Ask Kate Question of the week: Can I test with out the Mom knowing?

Can I test the child without the mother knowing?

Identigene requires a legal guardian to sign for each child in the paternity test.  Usually, this is someone (father or mother) listed on the child’s birth certificate, but it could also be a grandparent or other caregiver who is the child’s legal guardian.

This means that a potential father who does NOT have legal custody of a child must get permission from the mother (or other legal guardian) before we can begin the paternity test.


Paternity questions can be difficult and embarrassing to ask; that’s because they often go hand in hand with questions of fidelity or faithfulness. No one likes to be called unfaithful, and most don’t like to accuse.  There are many reasons a man may want to test a child without talking to the child’s mother first, but those looking into paternity testing know how big of an impact the answer they receive will have on their life – and a child’s legal guardian, father, mother, or other caregiver, should have a say in that decision.

We know that paternity test answers can be life changing ones, whatever the result. On the phone every day, we provide answers to mothers and potential fathers; some that they expect, some unexpected.  Each result impacts the lives of children being tested.  That’s why we often have to tell potential fathers they will need to talk to the mother and get her permission.  Even when a father shares custody with the mother, we still recommend involving the mother in the test; she can be included for free and her participation strengthens paternity test results while helping everyone involved make the best decision for the child.

“Honey, I want a paternity test.” That’s a tough phrase to utter, and even a difficult one to hear.  But, when it comes to paternity testing, we believe honesty really is the best policy.  And when it comes to testing children, the consent of their legal guardian must come first.

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  1. My daughter are young adults, I always wants to be sure about me being the real father. Hoe can i test them without their knowledge? If its posible.

    • Hi JP,
      Thank you for your patience! For children under 18, we do ask for a parent or legal guardian consent for DNA to be tested. As long as we have that, we are able to continue testing. If you are planning on doing something other than regular cheek swabs, please know that this will include a special specimen fee. Special specimens include hair, blood, etc. The fee for a special specimen is $400 a sample. These also need to be pre-approved by our lab director before we can have them sent it. I hope this information helps. Please call us at 1-888-404-GENE, Monday-Friday 9AM-6PM ET. Thank you for your comment!

  2. what is i’m on the birth certificate? do i need the mother’s consent before i do the test?

    • Hi SW,
      For any DNA testing we only require one legal guardian to sign consent for a child’s samples. Have in mind, we do recommend the biological mother to test as well. The mother will help decrease the chances for results to be inconclusive by testing along with the alleged father and child. We recommend this because children get half their DNA from mom and half from dad, thus making the DNA test result stronger. I hope this information helps. If you have any more questions, please call us at 1-888-404-GENE, Monday-Friday 9AM-6PM ET. Thank you for your comment and patience!

  3. Can I swab my step son without my husbands knowledge?

    • Hi Anonymous,
      For all samples we receive, we require a consent from the legal guardian or parent for children under 18. I hope this helps answer your question. If you have any more questions or concerns, please call us at 1-888-404-GENE, Monday-Friday 9AM-6PM ET. Thank you for your comment!

  4. When my son was about 3 months old, my fiance at the time, told me she had slept with someone at about the same time my son was conceived. We are no longer together, but I feel I need to get a paternity test done on my son to put to rest any lingering questions I have. Would I be breaking any laws if I got a test done without telling my son’s mom? I am the legal father and I am on his birth certificate..

    • Hi BW,
      Thank you for your question! When doing an at-home DNA Paternity test, we ask to include the signature of the child’s legal guardian. The results will not uphold in court, which is why we do not need a verification of a third party to witness the collection or document the process. With a court-admissible test, most collection facilities will ask for a birth certificate or proof of legal guardianship. If you can show or prove you are the legal guardian for whichever test conveniences you most, you are not breaking any laws. Have in mind, there is a small chance of an inconclusive result if the biological mother does not include her samples, if this does happen, we would contact you and discuss your options. Sometimes, the mother is needed to strengthen the test result, however, it is rare. I hope this information helps. If you have more questions, please call us at 1-888-404-GENE, Monday-Friday 9AM-8PM ET. Thank you for your comment!

  5. We are legal guardians of our incapacitated son. There is some question of whether he is the biological father of his son, since his wife had been unfaithful to him. Would we be able to sign in his place for his minor son, or is it necessary to have the permission of the mother with whom the child lives?

    • Hi Rose,
      Great question! To answer your question, yes, you may! When testing with minors, with an at-home test, we only require a signature consent from the legal guardian. Have in mind, if the biological mother is not included in testing, there may be a chance of an inconclusive result, meaning the DNA of the child and alleged father was not enough to determine a concrete result. At that point, we would ask if the mother is willing to provide her samples for testing, testing the mother is free of charge. In any case, the biological mother may have access to the results if she can prove it with the child’s birth certificate and ID. I hope this information is helpful. If you have more questions, please call us at 1-888-404-GENE, Monday-Friday 9AM-8PM ET. Thank you for your comment!

  6. I am in the same bout as this person.
    But, My husband’s Mother is saying my husband is not the Father! She is saying id someone i meet in 2010 which me and the guy did not have sex. The last person i hadvsex with was my husband (boyfriend) at that time and i was not pregnant. Then we as in me and my husbend took a brack from ether and started seen ether again in 2011 of September. We found out i was with child in October or November or 2011 which the guy she thing my child father is started coming back around in 2012. So it is impossible for a girl to be pregnant for that long anyways even if we did do something! Now i am a month pregnant and she is saying its the same guys. Which he has not been around for 2 months so not possible right.

    • Hi Justine,

      As far as the timing goes with your pregnancies, we recommend you speak with your physician about these questions. However, the only accurate way of knowing/proving that your husband is the father of your children is a DNA paternity test.

      IDENTIGENE has affordable, accurate and convenient paternity test that you can use in your home. They are available near the pharmacy at CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Walmart nationwide for $29.99. Once you buy the kit, you will need to swab the cheek cells of your child, your husband and yourself and send the samples in with the $129 lab fee. If you or your mother-in-law are concerned about the honesty of collection, meaning the samples really came from who was expected to be in the test, you could swab together and witness the collection yourselves or you also have the option of a legal test.

      Both our personal and the legal tests are tested exactly the same, however, legal tests require a legal chain-of-custody, where identification is verified and collection of samples is witnessed and mailed by a designated 3rd party collector. This option will eliminate any doubt of cheating the test.

      You may also contact our friendly client support staff at 1-888-404-4363, if you have any further questions. Thank you!

    • Justine, It sounds like you are not 100% positive about who the father of your child is. Do the right thing and take a DNA test instead of misleading another person into believing they are the father.

  7. What if the child’s grandparents are his guardians can the father still do the test without his grandparents consent? The fathers name is on his birth certificate

    • Kimberly,
      I am checking into this for you. One question: Did the courts take custody away from the alleged father and give it to the grandparents? Does the alleged father have any visitation rights? I have forwarded this to client support and I will be in touch. Thanks for reaching out to IDENTIGENE.

  8. My wife and I have 3 sons. Around the time she got pregnant with our 2nd son, I had caught her going out alone with one of my best friends. Movies, late nights not coming home til the morning. I really want to believe that she didn’t do anything with him but my second son, now 3 years old looks more like that friend that he does me. Mind you I am half white and half black so I know that my son being very pale skinned, awesome blond hair and deep blue eye is, :”possible”> I don’t think this would change my relationship with my son, I have been his father since day one and that will not change. I just don’t know if I should go for a paternity test or not. I know my wife would never go for it either. Any advice, should I go through with the test or just try to burry my suspisions?

    • John,
      If you are considered the biological father by the State (your name is on the birth certificate), you can give consent and swab yourself and your child with our DNA Paternity Test found at drugstores and Walmart nationwide. You can also order our product online. We understand this is a hard decision with many emotional risks. If you feel like you want to know if your child is biologically yours, a DNA Paternity Test will provide you with the answer you are seeking. Click here for a video addressing this very situation by Dr. Janet Taylor and see if it helps give you some direction. We are here to help. Best to you. IDENTIGENE

  9. No one should be upset if a father chooses to get a DNA test on his child it is his right to make sure that is his child! Why do mothers get mad if you have nothing to hide! If it were the other way around and the man gave birth most women know they would get a DNA as soon as possible it is life deal with it!

  10. I was wondering if there was a way that I can test my step daughter against her father without her mother knowing. they have joint custody of her but nobody in his family thinks that she belongs to him

    • Angelia,
      If your husband is considered the legal biological father and on the birth certificate, he has the right to swab himself and his daughter to confirm paternity.

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  12. what can i do to get this matter right a dad took a child unaurthorized took take a dna with out the mother and the child is under age and it handle threw the courts the child was force to get his mouth swab.

    • Dear “Unknown”,
      It sounds like you are dealing with a difficult and complex situation. Of course, I don’t know the details, so it is hard for me to give advice on what you can do. I do know that Identigene clients must agree to Terms and Conditions which state that the person consenting to the DNA paternity test has the legal right to consent for the child. If I understand you correctly, this family is already working within the legal system. I would suggest asking a family attorney about next steps. Here is a link to a family lawyer referral site.

  13. I split with my ex husband 15 yrs ago, he brought a DNA testing kit from the internet and tested our daughter without my knowledge about 4 yrs ago. I am so upset about this and wondered if it is ill for him to do this.