Child's DNA Doesn't Match Father. Now What?

Imagine your child's DNA test does not match the father. What does it even mean? Could an error cause this? This discovery can feel like a startling and emotional experience. Learn more about a child's DNA mismatch and potential errors in this blog.

For peace of mind and clarity, consider purchasing a DNA home testing kit or getting a DNA test at your nearest Health Street collection site. Accurate and confidential, our tests can provide the answers you seek.

Jared Rosenthal
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Understanding a Child's DNA Mismatch

Below, we cover some common reasons a child's DNA might not match the father's.

Common Reasons for DNA Discrepancies

Several factors may cause a DNA mismatch. Some reasons for DNA discrepancies can include:

Lab errors: Human error may be to blame, such as mislabeling a specimen.
Sample contamination: External DNA could be mixed with the DNA collection sample, such as if someone sneezes or coughs onto the swab before it has been secured or a single swab is mistakenly used on multiple people.
Non-paternity event: This shows that the man is not the biological father, and is the most common reason for a child's DNA mismatch.

Emotional and Psychological Impacts

The conclusive evidence that paternity testing provides families can stir many emotions. Some emotional and psychological impacts genetic results can have on families may include:

Confirmation of a parent-child relationship may trigger a sense of relief
Mismatched results may cause shock and disbelief
Some people may feel a sense of loss
Healing and acceptance may begin after receiving DNA results
A powerful mix of conflicting emotions

Seeking support and counseling

Whether you feel a sense of relief or devastation with a DNA test result, professional support may help process the information.

The Importance of Accurate Paternity Testing

Choosing a reliable DNA testing service, like Health Street, can help avoid common drug testing mistakes and obtain accurate results.

Why Choose Health Street?

Health Street DNA testing is offered nationwide. We use AABB-certified laboratories to ensure the highest standards of genetic testing accuracy. Our simple cheek swab method makes the process painless, non-invasive, and quick, with an accuracy rate of 99.9%.

Specialty DNA Testing Offered

We offer specialty DNA Testing options, including post-mortem DNA analysis and prenatal genetic testing.

Understanding genetics before birth

Prenatal genetic testing can help determine a child's paternity before birth. Our prenatal DNA testing is safe for the mother and fetus, with no added risk to the pregnancy.

Methods of Collecting DNA

DNA can be collected in multiple ways, from blood to cheek swabs, semen, hair, or fingernail sampling.

Common Collection: The Cheek Swab

One of the most popular collection methods is a cheek swab. But what makes this option so popular?

Ease and efficiency: Cheek swabs are non-invasive, fast, and reliable.
Precautions for accurate results: When performed correctly, cheek swabs are guaranteed to have viable DNA, which can save time, money, and frustration.
Cost-effective: Compared to other collection methods, cheek swabs are the least expensive.

Retesting and Verification

Importance of confirming results

Working with a trusted partner can help you feel confident and fully understand the DNA test results, eliminating the need for retesting.

Choosing Health Street for a reliable retest

A Health Street DNA test can be used for peace of mind or as legal paternity testing. Our cheek swab DNA test is the most popular choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible for a child not to have the father's DNA?

The child will always have DNA from the biological father, except in very rare cases like chimerism.

Can a father and son have different DNA?

Yes. A child inherits 50% of their DNA from each parent, so variations between a father's and son's DNA are normal.

What if the DNA results are not the father's?

If the results indicate a 0% probability of paternity, then a mismatch between the child and father has been confirmed. In other words, the man is not the biological father.


Chromosome map - genes and disease - NCBI bookshelf. (n.d.-h).
The first paper to quantify psychiatric sequelae of uncovered misattributed paternity on the offspring. Uncovered non-paternity may lead to increased depression, & AbstractDirect-to-consumer DNA tests provide information on ancestry and family relations. Their increased use in recent years has led many to discover that their presumed father is not their biological father. (2023, March 4). Discovering your presumed father is not your biological father: Psychiatric ramifications of independently uncovered non-paternity events resulting from direct-to-consumer DNA testing. Psychiatry Research.
When DNA samples are complicated: Calculating variation in mixed samples interpretation. National Institute of Justice. (n.d.-d).
Oliveri, S., Ferrari, F., Manfrinati, A., & Pravettoni, G. (2018, December 10). A systematic review of the psychological implications of genetic testing: A comparative analysis among cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and cancer diseases. Frontiers in genetics.
Jared Rosenthal

Jared Rosenthal

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