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What is a Grandparent DNA Test?

When a suspected father  is not directly able to be tested, the father’s biological parents can perform a DNA grandparent test to help determine if he is the true father of a child. This is often referred to as a grandparent paternity test. In some cases the mother of the child may be in question, such as in an adoption situation. We would then use the possible maternal grandparent(s) to help determine maternity.

How does Grandparent DNA testing work?

Biological parents equally contribute 50% to their child’s DNA, so that one-half of the child's DNA comes from each parent. When that child becomes a parent, they in turn contribute half of their DNA to their child. Therefore, 25% of the grandchild's DNA comes from each grandparent, through their biological child.

There are 2 types of Grandparent tests:

1. Solo Grandparent DNA Test: One Grandparent is tested with one grandchild. The mother of the child may be included at no additional charge, if her DNA is submitted at the same time as the other samples. The conclusive range is either greater than 90% for inclusion or less than 9% for exclusions.

2. Dual Grandparent DNA Test: Both Grandparents are tested with one grandchild. The child's mother may also be included at no additional charge if included with the original request. When both grandparents are tested, the results can be as conclusive as  99.99% for inclusion, or 100% for exclusions. When both grandparents provide a DNA sample, it is the same as if the biological father was taking a paternity test with the child in question.

Legal and Home Grandparent DNA tests

A legal grandparent DNA test may be necessary when there is a need to prove paternity in a court of law and the biological father is not available to take a paternity test. Other reasons for a legal DNA test may be the need to change a name on a birth certificate, child custody issues, if a will is contested or there are probate disputes, as well as proof of relationship for immigration questions. A legal DNA test will need to administered by a licensed doctor or nurse or a trained third party collector following a strict chain of custody.  More information on legal grandparent testing may be found HERE.

Our at home grandparent test follows the exact sample laboratory processing protocols, however the DNA collection is done in the privacy of your home. This option is the most common and is least costly as there is no need to have a DNA collection preformed by someone else. The results of our home testing are the exactly the same as our legal testing, just without the legal paperwork.

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Grandparent DNA Test FAQ's

A grandparent DNA test is 100% accurate, and may be performed with only one of the grandparents and an alleged grandchild.  Our labs run all DNA tests twice to confirm results, and the answers we provide are 100% accurate based on the DNA profiles of those being tested.

It takes 1-2 business days to complete testing and post results for standard DNA grandparent testing, once the lab has received all tested parties’ samples. 

Your grandparent DNA test results will be sent to the email address that was provided on order form. They are sent securely and are in a PDF format.  You will need a PDF reader to view them. We suggest Adobe reader which is secure and free to download. Your results can be opened and viewed, printed, or forwarded depending on your choice to share the information. Only the ordering party, or designated email(s) will receive a copy of the report.

We also provide a booklet that explains in more detail some of what you may see on your report. 

USPS Priority mail is our primary method of sending printed sibling test results, if requested at the time of the order. 

We maintain your privacy every step of the way. All results and information are deleted from our system 30 days after the results are delivered to you (we keep the reports for 30 days in case you have any questions). We never sell or give your information to anyone, including government and private/public databases. No one will ever know this test was done unless you provide them the information.

DNA testing is not covered by health insurance or Medicaid because it is not a “medically necessary procedure.” 

Yes. If the mom can not, or does not want to be tested, we can still perform a grandparent test. A “motherless” test may require more extensive analysis to produce the strongest results, but the results that are delivered to you are just as accurate as those of a standard grandparent test.

Yes! It is possible to conduct a "grand-paternity" DNA test on a potential grandparent to establish whether they are related to the child in question. This testing is designed to determine the likelihood that a grandparent and possible grandchild are related.

Each grandparent shares around 25% of their DNA with a grandchild. If both paternal grandparent test against the child in question, the result will be almost the same as if the suspected biological father tested with the child for a paternity test.

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Please click and read this if you are looking to confirm a relationship indicated by an ancestry test

How accurate is a Grandparent DNA test?

We guarantee we provide the most accurate DNA Grandparent test available.

most accurate grandparent dna testGrandparent DNA testing is based on the statistical probability that two or more people are related by bloodlines as grandparent and grandchild. The industry standard for testing of this type compares 16 alleles to attempt to arrive at the conclusion if a grandparent/grandchild relationship exists.

The challenges and limitations with this approach is that when using so little genetic material, it is very difficult to arrive at a conclusive result because a grandparent only shares up to 25% of the same DNA with their suspected grandchild. All humanity shares 99.9% of the same DNA, which means that only .10% can be used to determine the answer as to whether or not a grandparent/grandchild relationship exists. 

When only 16 markers are being considered, there is a very good possibility that an inconclusive result will be reported. Even worse, a false negative or false positive is also a potential outcome. Journey Genetics holds the position that there are just not enough markers tested in a standard test to feel confident about the results. This is why we use up to 50% more alleles than other companies to perform the DNA testing. 

24 markers tested means a more accurate result. It's a scientific fact.

There are times or reasons that the other grandparent, or the mother, is not available for the grandparent testing. This is why we insist on use 24 genetic markers for the testing, to deliver the strongest result.  

Adding the mother's DNA sample, if possible, will allow us to eliminate her contribution to the child and then focus only on the paternal contribution if trying to establish who the biological father is. There are some instances where the probability of relationship may be stronger if including the mother's DNA sample. We do not charge for the mother's sample if included at the time of the initial order.

 If the mother of the child is not available, or you do not wish to include her sample, we can still perform the testing between the grandparent(s) and the possible grandchild. The results that are accurate, clear, and understandable in almost every case we handle.

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A Grandparent DNA test may well contain the most important information you will ever have. We guarantee the highest quality testing at the most affordable prices. We process thousands of DNA samples every year for lawyers, physicians, adoption agencies, and private individuals.

The price for grandparent DNA testing includes our DNA collection kit sent to you by USPS Priority mail, all necessary DNA collection supplies, a prepaid mailer for returning your samples (orders within the USA only), all lab processing fees, and results from our AABB accredited DNA testing lab in as little as one to two business days. If you do not want a kit sent to you for privacy or other reasons, we also allow the option to make your own kit and will email you a case number and step-by-step instructions for collecting and sending your DNA samples to our lab for processing.

Cost Number of People Testing Processing Time
$129 1 Grandparent and 1 child 1-2 Business Days
$129 1 Grandparent and 1 child+ one mother  1-2 Business Days
+$110 Each additional child or additional biological grandparent 1-2 Business Days
+$125 Non-standard DNA Sample (per sample) 1-5 Business Days


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