Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of paternity tests are there? Is one type better than the other?

There are two generally accepted DNA tests used for paternity determination; PCR and RFLP.
  • PCR is a more recently developed type of DNA test. Its main advantage over RFLP testing is that it is relatively fast- a PCR test typically takes from 3 to 9 days to complete. PCR testing is most frequently used with cells collected from a swab of the inner cheek, referred to as a "buccal swab".

  • RFLP is an older DNA analysis technique that has been in use for a number of years. The main advantage of RFLP is accuracy- RFLP testing of four or more DNA locations will usually produce a much higher probability of paternity, and will be more reliable.
For more information, read our article on paternity testing.