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Accuracy of paternity testing methods

Paternity testing is an important part of many fathers' rights cases in Texas. If there is a dispute over who is the father of a child, one party may seek to establish paternity through a DNA test. Although most paternity tests are almost 100 percent accurate, there are some testing methods that are more accurate than others.

The two main types of paternity tests are the exclusion test and the inclusion test. The exclusion paternity test rules out the possibility that a particular man is a child's father, and this test is considered to be 100 percent accurate. The inclusion paternity test will determine how likely it is that a certain man is a child's father. The best inclusion paternity testing methods are considered to be 99.99 percent accurate.

A paternity test is done by comparing a number of DNA match points, called loci, from the child and the potential father. The most accurate paternity tests will compare 16 loci while others will only look at 13 loci. When a paternity test uses a smaller number of loci, it is a less accurate test than one that uses a higher number. However, a test that is 97 percent accurate is generally considered to be acceptable by most courts.

A man who is seeking custody or visitation rights with respect to a child who believes to be his would likely hope to have a paternity test done that cannot be disputed by the child's mother. A fathers' rights attorney may be able to help a man in this situation to locate a testing facility that uses the most advanced methods so that paternity can be legally and definitively established.

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