When using an ancestry dna test kit, it can uncover scandals of someone not being the father

shock-paternity-ancestry dna test kit

The best ancestry dna kit, such as the ones in our best ancestry dna test page, can find that your father, or a relative’s father, is not the actual biological parent.

This guide covers:

  • How often someone’s father, is not their actual father
  • How to use an ancestry dna test kit, with this risk in mind
  • If you find out that someone is not the father of a child, what should you do?
  • If I want a paternity test, how should you do it


Imagine you did an ancestry dna test kit and found out your father is not your real father.

As the tests go back 4 generations or more, you could also find out that a cousin or ancestor’s father, was not actually their actual biological father.

What do you do now?

How often is the father, not the actual father

The comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddeil in the 1990’s, said the story of a hospital in small town in the north of England that did paternity tests.

This was well before people could do ancestry dna tests themselves at home.   The hospital, did these paternity tests, as a free part of their childbirth service.

However it was found that over 20% of the children did not come from the father it was meant to.

The hospital quickly stopped these tests, because of all the troubles it caused.

The thinking by some, is that in small towns at that time, there was not much to do!

In previous eras it was socially acceptable for wealthy men to have a mistress. Even now wealthy people often have mistresses and there are even quite large websites to help this.

Also women get bored, marriages go stale and things happen.

Scientific research has shown though, that these figures are not true.  This also goes to show how much people believe urban myths that may not be true.



How common is it really that the father is not the genetic father?

Tests done over the last 50 years show between 1 and 50%.

However Liverpool John Moores University  said it could be made so high as the tests were done when there was first a doubt about paternity.

There are paternity test places where being a different father has been 17% to 33% (median of 26.9%), however these tests were also done where the father was suspicious of not being the father of the child.

More recent tests in the UK have shown it to be about 3.7%, however some of those may have also been done when there was a doubt.

This comes from Bellis et al, who in 2005 found that in all the scientific journals, the average reported is 3.7%, although the range was from 0.8 to 30%.

Bellis et al also reported, how the higher percentages often have less people in the test, who are less representative of the average person.

martin larmuseau paternity dna research

The most recent test was by Martin Larmuseau and shows that it is about 1%.   His tests in South Africa, Italy, Spain and Mali have shown between 1 and 1.7%.

Larmuseau found that it was pretty much 1% across the board of all the countries he studied.

He did this using the Y Chromosme test. This sex chromosome is passed down by the father to the males.  As only males have the Y chromosome.

It can be debated if being able to find out that a child, is not the actual genetic child of a father, is a good thing.   This is because the information may make a father and the father’s family reduce their involvement with the child and even lead to child abandonment.


How to use an ancestry dna test kit with this risk in mind

What should the test kits be doing

Firstly the the best ancestry dna tests , show how most people use these kits for fun and leisure.  However people need to know that this is real information and so can have real consequences.

The power of an ancestry dna test kit is that it can reveal what cannot be found in records and uncover lies that people thought would never be found out.

Maarten Larmuseau who is mentionedabove on this page for his paternity studies, would like all the companies  to say in a very noticeable manner about this risk.  Some do and some do not.

He would also like to see further protection of children, who are of course effected by the results of these kits.  For example, in the US, children have to have the consent of a parent or guardian to be DNA tested, many of the ancestry dna test kits to do state this.


What should someone using one of the best dna test kits, be doing.

The bottom line though is that people need to know that although it is a fun thing to do, but it is real life and can get serious.

If they are going to start being matched with other people that have also done a dna test, they have to think about the children that could be effected.

Even if a person does not choose to use a test that matches them up with other family members, even a simple ethnicity test, can show that their parents are not their parents.

A women whose father was of Middle Eastern origin and mother was of Western origin, did an ethnicity test.  However her test showed that she was all Western and Scandinavian heritage.  Having seen and known her father, she then knew that her father was not her actual father.  This was even harder for her, because both her parents had died.

It is very common that even visually looking at a child, it can be seen that the father was not their father.  However this is explained away by the family in some way, people see what they want to see.

This is especially common if the child has some trait that the family may not want to admit to, for example darker skin in a less open minded family.  They just explain it away somehow, like saying the person likes to be in the sun.

If you do find out that your father is not your father, you may want to find your actual father.   We have done research and reviews, to help find the best ancestry dna test kit and other genealogy advice, that can do this.


Should you reveal that someone is not the father, when you find out

The first thing is not to instantly react.  Please think and consider about things first.

Also try and get professional advice from an experienced person, who is in the social services, psychology, or other such field.

Be careful who you ask for advice, people do not keep secrets.

The advice does also depend on the age of the child.

1, Child is not yet born

paternity test unborn child

Advice on paternity tests for if the child is not yet born, is sadly beyond the scope of this page. This is because an ancestry dna test kit cannot find this out.  A specialist blood test can find out.

When the baby is still in the mother and has been there for 3 months, a non invasive blood test can be done.

These are done by professionals taking blood from the mother and potential father.  As a result it is much more expensive, than a consumer do a home test.

An ancestry dna test kit will use saliva or spit as a dna sample and do not yet cover children that have not yet been born.


2, Child is still legally a child

child paternity ancestry dna test kit

The official advice

The advice and concerns of social services is all about who cares for the child.

The man does not get access rights if the child is not theirs.

The big thing is to make sure they have a home and it is as close as possible to a loving family.

So telling someone that their  father is not their real father can be dangerous and upset this.

First need to make sure that the new situation will be better for the child, before the old one is ruined.

Social services act with regards to the law.  However like with all professions, there are good and bad people.  We sometimes see that social services does not look and see what is right, it does what it wants to do.  This can lead to horrible things happening that are not in the interests of the child or the parents.

Once you report it, unless you are involved in some other way, you are out of the picture.

If a man believes or is suspicious a child is not theirs, they often want a paternity test.   This is especially if the parents are not together and they are being asked to pay child maintenance.

A legal process may require a court certified DNA test, these are not the ancestry dna test kits.   There are many court certified paternity dna test kits that the public can buy, they are not that expensive.

Many firms will also do the test for you, with a nurse or person from the company coming to your home.  This is so there is a chain of custody of the dna sample.  It means the court can be sure that the dna was always in the right hands and never tampered with.

The social and moral questions:

These are the social issues, they are not about the law and government authorities.

If the parents are in a happy marriage, this news would damage or break the marriage.  If everyone is happy, could it be right to say?   This would not just mean that child does not have a cohesive family any more, it could also effect other children of those parents.

Do you know from the test who the actual father is?  If you do know who the father is, would that person be a good father who could take good care of the child?  Could it be though that the real father would be a great dad and you should not deny the child that?

If the non biological dad,  is a single parent and the mother is not around, could it lead to the child being taken into care and loosing their family home life.  Would this be an advantage for the child, if the child has no parents at all?

Could it be that someone is happy being a father and this new takes this away from them.

However it is also denying the rightful father the knowledge and joy of being a father.  Maybe it is best if you can track down who this person is before making a decision?   Also you may think, who am I to make this decision, should it be the child that decides?

There are circumstances where a child does not have a good father, but their step father is so good it is like having a real father.   If the person believes they are the father, the father is happy having a child, thinks the child is theirs and all are happy, are you right to break that?


Research and making decisions

paternity ancestry research meeting

Whatever you do, if it is possible and safe to do so, we recommend speaking to the current parents of the children before you do anything.

Genealogy is like being a detective.  They may tell you things and give you fresh information, that changes your opinion.   The parents may already know.

Also if you tell others, people do not keep secrets and so the information will probably get out.

Also there is time, it is best not to rush into anything.  Even once you have decided what to do, the legal processes can take month or even years.

Doing nothing though, or not telling the child or real father is still a choice.    You may decide it is best for the child not to know, until they are an adult.  Especially if you do not know who the real parents are and saying would deny the child a loving home.

It is a balance between:

  • The needs of the child
  • The needs of the adults
  • The needs of other people that will be effected
  • The truth

What we are not going to say is that we know everything, people who say that, normally know even less.


3, Child is now of adult age.

adult with parents ancestry

Once the child is not in need of a home as can support themselves, the situation is different.

Also once the child has gotten past any teenage rebellion stage, is of sound mind and can look after themselves.

Then it maybe a good idea for the child to know.  It also means they can look for their biological father.

A child may have genetically caused psychological traits, that do not make sense when compared to it’s parents.  For example an addictive personality that could cause alcoholism, or a physical thing like a heart condition.  By the person knowing as much as possible about their real father, they can know more about themselves. This can help them discover more about themselves and have a better life.

Of course things are not so simple.  It depends on the relationship  they have with their non biological father, as to what will happen and how things will end up with their non biological father, once the child knows.

If the child’s biological father abandoned the child when it was younger, really sadly, it may not feel any connection, or even want to know.

If the biological father did not know and does not know of the child’s existence, then the child may want their father to know.

Often people just want to know and meet their biological father.


With any age of child

The best thing though, is to first also get professional advice before doing anything.  Be it from a good psychologist, social worker or anyone else trained in a suitable profession.

In the end though, once you have all sources of information and views, the choice of what you do, has to be yours.


Secondary issues to finding out man is not the child’s actual father

attorney legal money inheritance ancestry dna

This can effect wills and inheritance.

It could make a will void as there is no one else to give the assets to.  Maybe then no one gets the money, it all goes to the government.

It is amazing the scheming, lies and nasty things people will do for money.  So when money is around such as wills, inheritance, or child maintenance payments, please be careful not to take anything on face value.


If I want a paternity test, what should I do

Most ancestry dna test kits say they are a good option for finding out paternity of a child.

They say you just buy one for yourself and another to do on your child.

Then if there is a match, the child and adult will each get a match to each other.

We recommend using a specialist paternity dna test kit, if that is all you are wanting it for.

This is because even with the best ancestry dna test kit:

1, It can end up being more expensive than using a specialist paternity kit.

This is because they say you should buy two kits, one for you to be tested and the other for the child.  This is more expensive than buying just one specialist paternity dna test kit, as they test both child and father from the one test.

2, They are not approved by the court as  evidence.

If you are using it for legal purposes, the court will want results from a dna test kit that has been approved by the courts for this purpose.  Most test kits will say if they have been.  We have not seen this on even the best ancestry test kit reviews.