A DNA test can be used to either:

  • prove that 2 people definitely aren’t related
  • show the probability (up to 99.99%) that 2 people are related

You’ll need to give either a blood or saliva sample.

What you can use a DNA test for

DNA tests can be used to:

  • solve a dispute about child maintenance
  • apply for contact with a child
  • apply for a visa so that a child can settle with you in the UK
  • find out who inherits an estate when someone has died

You can arrange a DNA test yourself. If you use an approved testing company the results will be accepted if you need to go to court.

If you’re ordered to get a test by the court you must choose an approved testing company. If you’re ordered to get a test by the Child Maintenance Service they’ll tell you which company to use.

Approved testing companies

The government approved testing companies are:

How much DNA testing costs

Testing companies set their own fees. Check their websites for details.

Fees for child maintenance cases

You have to pay the test fee of £258.60 if the Child Maintenance Service asks you to get a test because they think you might be the parent. It’ll be refunded if the test shows that you’re not the parent.

The fee will be higher if more than one child is tested.

The Child Maintenance Service may pay the test fee if you can’t afford to pay it. You’ll have to pay it back if you’re proved to be the parent.

If someone refuses a DNA test

The person carrying out the test can only take a DNA sample if they have permission from either:

  • the person being tested, if they’re an adult
  • someone with parental responsibility, if the person being tested is under 16

You can ask the court to accept your claim about who someone’s parents are. This is called applying for a declaration of parentage. The court might decide to order a DNA test.

It costs £365 to apply - make your cheque payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’. You may be able to get a fee exemption or refund.

Send the form and fee to the family court nearest to the home of the person whose parents are being tested.