paternity testing nz
paternity testing nz

Paternity Testing

A DNA paternity test is the most accurate method of establishing whether or not a person is the biological father of a child. Paternity testing may be required where it is necessary to prove a relationship between alleged relatives, such as disputes over child custody, child support or estates claims.

What to expect at a paternity test

To find out exactly what’s involved in a paternity test, from booking the appointment to receiving the results, see the What to Expect page.

Legal paternity test

Every paternity test carried out by DNA Diagnostics is a legal paternity test, with court admissible results.

We will only carry out paternity testing with the full consent of each party involved. Formal identification also ensures the results of every paternity test are court-admissible.

You can be sure that our results will be accurate and acceptable to New Zealand courts and government departments.

Peace of mind testing

We appreciate that sometimes, you just want to “know” for no other reason than peace of mind. For this reason we also offer peace of mind testing. The results from this testing may be court admissible however, they will NOT be accepted by government departments such as Birth, deaths and marriages, IRD or immigration.

A sample collection kit is despatched by courier to you and you are required to collect a cheek swab yourself. Once you have collected your sample, you simply pop the kit into the post, return it to us and we do the rest. This option is much cheaper than the “Legal paternity test” as there is no chain of custody, however the testing that is performed in the laboratory is exactly the same.

If this is the kind of testing that you are looking for, please either call us on (09) 571 0474 or email us at to arrange payment and dispatch.

Alternative parentage & relationship tests

When appropriate, we offer other types of parentage and relationship testing in addition to the standard paternity test.

Sibling, grandparent and aunt/uncle tests

If the alleged father of a child is deceased, it may still be possible to prove a biological relationship by testing other relations. Alleged siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles can be compared to establish if a biological relationship exists. However it is important to note that these tests are not as straightforward as the standard paternity test, and can prove inconclusive. We prefer to talk to you about the limitations of these types of test beforehand, to establish if it’s the right course of action for you.

See also Twin Testing

Prenatal paternity testing

It is possible to carry out a paternity test before the child is born, using a foetal sample. A doctor’s or midwife’s referral is required.

Cost of legal paternity testing:

  • Alleged father and child, +/- mother: $1275.00 including GST
  • Repeat test with a new alleged father or another child: $975.00 including GST
  • Repeat test with a new mother & child: $1075.00 including GST

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How does paternity testing work?

A child inherits half of its DNA from their father and half their DNA from their mother. The test compares the DNA profile of the child with the DNA profile of their alleged parents. Wherever possible, we prefer to include the mother in the test to achieve the highest degree of certainty for the results.

A Positive Result

We compare the DNA between the alleged father and the child at 15 different places along the DNA and from this a paternity index value is calculated. It’s important to note that, while DNA paternity testing is extremely accurate, there is no such thing as a one hundred per cent positive paternity test. When the alleged father’s DNA does match the child’s paternal DNA, a Paternity Index Value is calculated.

What is the Paternity Index Value?

The Paternity Index Value is a measure of the statistical likelihood that the alleged father is the child’s biological father. Our minimum threshold for reporting a case as positive is 100,000. This means the DNA evidence is 100,000 times more likely if the alleged father is the biological father, rather than unrelated to the child.

A Negative Result

If the alleged father’s DNA does not match the child’s paternal DNA at more than 2 of the 15 places tested, the alleged father cannot be the biological father.

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