Facts about Paternity Testing

How much is a paternity test

Prices for paternity tests differ between court directed testing and private testing.


A court ordered paternity test must not necessarily be more expensive than a privately conducted test.

In Germany, the Gene Diagnostics Law is regulating the conducting of DNA testing. Accordingly, each laboratory follows the same process while performing a DAN analysis.


If your DNA test is ordered by a court it is important for you to know what exactly your judge wants. You should clarify beforehand if the judge will also accept the results of a privately conducted test. This cold save a lot of money.


The costs accrued by testing through an Institute of Legal Medicine are much higher while the method of testing is the same. To estimate the overall costs more accurately it is also important to know how many persons will participate in the test and if they live abroad.


Cost overview

Item Costs
Paternity Test  299 €
Witnessed sampling in our lab + 79 €
Witnessed sampling with a sampler of your choice upon request
Sampling organisation for participants living + 249 €


Additional costs that may occur

  1. Witnessed sampling
  2. sampling and shipment of samples for participants abroad


1) According to the German Gene Diagnostics Act each DNA sampling has to be accompanied  by a neutral and experienced person, such as our lab personnel.

You are welcome to let us conduct your witnessed sampling. Still, it may not be possible for many of our customers to pay us a visit for their sampling. You may therefore also chose your person of trust from this list:


  • a physician (e. g. , your family doctor)
  • an employee of the youth welfare office or the health office
  • a pharmacist
  • hospital staff
  • a midwife

Not all will bill you for this service but you should check and compare beforehand.


2) In Germany, the samples analysed in a DNA test must be taken during a witnessed sampling.

If participants live abroad this witnessed sampling must be done by a public health officer. The subsequent shipment tracking to Germany must be reliable. It would be unfortunate if samples were lost during the shipment.

We can support you with this. For the sampling abroad we are working together with the German embassies worldwide. We will organise the sampling and take care of the shipping for you.

When can a paternity test be taken

Paternity testing is possible before and after the birth of a child


Once the pregnancy has been determined a paternity test could be conducted. However, in Germany such pre-natal tests are forbidden unless the pregnancy is the result of a serious crime. In such a case, please seek legal advice and/ or consult with your laywer or gynecologist


Conduct a paternity test after birth

The taking of samples for a paternity test is a non-invasive process and not painful for the baby. The newborn can be sampled directly after the birth. This can be carried out in the hospital by a doctor or the midwife. Please do not take the samples directly after nursing the baby. The child’s oral mucosa may contain maternal cells. Please wait about 30 minutes before the sampling.


Conduct a paternity test before birth

In case a pre-natal test is allowed to be conducted there are several possibilities to remove cell material:

  1. chorionic villus sampling
  2. amniocentesis
  3. maternal blood analysis


1) At a very early stage during the pregnancy it is already possible to puncture the placenta to collect fetal cells. With those cells a paternity test can be conducted. This is an invasive taking of samples. Complications may seldomly occur.


2) After the 13th week of pregnancy an amniocentesis is possible. This also is an invasive procedure. The Amniotic fluid contains fetal cells which can be used in a paternity test.


3) a non-invasive procedure to take fetal cells is through the maternal blood. The pregnant woman's blood is being processed to isolate the foetus' DNA. It can thus be used in a paternity test


Important – please note:  In Germany it is illegal to conduct a prenatal test. Exceptions are regulated by law.

Which sample is best for DNA paternity testing?

The fastest way to take a DNA sample for a paternity test is the saliva sample. 

The "saliva sample", or more precisely, the sample from the oral mucosa (mouth swab), is the type of DNA sample that we analyze most frequently. It is the easiest to collect. We will send you cotton swabs in our test set for this. 


Taking a DNA sample through a mouth swab

We enclose 2 cotton swabs for each participant in our test documents. With these you will will take 2 DNA samples from the mouth. 


This is done by rubbing the cotton part of the swab on the inside of the cheek, between the row of teeth and the cheek. This is where the salivation is the lowest and enough DNA accumulates for the paternity test.


This procedure of sample collection is painless and quick and can also be done with newborns.


Other DNA samples

Everyday items can also contain DNA. Especially for DNA tests with the DNA of a deceased we can remove and process DNA from e.g. postage stamps, toothbrushes, combs or razors.

If the deceased previously was in hospital there may be material from biopsies that we could use, also.

More: Different DNA samples for a paternity test

What is a DNA paternity test

With a paternity test the biological father of a child is determined


This is achieved by the collection and analysation of DNA samples from both participants. Every person has a unique set of DNA which contains half their mother's and half their father's DNA. For a paternity test this fact is used to look for similarities between the participants' DNA.


How does a paternity test work

When we conduct a paternity test we examine the DNA of all participants. While compiling the data for your personal DNA test result we cannot examine that part of your DNA which tells you about your desease risk. We solely compare variable DNA segments to find genetic matches and to deduce the probability of a relationship betwenn the participants.


Genetic Fingerprinting

Through the process of DNA testing or genetic fingerprinting of DNA samples we can distinguish between individuals. A DNA paternity test is a complex scientific process that examines highly variable segments (Marker) on the DNA by means of a PCR (polymearse chain reaction). This then shows a so-called genetic profile which we can use to conduct the paternity test.


Steps to conduct a paternity test

  1. Take a DNA sample
    The standard DNA sample is a buccal mouthg swab. Cells are easily and non-invasive taken with a cotton swab.

    Some tests will have to be conducted after on of the participants is deceased. In such cases non-standard samples can be takes to perform a DNA test. Sometimes biopsy material can be provided or even a blood sampling can still be done. But also ear plugs, dentures or stubbles from a shaver can contain enough DNA to perform a paternity test.

  2. Amplify DNA
    Very often samples do not contain enough DNA to perform a test. In a first step we then amplify the amount of DNA through a chemical process called PCR.

  3. DNA Analysis
    Now the gene data are analysed. With our test "Basis" we offer a mimimum of 24 marker. For difficult analyses we can do even 40 and more to deduce a reliable result from your data. 

  4. Statistical evaluation
    With a special-purpose calculation application our scientists are now able to calculate the likelihood of a relationship betwenn the test participants. An exclusion of paternity can be determined with 100%. A confirmation of paternity will always be a calculation deduced from the available data. Here we achieve a probability of up to 99,99999%  With this result a paternity is officially "practical proven". 
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