Paternity Test without Mother

A DNA test on the down low? If the father suspects his child is really not his own, can he get a paternity test done without mom finding out? Health Street breaks it down.
Jared Rosenthal
Published on

So, you child came out looking nothing like you. Or, your mother doesn’t trust your baby’s mother. Or you just have a nagging suspicion about her ex, and can’t get it out of your head. Where was she that night, nine months before the birth, anyway?

Can a paternity test be done without the mother present?

What’s a dad to do? Should you raise the issue with your child’s mom that you want to get a paternity test? The answer to that question is certainly going to vary based on how strong your relationship is with her, whether or not you are still together, and after all, the age of the child. (Did you hold this doubt close to your chest for years?)

Just like any other decision that affects your child, such as signing her up for school, or picking him up from soccer practice, both parents are not required to be there. There is an assumption that if you are the dad, you have the right to make (most) decisions for your son or daughter without seeking approval of the mother. Can you imagine how annoying it would be if every time you had to sign something for your kid, you had to go get mom’s approval, too? The question, therefore, is whether or not a paternity test is like all of these other situations in which you, as the recognized father, are allowed to make decisions for your child.

And the answer, for the most part, is yes. Now, you might have to prove it, by showing a birth certificate that names you as the dad, or by bringing in the child’s social security card. These rules can vary by state, so call us at 888-378-2499 if you have specific questions about that. But, if you are not the recognized father, you could find yourself having a whole lot more difficulty getting a paternity test done without the mother’s consent.

So, let me lay it down for you: if you are the recognized dad but you just want to be sure (or your mom – the child’s grandmother – keeps nagging you to get a test, probably just because she clashes with her daughter-in-law), you won’t have any problem at all getting a paternity test without telling the mother. On the other hand, if your supposed baby mama drops off little Johnny with you every now and then, but you haven’t accepted legal fatherhood responsibilities as of yet, then you’re probably going to have to bring the mom in with you to do a legal paternity test.

WRITTEN BY

Jared is the Founder of Health Street, the creator of the Who's Your Daddy DNA truck, and the host of VH1's Swab Stories.

WRITTEN BY

Jared is the Founder of Health Street, the creator of the Who's Your Daddy DNA truck, and the host of VH1's Swab Stories.

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DNA Testing

Read Health Street's dramatic and informative DNA testing stories.