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Can Paternity Tests Be Wrong?

Can Paternity Tests Be Wrong?

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One of life’s most thrilling experiences is becoming a parent, but for some people, the process also entails considerable grief and uncertainty. Paternity disputes can be difficult and emotionally taxing. You can continue to question the accuracy of your DNA test findings even after you receive them as many times as they may indicate a false negative paternity test. You might be shocked to hear that DNA test findings can occasionally be wrong. Continue reading to find out how this works. 

How can be a paternity test wrong?

Occasionally, during the testing procedure, samples may be tampered with or mislabeled. The original sample that is given to the testing firm may be tampered with at the earliest opportunity. The sample might be switched out if the other parent or a related party has a stake in the outcome of the DNA test. Occasionally, lab staff errors in sample processing might lead to a false positive or negative result. The test findings may get more complicated if the individual taking the paternity test is linked to the real father. Furthermore, a few incredibly uncommon genetic abnormalities might lead to false negative paternity test findings.

Positive real DNA test results?

 If all DNA loci are tested and one of the child’s findings matches the putative father’s result, while the other matches the mother’s result, paternity can be established. It is crucial to realize that a positive test result is always associated with a very high statistical probability, typically  99.99, but it is never 100%. This is because, theoretically, there is a very slim chance that any other man in the world could yield the same result in the tested DNA loci as the subject. In the event of formal paternity tests, one will need to verify the lack of such twins in the consent form to rule out testing mistakes caused by existing monozygotic twins.

What percentage of paternity tests are negative?

According to several research, between one and three percent of fathers are unintentionally parenting and taking care of a child who is not biologically their own. However, paternity lab statistics show that the rate of negative paternity test results demonstrating one is not the biological father is substantially greater for fathers who are contesting paternity or seeking conclusive confirmation through DNA testing, at twenty to thirty percent. A false negative paternity test result percentage is a factor that should be kept in mind when evaluating the findings. Nonetheless, more than 97% of fathers who are not requesting paternity testing are found to be the biological parent in question. This is a result of the techniques we employed during our testing not being able to differentiate between two monozygotic twins that are almost genetically similar in these situations.

How long does it take for a paternity test to come back?

A few variables affect how long a DNA test takes. It is contingent upon both the testing laboratory and the duration of time it takes for them to get the DNA sample. It also relies on the quantity of samples that other individuals have sent in.
The length of time it takes to receive results depends greatly on the type of DNA test. As you’ll see below, for example, a DNA paternity test may be completed far faster than other kinds. A lab may handle DNA collection in less than a week, and paternity tests can be completed in as little as two to five days from the time the samples are received by the testing facility.

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That is, assuming the postal service takes two days to get the DNA sample to the lab and another couple of days to return it. This indicates that the processing time for paternity DNA test results is up to nine business days.


Based only on the DNA data, it does not entirely rule out the possibility of biological paternity, nor does it definitively affirm it. If you need to know how you relate to children, ask the lab that performed the test about other genetic markers or repeat testing. To get advice on definitively proving paternity, contact the experienced staff at Choice DNA. We can assist in explaining the findings and the best course of action for resolution because we have years of knowledge concerning DNA and paternity testing. Get in touch with us to learn more about the variety of tests available to you so that you may be certain and clear about your genetic links.

May 2024