Ranking Criteria Explained
In this section of our guide on the best paternity test kits, we will focus on the most important criteria that we rely upon when examining paternity testing companies.
First, we explore the variety of paternity tests offered and the availability of legal and non-legal paternity DNA testing solutions. Further, we assess the quality and accuracy of the tests and examine the likelihood of test error. We assess staff competency and inspect available state and international accreditations, as well as potential partnerships with relevant institutions.
After conducting meticulous analyses of the tests and testing processes, we proceed to examine the quality of customer service. We focus on average turnaround times, customer support availability and quality, and pricing.
Finally, we perform a thorough check of the company’s background, its managerial apparatus, and involvement in relevant research projects in the field. You can read more about each of the companies on our top list in the mini-reviews below.
Our Top Picks
When looking for the best DNA tests to fit your budget, your personal goals, and the overall scope of your genetic exploration, researching all the available options is of paramount importance. Whether you are just interested in satisfying your curiosity or embarking on a serious DNA-related quest, the following mini-reviews will familiarize you with the top at-home testing solutions currently on the market.
EasyDNA has the most widespread presence of all the companies on our list, with 35 offices spread across the entire world.
The company has performed over 300,000 tests so far, boasting 99.9999% test precision. Over 40 different DNA relationship tests are available, including twins, siblings, uncles/aunts, and grandparents, as well as both legal and “curiosity” DNA tests. Genetic reconstruction is available too. The tests check 21 genetic markets for potential matches. When it comes to paternity DNA testing, EasyDNA offers 5 options, including the Home Paternity Test, the Legal Paternity Test, the Immigration DNA Test, the Prenatal Paternity Test, and the Discreet Paternity Test.
The Home Paternity Test (119$) is its “basic” paternity DNA test, which can only satisfy your curiosity, meaning it cannot be used in court. The average turnaround time is 3-5 days. The Legal Paternity Test (299$) includes a more complex procedure than simply doing the test at home. The sample collection must be performed by a licensed individual (most likely a doctor) at a certified facility (usually a hospital). The whereabouts of the sample must be accounted for from the moment of collection up until it reaches the testing lab. The turnaround time for this test is also between 3 and 5 days.
The Immigration DNA Test (499$) is a paternity DNA test designed for immigration purposes. EasyDNA really gets to shine in this area since it can send DNA testing kits all over the world, bypassing the potential problem of test subjects living in different countries.
The Prenatal Paternity Test (1196$) is a non-invasive DNA test, collecting the DNA sample from the blood of the mother. The Discreet Paternity Test (80$) offers an alternative when a buccal swab is not an option. It can utilize a used toothbrush, Kleenex, and other objects.
Live Well Testing
Live Well Testing conducts its business as an e-commerce branch of Confirm BioSciences. Paternity DNA tests are just a small part of its online portfolio, as the company offers a multitude of DNA and wellness tests focused on your body, pets, and environment.
As far as paternity DNA testing is concerned, Live Well Testing offers two iterations, including the Paternity DNA Home Buccal Test Kit and the Paternity DNA Home Legal Buccal Test Kit.
The Paternity DNA Home Buccal Test Kit (139.99$) is designed just to satisfy your curiosity and provide you with peace of mind. It’s an at-home DNA test that utilizes cheek swabs for DNA sample collection, meaning that its results are not admissible in court. The price of this test includes a testing kit and lab costs for one potential father and one child. The test examines 23 genetic markers or DNA loci, with 99.9999% accuracy. The average turnaround time is approximately 3-5 work days. If you so choose, you can request a hard copy of the report for an additional fee.
The Paternity DNA Home Legal Buccal Test Kit (249.99$) provides you with court-viable results that can be used as proof of paternity in proceedings regarding adoption, custody, wills and estates, and immigration. As far as your involvement is concerned, all of the specifics are the same as with the non-legal variant, except that you have to provide your DNA sample at a licensed facility like a hospital, for example.
Live Well Testing performs its analyses in a modern laboratory with ISO 17025, CAP, A2LA, and AABB certifications. The tests are shipped worldwide, except the state of New York for legal reasons.
DDC exists for more than 20 years and has executed more than 2 million DNA tests. It is best known for its proprietary, state-of-the-art testing laboratory with robotics technology included in the sequencing of DNA samples.
The mentioned lab is also the most accredited of its kind, featuring recognition from institutions like CAP, CLIA, AABB, ANAB, Ministry of Justice, and NATA. The company won the Customer Service Award in 2013 and 2014.
Other important company highlights include accurate test results, free pre-testing consultations with a genetic scientist without any purchase-related obligations, and payment plans available upon request. Every DNA test is done twice to remove any possibility of errors, sample sequencing is always closely monitored by an expert, and every test result comes with a Ph.D. review. The DDC paternity DNA testing portfolio offers three tests, including the Home DNA Paternity Test, Paternity Testing With Legal Results, and the Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test.
The Home DNA Paternity Test (starts at 189$) is the aforementioned “curiosity” paternity test, without potential legal ramifications. The results of this test are usually ready within 24 hours. Paternity Testing With Legal Results (starts at 449$) is the most definitive proof of paternity you can obtain. It is 100% accurate and can be used for various legal purposes. The mother’s participation is recommended but not required. The average turnaround time is not specified; DDC simply states that you’ll get the results as fast as possible. If you believe there’s even a slight possibility of ever needing legal proof of paternity, DDC recommend opting for this test
. The Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test (price not specified, payment plans available) is performed before the birth of the tested child. The DNA specimen is collected from the cells of the fetus, which freely flow in the mother’s bloodstream as early as the 8th week of pregnancy. The average turnaround time is 3 days.
STK Paternity Test Kit
STK Paternity Test Kit is a quick and relatively inexpensive paternity DNA test. Its price includes all lab fees for one father and one child. STK is the only company that provides you with quick online results, as well as with a colored hard copy report with no extra charges.
Its testing lab is ISO 17025 and AABB certified and the promised results accuracy is 99.99%. The test itself inspects 16 genetic markers for possible matches. As the folks behind the company like to point out, this is three genetic markets more than the FBI requirement for DNA testing. However, it is still 4 markets fewer than what Live Well Testing screens for, but it all evens out when you take the prices into consideration. Besides accurate results, STK also guarantees full privacy and security of your information and final test report.
The sample processing commences within a couple of hours after it arrives at the testing facility and the results can be expected within 3-5 business days. Note that the shipping costs are included in the price and that this testing kit cannot be sent to the state of New York. It is also not eligible for international shipping.
The price of the STK Paternity Test Kit is 99.99$ and it usually ships within 24 hours after your order has been placed.
Paternity Depot offers the most budget-friendly paternity DNA testing options and quickest turnaround times on the market.
Probably because of the name of the company, people usually think paternity testing is the only form of DNA processing offered by Paternity Depot, which is definitely not true. It also performs all the usual relationship DNA tests, like siblings, avuncular, grandparent, and others.
Paternity Depot accepts a wide range of DNA samples for testing, including buccal swabs, blood on any material, toothbrushes, Kleenexes, semen, teeth or bones, nail clippings, hair, and more.
What also makes Paternity Depot stand out is that it provides split DNA testing kits (free of charge), flexible order placement, legal and non-legal DNA testing options, and effective customer support. The company has performed over 300,000 tests so far, claiming 99.99% test accuracy. Keep in mind that you can make your own DNA testing kit and save 20% off the price.
The Basic Paternity Test (59$) includes a testing kit for one father and one child. Additional samples can also be sent for testing for an additional $50 per sample. Processing a “discreet” DNA sample (a toothbrush, a chewing gum…) also costs an extra 50$.
If you want to make your test results legal, the price of the test is $109. Note that the shipping costs are not covered by the original price of the test, so you’ll have to add 8$ for regular mail and 20$ for express.