How to Determine Paternity Without a DNA Test

How to Determine Paternity Without a DNA Test
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Jeff Greer
October 17, 2022

There is no more accurate and reliable way to determine paternity of a child than a DNA test. The use of blood or saliva to trace the DNA makeup of two people is highly effective in matching important identifiers.

But what if you don’t have access to a DNA test or have concerns about privacy? If you’re asking how to determine paternity without a DNA test, don’t fret. There are alternatives, but you have to understand the reliability differences between those options and the DNA test.

Related: Use BeenVerified’s Relative Finder

Ways to determine paternity without a DNA test

Date of conception

A popular assumption around paternity is that the person closest to the mother-to-be around the time of conception is a strong candidate to be the child’s father. While this certainly helps identify options in determining paternity, this method is in no way reliable if there are multiple candidates.

Facial features or feet

Believe it or not, the bottoms of your feet are unique, and there is a belief that you can identify paternity by comparing feet. The same is said of facial features. But similar to the date of conception avenue, these are wholly unreliable and amount to guesses in the eye of the beholder.

Eye color test

There is genealogical research that shows eye color can be inherited, but using this means to determine paternity again runs into the same challenges. Eye color can be very complicated by family history, making it not as simple as saying “Person X has brown eyes and made a child with Person Y, who also has brown eyes, therefore Baby Z with brown eyes is their kid.”

According to FaceDNATest, there’s 19% chance a baby whose parents both have brown eyes will have blue eyes, and a 7% chance the baby’s eyes will be green.

Blood-type test

More reliable to a degree than the other options, the blood-type test does potentially narrow down paternity candidates because certain blood types require specific combinations between parents. The problem, though, is that the mother could have had multiple partners with the same blood type.

Related: How to find your birth parents

Why a DNA test is the best method

Put simply, there is no better way to determine paternity than a DNA test. There is no real close second option, either. The DNA test matches the genetic makeup of two people, and the link between a father and a child is biologically unmistakable.

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.