding New York state 1-3 days
For Fast Results Home Paternity DNA Collection Kit $99, plus $25 for additional children Nationwide excluding New York state 2 days

How to Choose the Best At-Home Paternity Test

Choosing an at-home paternity test can feel like a big decision. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Accuracy: Knowing that you can trust the result is the most important part of paternity testing. Look for a test that use an AABB and ISO 17025 accredited laboratory.  
  • Legal admissibility: Many people use paternity testing for court cases that involve custody or child support. Most at-home paternity tests are not legally admissible, but Paternity Depot offers a legally admissible test that requires you to take extra steps like having a witness sign paperwork. 
  • Timing: If you need results quickly, choose a test option that offers rapid testing for a rush fee. 
  • Genetic material: Most at-home DNA tests require a cheek swab from the possible parent and the child. However, sometimes the possible parent won’t voluntarily provide a DNA sample, so some at-home test providers allow you to use discreet DNA samples like hair clippings or used tissues. 
  • Testing options: If you want to test more than one child or more than one possible parent, look for a company that allows you to build a kit to meet your needs, such as DNA Direct Solutions.
  • Location: New York tightly regulates at-home paternity tests. If you live there, you’ll have to find a test that is approved for sale in that state. 
  • Price: The prices of at-home paternity tests vary widely, but there are less expensive options that are as fast and claim the same accuracy as more expensive tests. 
  • Discretion: Look for an at-home paternity test that is shipped in an unmarked package to protect your privacy. 
  • Simplicity: Choose a test that is simple to take with results that are easy to read and understand. If you have barriers to understanding written English, look for a test that will give results by phone or in another language.

Key Considerations

Who Should Take an At-Home Paternity Test?

If you have any doubt about who your biological father is or who your child’s biological father is, at-home paternity tests can provide a quick and affordable way to get closure. But before taking a paternity test, consider how you would feel if the result is not what you expected. 

If you are looking to verify paternity for legal reasons, including custody or child support, it’s important to find a test that is admissible in court, like the legally admissible test sold by Paternity Depot.

Ordering Your At-Home Paternity Test

Most at-home paternity tests can be ordered online. If you’re not comfortable with that, you can order some tests by phone, or pick up a Home DNA Paternity test at a local retailer. After you order a test, you'll collect DNA samples at home, typically by swabbing the cheek of the possible parent and the child. Then, register your test kit, ship the samples to the lab, and look for your results.

How Do At-Home Paternity Tests Work?

Most at-home paternity tests involve ordering a collection kit online, receiving sample collection materials in the mail, collecting samples, and returning them to a lab via mail. “It’s important to read the instructions carefully and follow them precisely, as accuracy depends on the user’s ability to administer the test as intended,” says subject matter expert Lindsay Modglin, a former nurse with more than nine years of clinical healthcare experience. “If you fail to collect and return the sample correctly, the results may be compromised.” Once at the lab, samples are tested for paternity by analyzing the DNA and comparing the child’s sample and the potential father’s sample. Including the biological mother’s DNA sample can improve the accuracy of the test, and many tests include materials for the mother’s DNA collection for free.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is an At-Home Paternity Test Covered By Insurance?

    At-home paternity tests are not covered by insurance. As these tests are considered non-medical, they are not covered by health insurance plans, though, some may allow you to use a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) card for payment.

  • Is an At-Home Paternity Test Accurate?

    Many at-home paternity tests claim high accuracy on the website, often above 99%. “Some companies, like Labcorp, offer both legal and at-home tests,” says Modglin. “Both types of tests are processed using the same technology. The difference is that the legal test sample is obtained by an experienced lab technician, whereas the customer collects the home test. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to confirm the true accuracy of at-home tests since the customer is responsible for collecting and sending in the sample.”

  • How Much Does an At-Home Paternity Test Cost?

    Test kits begin as low as about $79 and run up to about $200 for testing one possible parent and one child. Testing additional potential parents or children adds to the cost. When you’re comparing the price, be sure to include any lab fees and shipping and handling.

  • Can You Take an At-Home Paternity Test During Pregnancy?

    There are paternity tests that can be taken during pregnancy. These tests require a blood sample from the pregnant person, so they can’t be done entirely at home—blood must be collected in a lab. The DNA of the fetus is then isolated and compared to the DNA of the possible parent. These tests carry no risk of miscarriage, but they’re very expensive, costing about $900 to $2,000. The tests cannot be used if a pregnant person is carrying twins or other multiples.


SOURCE: DNA evidence: basics of analyzing. National Institute of Justice. https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/articles/dna-evidence-basics-analyzing

Dad with baby

Matt Carr / Getty Images

Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. New York State Unified Court System: New York City Family Court. Paternity

  2. National Institute of Justice. DNA evidence: Basics of analyzing.

  3. DNA Diagnostics Center. Non-invasive prenatal paternity testing.

By Kelly Burch
Kelly Burch is a New Hampshire-based freelance journalist who has written about health-related topics for more than 10 years. She's passionate about taking on taboo health topics ranging from mental health to sexual health, and providing reliable, science-based information in a way that is comprehensive and easy to understand. Kelly recognizes that health topics go beyond just medical well-being, and also touch on social, emotional and relationship health.

Edited by Ray Finch
Ray Finch

Ray is a special projects editor on the performance marketing team.

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