How Do You Read and Interpret a Paternity Test?

How do I read a paternity test?

When the results letter is presented after the paternity test is complete there will be several portions of the letter that may appear written in Latin. With words like loci, inclusion, exclusion, and trio - it takes a bit of education to read the paternity test results letter.


Loci are the points of DNA testing that are matches between the father and the child. No matter how the sample of DNA is extracted, whether by cheek swab, blood, or amniotic fluid, the same final test will be run matching these loci.


The word inclusion refers to the positive percentage of the paternity test. If the test comes back 99.99% inclusion that means there is relatively no chance any other man is the father of the child. If fewer than 16 loci are used during the matching procedure, the inclusion percentage could be lower. This means the test needs to be redone with more loci being matched for a final inclusion rate. In a court of law, a test result below 99.99% is considered inconclusive.

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The opposite of inclusion is exclusion. Exclusion refers to the paternity test that comes back negative. There will be no inclusion percentage; rather the father named will be excluded from being the father. If the father is excluded, a retest may help if fewer than 16 loci are used in the matching, but the results are more than likely correct.


The word trio on the paternity test refers to the mother, named father, and the baby. The trio all need to be tested to provide the paternity test results.

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