Infidelity DNA Tests

Updated December 16, 2018

This article was scientifically reviewed by YourDNA

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Disclaimer: Before You Read

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Genetics is a quickly changing topic.

But are there tests that give you hard evidence that a spouse or significant other is cheating?

If you’ve been wondering “Is he cheating?” but aren’t sure where to turn for proof that your spouse is being faithful, you may find comfort in knowing that there are DNA tests for infidelity. And what’s more, new public interest in DNA testing has made a variety of tests available and affordable from dozens of companies, so you can find out for sure whether your significant other is staying true to you.

Is she cheating? Instead of letting suspicion get the best of you and your relationship, consider using a DNA test for infidelity. A DNA test for infidelity can save you the discomfort of sneaking through your spouse’s phone or emails, putting a spy or tracking application on their phone, or making unwarranted accusations.

Can a DNA Test Check If Someone Is Cheating?

Yes, it is possible for a DNA test to be used to check if your significant other or spouse is cheating or being unfaithful.

If suspicious stains on clothing or stray hairs that aren’t yours (or theirs) have caught your attention, know that you can use these red flags as tools to find out if your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife is cheating.

One important thing to know about DNA infidelity tests is that they’re only useful if you believe that an affair involving sexual activity is involved, because these tests can only be used with samples of genetic material, such as saliva, semen, or vaginal fluids. If you believe that your spouse is stepping away from your relationship but that the affair hasn’t yet reached that level, these tests may not be beneficial for you.

What DNA Tests Are Best For Infidelity?

There are three main ways that DNA can be used to determine if cheating is currently happening, or has happened in the past, and they use either DNA pulled from recent bodily fluids or materials, or paternity tests.

Here’s the difference between the three kinds of infidelity DNA tests, and what they can tell you about the possibility of a cheating spouse:

Infidelity DNA Detection Tests: This kind of infidelity test can tell you if any DNA is present on the sample you submit. For example, if you send a DNA testing lab your spouse’s underwear, they can extract any DNA data from the clothing.

From there, lab technicians will be able to tell you if there is male or female DNA present, or both. These DNA detection tests are often less expensive than the next kind of test, DNA comparison tests, because there’s less lab analysis involved.

Infidelity DNA Comparison Tests: This kind of test compares samples of bodily fluids (such as semen or vaginal fluids) that you have found on clothing, bedsheets, fabric, or another item, and suspect belong to someone else other than you or your spouse. DNA comparison tests identify any present DNA and the gender of the person (or people) involved.

With these DNA tests, you’ll also submit a sample of you and your spouse’s DNA (either through saliva, blood, or other bodily fluids), which a genetics lab will use for a comparison. If the DNA in question doesn’t match that of you or your spouse, you’ll have confirmation that cheating likely has occurred.

Because DNA comparison tests require more lab work, you can expect the cost for this kind of infidelity DNA test to cost a bit more. For some people, the cost is worth answering the question, “is he cheating?”

Paternity DNA Tests: If you suspect that cheating has occurred in the past, and that your child or children may have a different father due to infidelity, paternity DNA tests can help you find out. These tests use blood or saliva from both the child in question and you, and can compare how the two samples match.

Most laboratory paternity tests have a 99 percent accuracy rate, meaning it can quickly and easily become clear whether the child is yours, and if an affair led to the birth of the child in question.

Beyond these tests, some labs also offer simple services such as semen detection and saliva detection. These kinds of tests can determine if the strange or suspicious stain you’ve found on your spouse’s clothing or linens is semen or saliva from another person (who you may assume to be the “other man” or “other woman”).

Can DNA Tests Prove Infidelity?

While DNA tests can’t — for sure — say that the DNA you’ve identified was left behind because of cheating, these kinds of infidelity tests can give you strong evidence that something suspicious is going on.

Because DNA tests of this kind work by searching for present DNA from different individuals, and then comparing that to you and your spouse’s DNA, there’s a side of the story that they can’t reveal: In cases where DNA is found and it doesn’t match you or your spouse, there’s no way to confirm from initial tests whose DNA it is.

This means that if you’re hoping a DNA test for infidelity will be able to point to a specific person as the “other woman” or “other man,” you should know that this isn’t possible.

When it comes to receiving DNA infidelity test results, you will have strong evidence that your spouse or significant other is or isn’t seeing someone else. How you choose to evaluate and use this information in your quest to find out the truth depends on the results, as well as other evidence you may be collecting, such as text messages, lies, and other behaviors associated with cheating.

How Do DNA Tests Work?

In general, DNA tests for infidelity work by taking the genetic material in question (such as semen or hair) and analyzing it to determine if it belongs to someone outside of your marriage or relationship. Let’s start from the collection process.

If you’ve asked yourself, “is he cheating?” and identified a lab to send of a DNA sample to, you’re on your way to finding out more about potential infidelity. After contacting the lab that offers the infidelity test, you’ll be advised of the best kind of DNA sample to send in.

In many cases, labs can use genetic samples found on items such as:

  • Cigarette butts
  • Hair
  • Nail trimmings
  • Condoms
  • Undergarments
  • Clothing
  • Bed sheets and linens

If you choose to do a DNA detection test that confirms the presence of two kinds of DNA in a sample, you’ll simply send off the sample in question. From there, the lab will pull DNA from the sample, digitize it, and confirm if multiple types of DNA are present.

This test will also let you know the gender of the identified DNA samples.

If you choose to go a step further with a DNA comparison test, DNA will be retrieved from the sample you send in. But, you’ll also send in a sample of your own DNA, usually from an oral swab of your inner cheeks.

In some cases, you may also send off a sample of DNA from your spouse for additional confirmation, which can be obtained from a toothbrush, dental floss, nail clippings, or hair. At the lab, a genetic technician will digitize all of the samples, and compare them to one another to see what matches up.

If you’ve decided to just have a semen or saliva detection test done, lab workers will use technology such as ultraviolet light to determine if either fluid is present. From there, the lab may continue on with DNA detection or comparison if you choose.

After any kind of detection or comparison test is done, the laboratory will contact you back with results regarding what it has found. Reports generally will outline what procedures were used during the test, any DNA that was found, and how it matched with additional samples you sent in.

From there, you’ll be able to regain confidence in your spouse, or have evidence that suggests an affair may be going on.

How Early Can You Do A Paternity Test?

If you are unsure if you are the father of your child, or you’re not quite sure who the father of your child is, in some cases it is possible to find out through a paternity test during pregnancy.

Paternity testing is a strong tool that can prove possible infidelity, and is known for being highly accurate. In fact, modern paternity testing is so spot-on that most laboratories and DNA test kits offer accuracy statistics of 99 percent.

Parents share an estimated 50 percent of their DNA with children, and the DNA shared with other family members drops off quickly; for people who aren’t related, it’s quickly obvious that you wouldn’t share hardly any DNA at all. This means that it is incredibly difficult to try to fake or discredit a paternity test that is conducted with quality samples and by a credible paternity testing company.

Knowing this information, the earliest it is possible time to find out paternity during pregnancy is generally starting around 10 weeks through an invasive chorionic villus sampling test. This test requires insertion of a needle into the woman’s cervix to withdraw DNA, and is primarily used test for genetic health concerns because of the risk involved.

Amniocentesis, a similar procedure that involves inserting a needle through a woman’s stomach and into the womb to collect amniotic fluid, can also give paternity results around 4 months of pregnancy, but this procedure also carries risk to the baby. Some newer blood tests that identify the baby’s DNA through a mother’s blood are available, and work as early as second month of pregnancy.

If you’re asking yourself, “Is she cheating?” and are worried that a pregnancy was caused by another man, and not you, it’s important to understand that many methods that are used to determine paternity during pregnancy are invasive, and can carry some risk to an unborn baby.

In many cases, it is safer for your significant other and the baby to wait until after a child is born to establish paternity; at that point a test can be done in the hospital or birthing center and you can know the results as soon as possible with minimal risk involved.

How Accurate Are DNA Tests?

Accuracy of DNA infidelity tests is pretty strong, considering that the main job of the laboratory is to let you know whether or not DNA from another person outside of your relationship is present.

This remains true regardless of the age of the sample; genetic scientists have been able to pull DNA from dried semen samples that are years old, and use those for a variety of DNA extraction purposes (such as confirmation of cheating or tracking down a crime suspect).

When it comes to the accuracy of paternity tests, there’s a few things you should know, the first being that paternity tests are highly accurate, and many DNA testing companies and labs offer accuracy rates of 99 percent or more. If you’ve ever wondered if a DNA test for paternity is inaccurate, you should know that the chances are exceptionally low.

Parents share an estimated 50 percent of their DNA with their children, and the amount of DNA shared with other family members drops off rapidly; for people who aren’t related, it’s quickly obvious that you would share hardly any DNA at all.

This means that it is incredibly difficult to try to fake or discredit a paternity test that is conducted with quality samples and by a credible paternity testing company. In fact, family and children’s services courts know that the accuracy of paternity testing is so strong that this DNA tool is used in court cases to establish parental rights and responsibilities, such as child support payments.

And what’s more, paternity test results can also be used in divorce court to establish the separations and spousal support requirements — that’s how accurate they are.

How Much Do DNA Tests Cost?

DNA tests that can help you confront a cheating partner do come with a hefty cost. Since there’s very few consumer test kits that you can buy and send off to a lab, many people who utilize this kind of test seek out a genetics testing lab that offers this kind of service.

From there, the tests can range upwards of $100 to $300 or more. If you do find and choose a reputable at-home test kit that allows you to collect and prepare a DNA sample at home and send it off to a lab for testing, expect the price to be slightly less, starting around $100.

In addition, the kind of testing you choose can drastically increase the cost — semen or saliva detection usually costs less than DNA comparison testing.

Are “At Home” DNA Kits Accurate?

The term “at-home DNA test kits” can be a bit misleading, simply because many available at drug stores or online are able to test for the presence of semen and bodily fluids, but can’t necessarily tell you if it’s from someone outside of your relationship.

This doesn’t make these kits less accurate; it simply means that you’re working with limited information about the suspicious bodily fluids or genetic material you may have found.

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