A paternity test is performed to determine whether or not you are the biological father of a child. A DNA sample is taken from the child, the mother and the possible father, and then is sent to a lab. The DNA can be collected by a blood test or a cheek swab test, also called a buccal swab test. The test can be done to determine the father's rights to and responsibilities for the child or to establish a medical history for the child.
Speak with your primary health care provider. He or she may be able to do free paternity testing or be able to give you information on a nearby lab that offers free testing.
Contact the office of support enforcement in your state. They may have information on where to go for free testing. If you do not know the name or contact information for your state's child support enforcement office, call your local courthouse or do an online search for the office of support enforcement (see Resources).
Look for labs in your area advertising free paternity tests. Some labs offer them for free on Father's Day or other times throughout the year.
- Make sure the lab performing the paternity test is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB).
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