Can People Cheat in a Paternity Test?

Paternity Testing is highly accurate and reliable. However, the nature and motives of the people taking part in the test need also be taken into consideration as this could compromise the efficiency and reliability of the test. Once you have establish who is taking part and actually confirming their willingness to participate, you may want to consider whether there may be an inclination to cheat in the paternity test.

Types of Paternity test: Legal Paternity and at Home paternity Test

A legal test involves having all DNA samples taken by a neutral third party who must witness and verify all the samples taken. The test follows strict guidelines especially regarding how the DNA samples are taken and from whom those DNA samples come.

At-home paternity DNA tests are by far the most common type of test and involve using a home testing kit. The kit is sent to you by the DNA testing company and contains all the necessary swabs for taking your own DNA samples. You are responsible for taking the samples correctly, for placing them into the envelopes and for sending them back to the company concerned. The fact that the people concerned in the test take their own samples means that it is possible to cheat in this type of paternity test.

Examples of cheating Tactics in a Paternity Test

The most widespread cheating method is switching oral swabs. In a paternity test each test participant is allocated an envelope with the oral swabs inside. Sometimes someone taking part in the test will place the swabs allocated to one person in the envelope allocated to another; so for example, the mother’s swabs may be placed in the father’s envelopes in the hope of altering the results. Serious laboratories test what is known as a sex gene known as amelogenin. If samples are switched, analysts will immediately know that the samples in the father’s envelope belong to a female and will stop the test. You will be informed and required to send in new swabs, testing re-done and incur the added costs over and above those already incurred.

Other more far-fetched and desperate cases involve a test participant swabbing an animal and of course, rest assured this will lead to failed results too.

In other cases, a test participant may ask a friend to give their DNA samples instead in an attempt to alter the results. In this latter case, laboratories will likely not be able to detect this attempt to cheat in the paternity test however, if you the person is caught out there may be serious legal consequences.

How do I forestall Cheating in a Paternity Test?

If you suspect that anyone in the test is likely to cheat you have two main options:

  • Arrange sample collection all together at the same time so that each person required to give their DNA sample witnesses the other test participants as they take their samples
  • Chose a legal DNA test; this is the last option if you cannot have test participants meet up to take samples. The costs will be higher but the test is cheat-proof as DNA samples are collected by an independent third party

Does Paternity Test Cheating happen Often?

Cheating does not happen often as people involved in the test want peace of mind and not added complications. No one wants to go through the embarrassment, added costs and the psychological burden resulting from cheating in a paternity test. Fraudulent test participants will very likely be caught out.

Do not try to cheat in a paternity test; cheaters never prosper and it is unfair on all those involved in the test.