Can A Paternity Test Be Wrong?

can paternity dna test results be wrong

Can A DNA Paternity Test Be Wrong?

Yes. A paternity test can be wrong. There are a few scenarios that may produce an errant result.

Errors Made in the Lab

It is estimated that about 1% of paternity tests are wrong. This means that out of every 1,000 paternity tests performed, about 10 will have incorrect results. The most common cause of errors is human error.

This may occur from a person who purchased a Home DNA test kit, DNA sample collector, or FedEx or UPS mishandling samples.

There are many steps that are involved in paternity testing, and each step has the potential for error.

For example, the sample of DNA from the father and child might be mixed up. Or, the DNA samples might be contaminated with DNA from other people.

Another possibility is that the DNA profiles of the father and child do not match because of a mutation. Mutations are changes in the DNA that can be passed down from generation to generation.

Most mutations do not cause any problems, but some can cause diseases. A small number of mutations can change the DNA in a way that affects the results of a paternity test.

This is called a false positive result. There are also mutations that can change a person’s DNA profile so that it looks like they are not related to anyone. This is called a false negative result.


In very rare cases, paternity tests are wrong because of tampering.

For example, a man might fake a paternity test by using someone else’s DNA. Or, a woman might try to change the results of a paternity test by tampering with the DNA sample.

Another example that is very rare is if FedEx or UPS employees intentionally mishandle the DNA samples. If this is the case a re-collection will have to occur.

Mother slept with a relative

A paternity test can be wrong if the mother of the child slept with a relative. This is because the child will have DNA from both the mother and the relative.

If the relative is a close match to the father, the paternity test might show that the relative is the father.

To avoid this problem, the mother and father should both take a paternity test. If the results show that the father is not the father, then the mother should take a paternity test with a relative.

Lab uses a mall number of genetic markers

A paternity test can also be wrong if the testing lab uses a small number of markers also known as Loci. Markers are pieces of DNA that are passed down from father to child.

The more markers that are tested, the more accurate the result is up until a point. The recommended range of genetic markers is 18-24 markers which produce paternity accurate results.

When DNA results exceed 24 markers there is no significant difference in the accuracy of the result.

If only a few markers are tested, it is possible for the test to show that a man is the father of a child when he is not.

This is because the child might have DNA from the mother or another relative that matches the markers for the father.

To avoid this problem, our company has partnered with AABB Accredited labs that produce DNA testing results using between 18 to 24 genetic markers.

lying about paternity

Paternity fraud

Paternity fraud is when a man is tricked into believing that he is the father of a child when he is not. This can happen if the mother lies about who the father is.

It can also happen if the mother had sex with another man after she had sex with the father. Paternity fraud can have a huge impact on the father and the child.

The father might have to pay child support for a child that is not his. He might also miss out on time that he could be spending with his own children.

The child might also have a hard time bonding with the father if he finds out that he is not the father. The child might also have health problems if the father is not the father.

Currently, we are unaware of any laws that address paternity fraud. We recommend that you contact a Family Law Attorney in your state to inquire about any laws regarding paternity fraud.

When Possible Fathers are Close Biological Relatives

Every human being’s DNA profile is unique to each person in the world. This means close relatives like brothers, fathers, sons, uncles, and nephews, or grandfather and grandson if tested together to determine the paternity of a child.

The only circumstance where a father cannot be determined with a paternity test would be with identical twins.

Identical twins share almost all of the same DNA. Therefore determining who the father of a child is between twins would be difficult to determine.

If you would are in need of paternity testing services or if you have questions please contact our office today at 973-609-5102 to learn more.


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