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Frequently Asked Questions - Paternity Test

Is it possible to do a paternity test without the mother's knowledge?

As long as a child is not capable of making decisions, the mother is responsible for the protection of her personality. Genetic investigations in humans require the written consent of all persons involved. In order not to unlawfully violate the personal rights of minor children, we require the voluntary consent of the mother on site when taking the samples.

How accurate is a paternity test?

A paternity is never proven with probability of 100 %, but always with the "famous" 99.999 %. The reason for this is not that the test is not flawless, but that it is an exclusion test. The addition of 100% takes into account the fact that in theory there is a minimal possibility that an untested man cannot be excluded from paternity either. Ideally, three samples (father, mother and child) are typed for a paternity analysis. If only samples of father and child are available (duo case), a paternity probability <99.9 % can result. With the analysis of the mother's samples afterwards, a legally sufficient statement can be achieved in these cases. Paternity is considered "practically proven" if the probability is 99.9 % or more. In contrast, an exclusion of paternity is a fact which is 100 % and not subject to statistical calculation. Attention: The data concerning the accuracy of the test lose their validity if a close relative (brother, father...) is considered as a (further) possible father. This case must be taken into account with a special statistical evaluation. In this case we cannot guarantee a probability >99.9 %. The analysis of the samples of all possible fathers would increase the significance of the test.


Is it possible to perform a paternity test without sample material from the mother?

A test only with the sample materials of the father and the child is feasible. In the duo case, however, a paternity probability <99.9 % can result. With the analysis of the mother's samples afterwards, a legally sufficient statement can be achieved in these cases.
In the case of minor children, a test without the mother's sample material nevertheless requires the voluntary consent of the mother recorded when the sample was taken.

Can the analysis result also be used as evidence in a court case?

In order for an expert opinion to be legally recognised, sampling with an identity check by a neutral person is a condition. In addition, the laboratory must comply with certain conditions, which is done by Microsynth. Our paternity testing service has been accredited according to EN ISO 17025 since March 2005 (assurance and traceability of standardized analytical methods) and Microsynth has been certified according to ISO 9001:2000 since June 2005.

Our laboratory has already prepared many expert opinions on behalf of courts or for use as evidence in a lawsuit.

Can the samples also be taken at home?


The Federal Act on Genetic Testing of Human Beings has been in force since April 2007. This law stipulates that samples must be taken (with identity verification) in the laboratory or by a doctor.

Can the test also be used to make statements about genetic predispositions?

The test examines only non-coding DNA segments (segments on the DNA for which no biological functions are defined) on different chromosomes. The analysis therefore does not contain any information about any genetic diseases or predispositions (hair colour, size, eye colour, etc.).

Is there a minimum age to perform the test?

The oral mucosa cells required for the test contain the genetic material right from the start. In principle, our paternity test is possible immediately after birth.

Does Microsynth also offer prenatal testing?

For ethical reasons, Microsynth does not offer a prenatal paternity test. Sampling is associated with a risk for the developing child. Even if this risk is not very high, we do not believe it is justifiable to take this risk in order to "only" clarify the paternity.

What happens to my samples and data?

As a private client, you determine the storage period for your samples. By law, we are obliged to archive the reports for 30 years. The employees of Microsynth AG are subject to professional secrecy according to StGB Art. 321. It therefore goes without saying that neither data nor samples are passed on to third parties for other purposes.