Is a paternity test ever wrong?

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2021 | Paternity |

If you are told that you’re the father of a child, you may want to ask for a DNA test. A DNA test is accurate around 99% of the time when the samples are untainted and a professional test is performed. There are times when these tests could be inaccurate, which could be a major problem in your case.

Why would paternity tests be wrong? Usually, the test will be wrong as a result of tampering. Tampering with a DNA test may mean:

  • Submitting another man’s DNA in place of the man who was supposed to be tested
  • Swapping samples to make sure the “right” person becomes the father
  • Swapping the child’s DNA for another of the father’s biological children

With DNA testing, it is possible that the lab could catch any fraud, but it won’t always. For instance, if the DNA swapped for a female child’s comes back male, then the DNA test would trigger a red flag for the testers. Fortunately, with court-admissible tests, this kind of issue is unlikely. You can even ask that everyone has the samples collected by a professional while being witnessed.

False positives could be possible in some rare scenarios

False positives are possible, but they’re rare. For example, twins share DNA, so it’s possible that they could be falsely identified as the father of the other twin’s child. Fathers and sons, brothers, uncles and nephews, grandfathers and grandsons all share a portion of their DNA, and the percentage and markers will vary. This is why the lab needs to know about close relatives and do further genetic testing to get the most accurate results.

In most cases, paternity tests will be correct. If you have questions about yours or believe it was wrong, you may want to look into further legal options.