Paternity Testing: FSA Eligibility
What is paternity testing?
Paternity testing is a genetic test that compares the DNA sequences of two individuals to determine if one of them was derived from the other. By determining if the DNA sequence of one of the individuals was derived from the other, the test can predict whether one individual is a parent to the other. DNA testing is effective for both fathers and mothers trying to determine their parentage of an individual (Cleveland Clinic).
DNA paternity tests are performed by collecting buccal (cheek) cells from each test recipient. When the alleged parent is not biologically related to the child, the result or the probability of parentage is listed as 0%. Conversely, the result is listed as 99.99% when the alleged parent is biologically related to the child.
Samples must be collected from both the child and the alleged parent in question (mother or father) and sent to a lab.
Paternity testing is fully legal in the United States and fathers may test their children without the consent or knowledge of the mother. Paternity testing kids for home use are not admissible as court evidence, however. Only court-ordered paternity tests may be used as evidence in court proceedings that involve parental testing, such as child support or immigration cases. AABB accredited labs can be used for this purpose but are not required. AABB accredited labs for DNA testing meet standards of the AABB for DNA testing and family relationship testing. Any lab based paternity test that follows a chain of custody is useable for court purposes when the court matters rely on paternity information.