Genetic Testing

Genetic Testing

Genetic testing identifies a child's biological father.

How is a Genetic Test Done?

Genetic tests can be scheduled by appointment at a local Child Support office. Our trained and certified team members can complete the collection process in under 30 minutes. We do not use needles or need blood to do the test. Skin cells are collected from the inside cheek area of the mouth using a swab. We contract with independent accredited laboratories to test genetic samples and provide test results. We do not accept genetic test results from any other laboratories. Learn more

When Will the Results Be Ready?

genetic test results are ready in about two weeks
  • Results are mailed about 2 weeks after the last sample is taken.
  • Test results are not available by phone.

What do the Results Mean?

The results show if the person tested is the biological father.

99 percent or higher equals the biological father. 0 percent equals not the biological father

*0% result will close the case with the man believed to be the father. We will contact the mother to schedule an appointment.

Once a Father is Identified, What's Next?

Order of paternity
  • A final order of paternity is established.
  • The child's birth certificate is updated with the father's name.

When is Genetic Testing Required?

Genetic testing is needed when paternity has not been established. If paternity has already been established, we don't use genetic testing to dis-establish paternity.

When starting a paternity and support action, our Program can use an administrative process or we can use a Judicial process through court. Genetic testing is always a part of the order method if we are administering the order. If you go to court, sometimes a judge will order genetic testing in court. Regardless of the method, if either parent has any doubt (and paternity hasn't already been settled) about who the real father is, a genetic test is recommended.

The 7 Steps to Genetic Testing

  1. The mother, the child and the man believed to be the father are scheduled for a genetic test appointment.
    • Everyone must attend their appointment and bring picture identification. *Identification is mandatory to make sure the test is being done on the correct person.
    • *If the child does not have picture identification, we can use a birth certificate or Social Security card for identification.
  2. At the appointment, we take a picture of each person being tested. The picture is used to identify the person being tested and will be sent to the lab with the sample.
  3. The mother and man believed to be the father will perform the collection portion of the test on themselves in the presence of one of our team members.
    • Adults to be tested will rub the inside cheek area of their own mouth with a cotton type swab to get a sample that the lab will use for the genetic test.
  4. The adult who brings the child to the appointment will also rub the child's inside cheek area of the mouth with a cotton type swab to get a sample.
  5. Our team member will seal the collected samples along with the photos taken and ship them to the genetic testing laboratory.
  6. The laboratory compares the DNA in the cells of the mother, the man believed to be the father, and the child to get test results.
    • The laboratory sends the test results to us about 2 weeks after the last DNA sample is taken.
    • For example: The mother and child gave a sample on March 4. The alleged father gave a sample on March 15. We will get the test results from the laboratory about 2 weeks after March 15.
  7. Once we get the genetic test results from the laboratory we will send the results to the mother and the man believed to be the father in the mail. We do not provide test results to anyone over the phone.