Park Clinic Paternity Testing Services

Frequently Asked Questions





How much does the test cost?

Our charge of €600 covers the registration of your case, sampling kits, fees associated with the taking of samples, transport of the samples to the testing laboratory, performance of DNA testing, analysis of the test results and the provision of a test report.

The fee does not cover:

(i) The attendance of expert witnesses at Court hearings.

(ii) Any extra scientific work required in forensic science investigations.

(iii) Any extra medical, scientific or explanatory work necessary for legal consultations, conciliation or arbitration hearings, or any other work which may arise as a result of the testing procedures or the results of such testing procedures.

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How long will the test take?
Park Clinic Paternity Service has a rapid turn around time.  Results are usually available 10 to 15 working days after sampling.  DNA testing does involve a number of different scientific processes and occasionally a case may take a little longer.


Are the results conclusive?
When a mother, alleged father and child are tested, Park Clinic Paternity Service's results will either show the man is not the father with 100% certainty or provide proof of paternity with a confidence level of at least 99.99%. Our DNA testing laboratory normally performs 17 tests to ensure virtually conclusive results in every paternity case.  We also run two, parallel, completely independent sets of tests to maximise our quality control.


What is the difference between a blood test and a cheek swab test?

Blood tests involve taking a small blood sample, usually a finger-prick in adults and children and a heel prick in infants, of about two or three drops of blood.  The cheek swab uses a device like a small toothbrush to gently scrape some cells from inside your cheeks.


Both tests are equally accurate.


Park Clinic Paternity Services can perform either test and the fee for both is the same - €600


Sections 38 to 42 inclusive of the Status of Children Act 1987 specifically refer to blood tests to determine paternity.  If you believe that there may be a legal challenge to cheek swab tests, we recommend that you specify blood tests when completing the registration form.  Always consult your solicitor or other legal advisor for guidance in this matter.  Park Clinic Paternity services cannot and does not provide any legal advice on this issue.


If the paternity testing is arranged without reference to any legal proceedings, the parties may prefer to have cheek swab testing performed.  If you are not sure which test to have, a blood sample is usually recommended.

How does the process work?
Your DNA sample is analysed using STR (Short Tandem Repeat) profiling. STR profiling is a very sensitive DNA testing procedure that was originally developed for forensic analysis.

DNA profiling is the most precise and definitive method available for determining parentage. Everyone is born with a unique genetic blueprint known as DNA (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid.) Because DNA is passed down from mother and father to child, DNA Identification provides a virtually conclusive way to determine biological relationships. Consequently, DNA typing has become the most accepted method of paternity testing


How are the results analysed?
When carrying out a paternity test the DNA patterns of the mother, the child and the alleged father are compared by our scientific staff using the latest DNA analysis technology.  Each parent provides the child with half of his DNA.  Every STR marker in the child’s pattern must have been passed on by either the mother or the father.

At least seventeen STR tests are used to examine every paternity case.


How are the DNA samples taken?
All paternity testing at Park Clinic Paternity Service is carried out using either mouth swabs or finger/heel prick blood tests.

Mouth swab testing uses a small brush to gently and painlessly remove some cheek cells from the inside of the mouth. The sampling procedure is ideal for young children and babies as there are no needles or blood involved.

Blood sampling uses a tiny pricking device to obtain little more than one drop of blood from an adult or child’s finger or an infant’s heel.  Our experienced samplers ensure that the procedure is very quick, almost painless and quite straightforward.

The sampling kit has been specially designed to protect your DNA while it is safely and securely transported to our laboratory in tamper-proof packaging.

Who can take samples?
Park Clinic Paternity Service provides an experienced doctor to take all samples.

To ensure quality and consistency in sampling we do not ‘share’ testing with any other samplers or laboratories.

Please also note that although it is common for mother, alleged father and child to have their samples taken at the same appointment by one of our doctors, it is not necessary for all individuals in a case to have their samples taken at the same time. We can arrange one appointment for mother and child and another for the putative father. We do however strongly prefer that all samples are taken on the same day.  A child under 16 must usually be accompanied by its mother when a sample is taken.  We recommend that you avoid eating or drinking for approximately one hour prior to mouth swab sampling.

Why do I need to see a Doctor?
The taking of blood samples requires the sampler to be fully conversant with the most up to date standards of hygiene and safety and to provide as close to a painless procedure as is possible.  The mouth swab procedure is also very straightforward, however all samples must be taken by a medically qualified person (doctor or practice nurse) who will provide a declaration that the persons being tested are who they say they are. This independent confirmation of your identity together with various other procedures and our quality accreditations mean that results from Park Clinic Paternity Service are accepted as evidence in Irish courts. This procedure is also a requirement of the Code of Practice for Genetic Paternity Testers.  It is also important to us that any questions that you might have are answered as fully and completely as possible and so we only employ a sampler who fully understands all of the practical points of sampling and can also answer any questions about DNA testing in general that you might have.

Who arranges the sampling appointment?
The adults being tested (or their solicitors) must arrange the sampling appointments. Information about arranging an appointment is supplied in the registration forms. The person making the appointments must convey the arrangements to all parties to the testing.


How long does it take to get an appointment?
Once the sampling fee has been received, appointments are usually available within one week.

How are the donors identified at their appointment?
All people being tested including the child will be photographed at the sampling appointment. Adults are also asked to bring photo ID (passport, driving licence, Garda identity card, European identity card).  At the appointment you will be asked to sign a form confirming your identity and the doctor will sign a declaration that the sample has been taken from the person in the photograph.

Who pays the sampling and testing fee?
The individuals being tested must pay the Park Clinic Paternity Service’s fee in advance of the appointment.  The testing fee must be paid by one or both individuals and only when the full testing fee has been received will appointments be given.  In a Family Law matter, the judge may direct one or both parties to pay the testing fee.


Who will receive the results?
All adult parties who have submitted a sample for analysis are legally entitled to a copy of the report. When you receive the registration forms for your test there is a section that you should complete to tell us where the reports should be sent. Reports are only despatched to these individuals and are sent by post.  Results are never sent by email, fax or given out over the telephone.


Is the service confidential?
Results are not passed on to any third parties without your written permission. Please note that we do not discuss results over the telephone.  All identification paperwork is held by Park Clinic Paternity Service for a period of one year after testing is complete.  We are legally required to retain invoices and financial records for six years.


At what age can a child be tested?
Our advanced testing procedures mean that both blood and cheek swab testing can be performed on a child of any age after birth.  In fact, testing can be carried out before birth but we believe that the small risk to both mother and foetus is rarely justified.


How do I arrange payment?
Payment may be made with most major credit cards, laser cards, cash or by cheque. Full details of how to pay are included in the registration pack.

Will my DNA sample be safe?
The samples are sent to our laboratories in specially designed tamper-proof packaging. Once testing is complete and you have received the results, the DNA samples will be held in the laboratory for six months after the results are issued.  If storage beyond six months is required, a storage fee will be payable.

Does the mother need to be tested?
It is possible to perform a paternity test without the mother; however the results will be less conclusive than if the mother is included. Because more detailed analysis may need to be performed, the testing fee is the same as if the mother was tested.  We strongly encourage the testing of the mother wherever possible.

Can the test results be used in Court?
Park Clinic Paternity Service laboratory is accredited by the Lord Chancellor and we conform to the requirements of the Irish Legal System.  Our results are accepted as evidence of paternity in Irish courts.

What if I need further assistance before or after testing is completed?
Park Clinic Paternity Services provides the highest quality sampling and testing service for a very competitive fee.  We do of course recognise that there may be wider issues resulting from the paternity test results that may require further assistance.  We are unable to provide further analysis for the same testing fee but we would always try to provide information as to how further help can be obtained should the need arise.


What do I do next?
If you wish to use Park Clinic Paternity Testing Services for your paternity test, follow these steps:

1.      Download the registration and terms and conditions papers here.

2.      Make sure that both parties fully understand our terms and conditions.  When you are satisfied that all parties have all of the information that they need, complete and return the registration form together with the testing fee or your credit card number.

3.      Once the registration papers and payment details have been sent and received by us you should telephone for appointments.

4.      Ensure that all parties are aware of the appointment date and time and have all the information that they need.

5.      Attend for the appointments.  Directions to the Park Clinic can be downloaded here.

6.      Results will be available in 10-15 working days.