Why Paternity Testing is Important in Tennessee

What is a Paternity Test?

Using DNA samples, a paternity test establishes a biological relationship between a father and child. In other words, a paternity test tells you who someone’s father is.

This DNA test requires a sample from both the father and child. Samples can come from a buccal swab, also known as a cheek swab, that collects saliva from inside the cheek. Another option is a blood sample, which some tests, like the NIPP, require.

DNA samples then go to a lab for analysis. Lab results can determine if the two people share enough DNA to prove paternity.

Types of Paternity Tests

There are multiple types of paternity tests available. Depending on your need for a paternity test and your budget, you can choose the best test type.

Home DNA test – A private paternity test can be done at home and is for personal use only. A home paternity test does not hold up in court since it is not regulated. These tests are the cheapest option.

Legal DNA test – Legal paternity tests are required if establishing paternity is court-ordered. These tests have court-admissible results since they use professional DNA collection. A paternity test may be court-ordered to establish child support, child custody, social security, or support a parent’s name on a birth certificate.

Non-invasive prenatal paternity test (NIPP) – Taking a paternity test before the baby is born is possible. This test is called a non-invasive prenatal paternity test, or NIPP.

While a woman is pregnant, the baby’s DNA is found in the mother’s bloodstream. So, NIPP uses a blood sample and cheek swab from the mother and a cheek swab from the alleged father; it is the most accurate and safest way to establish paternity before the baby is born.

You can take a prenatal paternity test any time after the 8th week of pregnancy or after the first trimester.

After you send DNA samples to a lab, results may return in a few days or weeks. At Workforce Essentials, our paternity test results may return in about three days.

take a legal DNA test to prove paternity in tennessee

Why is a Paternity Test Important?

Paternity tests are important for several reasons. First, paternity DNA tests give you answers and peace of mind. Furthermore, paternity tests can be beneficial for legal reasons.

Establishing paternity can protect the child’s future by legally establishing child support and custody with the actual father. In addition, once you know who a child’s father is, both the father and mother can care for their child’s emotional, financial, and legal responsibilities. 

Furthermore, establishing paternity strengthens the bond between father and child, provides an accurate medical history for a child, and gives your child’s healthcare provider more insight for proper diagnosis.

Regarding legal rights, paternity testing can establish legal and social benefits for the child, like social security and veterans’ and inheritance benefits. In Tennessee, it is vital that both mother and father attend court hearings to establish legal paternity and set support.

Acknowledgment of Paternity

For unmarried parents, some states require an AOP form, Acknowledgement of Paternity, to legally establish who the father is after a child is born in a hospital. The AOP is a legally binding document. In Tennessee, unmarried parents sign the VAoP (Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity) to legally establish paternity without going to court.

If the mother of the child is married to someone other than the biological father, her husband can be the presumed father and listed as the child’s legal father. However, a legal DNA paternity test can dispute who the legal father is.

If either party has doubts about the child’s biological father, do not sign the VAoP. Instead, they should use DNA testing to determine the father.

Should You Get a Paternity Test?

A paternity test is a good idea if the mother and father disagree about the child’s paternity and want to be 100% sure who the biological father is. Also, if paternity is court-ordered, the alleged father must take the DNA test or face penalties.


The cost of a test may determine if you should take one. Since there are different DNA tests to establish paternity, the price varies.

Please note that a low-cost option may not have the best results. Unfortunately, there are no free paternity tests. Any free DNA test you find may be a scam. To ensure you take a DNA test with accurate results, visit Workforce Essentials.

Home DNA test – for personal knowledge and peace of mind, $130-$200

Legal DNA test – professional DNA collection that holds up in court for child support, visitation, and immigration, $300-$500

Non-invasive DNA testing while pregnant – $1000 to $2000

Health insurance does not cover paternity testing since it is not medically necessary.

Paternity Test Results

Today, regulated paternity tests are highly accurate and will likely show a 99.99% that the person “is not excluded as the biological father,” which means there is a 99.99% probability they are the father. This result is favorable evidence accepted by courtroom judges to prove paternity.

However, someone can contest court-ordered paternity test results if they find evidence of fraud, such as the alleged father having another individual take the test or tampering with the lab results. Furthermore, if the father demonstrates infertility or sterility, he can contest the results since he cannot be the father. Those who wish to challenge the paternity test results should seek legal counsel and contact a family lawyer.

On the other hand, if it turns out you are not the child’s biological father but wish to support and provide for the child, you may seek legal counsel for your options, such as adoption.

Paternity Testing in Tennessee at Workforce Essentials

Workforce Essentials provides cutting-edge DNA identification testing. We offer convenient, professional, affordable, accurate, and court-admissible paternity and DNA testing services.

  • Results are available in 3 days
  • Non-invasive mouth-swab DNA sampling
  • Testing is done by appointment at our main office at 523 Madison Street, Clarksville, TN
  • Pay with a cashier’s check, money order, cash, or credit card at your appointment
  • Trio paternity testing fees start at $350 – no sampling fees required.

Find our Tennessee location nearest you and contact us to learn more about your paternity test options.