DNA paternity testing is used to determine whether two individuals are genetically parent and child. A paternity test establishes genetic relationship whether a man is the biological father of an individual, and a maternity test establishes whether a woman is the biological mother of an individual. Tests can also determine the possibility of someone being a biological grandparent to a grandchild. The present techniques for paternity testing are using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) and RFLP (Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism). Paternity testing can nowadays also be performed while the woman is still pregnant from a blood draw.


DNA testing is at present the most advanced and accurate technology to conclude parentage. In DNA parentage test, the result (called the ‘probability of parentage) is 0% when the alleged parent is not biologically related to the child and the probability of parentage is typically 99.99% when the alleged parent is biologically related to the child.

The testing is performed by collecting buccal cells found on the inside of a person’s cheek using a buccal swab or cheek swab. These swabs have wooden or plastic stick handles with cotton on synthetic tip. The collector rubs the inside of a person’s cheek in order to collect as many buccal cells as possible. The Buccal cells are then sent to a laboratory for testing. For paternity testing, samples from the father and child would be needed. For maternity testing, samples from the mother and child would be needed.