Misattributed paternity rates and non-paternity rates

These sources have various degrees of credibility. The purpose of publishing them here is to provide a basis for further surveying of this topic.

"%?" column: There are few if any definitive answers here, as shown by variations in the "%?" column. Percentages above 10% have been rounded down in the "%?" column (and sometimes elsewhere) to reduce the illusion of precision.

"Use" column: The "Use" column identifies which (if any) of the meta-analysis papers, the first four papers below, cites that source.

Each of the first four papers is a "meta-analysis". It analyse other papers, rather than providing more primary research. The sources it cites are indicated in the "Use" column of those sources.


This is "M&S1" in the "Use" column

Sally Macintyre and Anne Sooman, "Non-paternity and prenatal genetic screening"

The Lancet, 1991, v338, Oct. 5, p. 869-871.

Although this is a relatively small meta-analysis, only about 2 pages of dense print in all, it is a useful early pilot for the surveys that follow.

Most of the sources that MG1 (Michael Gilding) cites, more than a third of those that KGA1 (Kermyt G. Anderson) cites, and about half of those cited by BHA1 (Bellis et al), were published after this article.

This article talks of "... urban folk tales ...".

Michael Gilding talks of "Urban Myth".

Steve Jones' book "Y: The Decent of Man" also talks of "urban myth".



20 - 30

1.4 & 10


6.9 - 13

"Rates of non-paternity have taken on the character of urban folk tales ... Reliable estimates of the incidence of non-paternity are few and far between, although various rates are quoted in an authoritative manner by several sources. ... if one attempts to trace the source of such estimates they often appear to be based on hearsay, anecdote or unpublished or unevaluable findings. ... non-paternity rates are likely to vary between countries, and to vary within countries by age-group, cultural or ethnic group, region, and age and duration of partnership ... It is equally important that the lack of contemporary, verifiable and relevant data is recognized. ... We would be interested to hear of any reliable data".

They cite the following estimates of non-paternity:

Johnstone examined abortion rates (in couples with compatible and incompatible blood types) in West Middlesex, UK, 1949-50. Edwards then estimated a 5% non-paternity from the sample of 2596 babies, on the basis of ABO and Rhesus markers.

30% from Dr. Elliot Philipp's remark at a 1972 symposium about a study (unfinished and unpublished, probably from the 1950s) on correlations between antibody formation and blood group.

20-30% from the (unpublished) "Liverpool Flats" study (McLaren HC).

1.4% from Schact and Gershowitz in a study of correlation between blood groups and fatal pediatric diseases for caucasians. 10.1% from Schact and Gershowitz in a study of correlation between blood groups and fatal pediatric diseases for negroes.

2.3% from Ashton's study of Hawaiian families and inherited intellect.

Salmon et al excluded 25 children in 171 families, but the number of children was not specified.

6.9-13.8% predicted by a survey of women admitting to "extra-pair copulations", in Baker & Bellis 1990.




This is "KGA1" in the "Use" column

Kermyt G. Anderson, Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma

"How well does paternity confidence match actual paternity? Evidence from worldwide nonpaternity rates".

CV: Kermyt G. Anderson, Ph.D.

(An earlier page "The evidence of Kermyt G. Anderson" has now been superseded by this one).

1.9 - 3.9


"Men with high paternity confidence (subjects in genetic studies) have very low rates of nonpaternity (median = 1.9%, N = 22).

Men with extremely low paternity confidence (cases of disputed paternity resulting in paternity tests) have much higher levels of nonpaternity (median = 30.2%, N = 30).

When the high and unknown paternity confidence samples are combined, the median nonpaternity is 3.9% (range: 0.4 – 32.0)."

"Furthermore, the difference in nonpaternity between these groups remains when compared by geographical region (U.S., Europe, and elsewhere)".


This is "MG1" in the "Use" column

Professor Michael Gilding, Director of the Australian Centre for Emerging Technologies and Society, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, "Rampant Misattributed Paternity: the Creation of an Urban Myth", People and Place, vol 13, no 2, 2005

This study has a commentary on this web site.

1 - 3


20 - 28

"The best available data on paternity testing has come from the United States. That is, 28% of putative fathers were found not to be the biological father.... The largest provider ... also told a government enquiry in 2002 that the exclusion rate was about 20%, although it was less - only about 10% - for those tests that were done without the knowledge or consent of the mother".

"On the whole, the evidence suggests relatively low rates of misattributed paternity, at least in Western countries - perhaps between 1% and 3%". (This statement appears to be based on "inspection" rather than "statistics").


2005 September

This is "BHA1" in the "Use" column

Mark A Bellis, Karen E Hughes, Sara K Hughes, John R Ashton, "Measuring paternal discrepancy and its public health consequences", Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Sept. 2005; vol 59: pp 749-754.

When adding this survey to this page, all 34 of the articles and papers they use for their figures were already in this table. This suggests that the list of articles and papers on this page is fairly comprehensive.


"Bellis and colleagues checked studies from the 1950s through 2002 that mentioned paternal discrepancy. The studies came from the U.K., U.S., Europe, Russia, Canada, South Africa, South America, New Zealand, and Mexico.... Some studies were large; others included a handful of people. Paternal-discrepancy estimates varied wildly, from less than 1 percent to more than 30 percent.... Some research centered on paternity disputes. Daddy discrepancies were probably overrepresented in those studies.... Setting those studies aside, the remaining research showed an average paternal discrepancy of 3.7 percent, or a little less than one in 25 dads.... Rates were higher for disadvantaged people, for those with more than one sex partner at a time, and for younger women".

"No clear population measures of paternal discrepancy are currently available"


C. Cotterman and L. Snyder, in Journal of the American Statistical Association, 1939, 34, 511-23

Reported in: Anne Anastasi, Differential Psychology, 3rd edition, 1958

Reported in Gene Expression.

5.25 "Cotterman and Snyder studied the ability to taste phenyl-thiocarbamide among 800 families. Most people find this chemical tastes intensely bitter, but some cannot taste it at all. The ability to taste is inherited as a simple Mendelian dominant. Non-tasters are homozygous for the recessive non-taster allele. Two non-taster parents therefore should not have any taster children. Yet out of 223 children born to such couples, 5 (2.24% of the total) were tasters".

".... The full incidence would be higher, because even with cuckoldry not all of the offspring of non-taster women would be tasters.... The value of p in the study population can estimated from the fact that 86 of the 800 families (10.75%) contained two non-taster parents. Since the proportion of non-tasters in the population is q-sq., the proportion of couples in which both partners are non-tasters should be q-to-the-4. This gives a value of about .573 for q and .427 for p. The full incidence of cuckoldry implied by these data is therefore 2.24%/.427 =5.25%."

1949 Wiener, Alexander S., Eve B. Gordon, and Lillian Handman. 1949. "Heredity of the Rh blood types VII. Additional family studies, with special reference to factor Rh". American Journal of Human Genetics 1: 127-140. 2.8 U.S. KGA1
1950 Böök, J.A. 1950. "Clinical and genetical studies of hypodontia. Premolar aplasia, hyperhidrosis, and canities prematura; a new hereditary syndrome in man". American Journal of Human Genetics 2: 240-263. 1.6 Sweden. KGA1

Sussman, Leon N; and Schatkin, Sidney B, "Blood Grouping Tests in Undisputed Paternity Proceedings". Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 164, No. 3, pages 249-250.


U.S: "In the courts where paternity cases are heard, only a minority of the accused men deny paternity. This group, therefore, are the only ones who are privileged to request blood tests to sustain their denial. It has been shown that 30 to 40% of these men who deny paternity are falsely accused. In the majority of cases heard in the courts, however, the accused man admits paternity and accepts the burden of support imposed by the court. Using the A-B-O blood typing system it was found that 18% of the men who had voluntarily admitted paternity, were not the actual fathers of the children. "Blood-grouping tests … in 67 cases of uncontested paternity indicate that in 6 cases, or 9%, the men admitting paternity were not the fathers of the children they accepted. Since only 50% of wrongfully accused men can be excluded by present methods of blood testing, it follows that not 6 but actually 12 men in this small series who admitted paternity were probably not the fathers of the children in question".




Edwards, J. H, "A critical examination of the reputed primary influence of ABO phenotype on fertility and sex ratio", 1957. British Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine, 1957 Apr;11(2):79-89.



This appears to be based on: Johnstone J.H., "Heterospecific pregnancy", British Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine, 1954;8:117-23. Johnstone's patients were in West Middlesex (West London), U.K. (Sample: 2578).

Edwards' number has been quoted as: 5.9% by Leigh W. Simmons et al (2004); and 3.7% by KGA1 and BHA1.



1963 Schacht, L. E. & Gershowitz, H. 1963. "Frequency of extra-marital children as determined by blood groups".

In " Proceedings of the Second International Congress on Human Genetics" (Rome, 6-12, 1961), L. Gedda (ed.), pp. 894-897. G. Mendel: Rome.



Michigan, U.S.A: their numbers have been quoted as:

1.4% in a study of correlation between blood groups and fatal pediatric diseases for caucasians (1417 children);

10.1% in a study of correlation between blood groups and fatal pediatric diseases for negroes (523 children).

Higher rates of nonpaternity were found among first born and last born children.





Potthoff RF, Whittinghill M. "Maximum-likelihood estimation of the proportion of nonpaternity". American Journal of Human Genetics. 1965 Nov;17(6):480-94


Detroit, U.S.A: their number has been quoted as: 0.21%.

1966 Wiener, Alexander S. 1966. "Estimation of nonpaternity". American Journal of Human Genetics 1966 May;18(3):309-10. 20 U.S. (Michigan), black. KGA1
1971 Sing, CF et al (1971). "Studies on genetic selection in a completely ascertained Caucasian population. Family analysis of 11 blood group systems". American Journal of Human Genetics 23(2) 164-198. 4.3

Refers to "... a 1962-65 study of blood typing in a small Michigan town. That study found discrepancies between biological and stated parentage in 109 of 2507 nuclear familes. Many of these may have been unacknowledged adoptions, including step-parent adoptions".

Is this reference related to Schacht & Gershowitz 1963?


Unpublished, Harpending.

Cited in: Trivers, Robert L. 1972. "Parental investment and sexual selection".

In "Sexual Selection and the Descent of Man 1871-1971", B. Campbell, ed., pp. 136-179. Chicago: Aldine.


Southern Africa (!Kung). KGA1 says: "The unpublished !Kung nonpaternity rate reported in Trivers (1972) has subsequently been suggested to be due almost entirely to laboratory error, since the rate of nonmaternity in the sample was approximately the same". He cites:

Howell, Nancy. 2000. "Demography of the Dobe !Kung", Second Edition. Aldine de Gruyter: New York; and Smith, Robert L. 1984.


Peritz, Eric, and Philip F. Rust. "On the estimation of the nonpaternity rate using more than one blood-group system". American Journal of Human Genetics, January, 24(1): 46-53.



Oakford, California, U.S.A. (White, sample: 6960). Their number has been quoted as:

0.03% (sic) by Leigh W. Simmons et al (2004); 2.1% by KGA1, and 2.7% by BHA1.



1972 - 1973

Unpublished, research by Elliot Elias Philipp in a town in south-east England, possibly 1950s.

Mentioned in: Philipp, E.E, "Discussion: moral, social and ethical issues".

Unpublished, research in the West Isleworth area in the 1950s, unspecified researchers, cited by J H Edwards.

Both of the above appear within:

Ciba Foundation Symposium (London December 1st, 1972). (Vol. 17), G.E.W. Wostenholme and D.W. Fitzsimons (Eds.). "Law and Ethics of A.I.D. and Embryo Transfer". Amsterdam: Elsevier, Excerpta Medica, North-Holland, 1973, pp. 63-66. Associated Scientific: London.


Philipp: We blood-tested some patients in a town in south-east England, and found that 30% of the husbands could not have been the fathers of their children....

Killbrandon: Mr Philipp, surely the figure of 30% must be a minimum? What you established was that 30% could not be the children of their mother's husband, not that 70% of them were?

Philipp: Yes, it is a minimum. We were screening some female patients by testing their husbands for their blood groups, because we were interested in antibody formation in correlation with the ABO groups as well as the rhesus groups. From our results we suddenly realised that 30% of the children could not have been fathered by the men whose blood group we analysed.

Stallworthy: What was the extent of that group?

Philipp: Not large - between 200 and 300 women - but large enough to give a great shock.





50 J H Edwards: .... Analysis of some blood group data, making allowance for the fact that one could not detect all the illegitimacies, showed that in the 1950s in the West Isleworth area about 50% of premarital conceptions were not fathered by the apparent father. As the apparent fathers were questioned while visiting their wives immediately after the birth, most of them obviously thought they were the father....  


Neel, James.V. & Weiss, Kenneth M, "The genetic structure of a tribal population, the Yanomama Indians". XIII. Biodemographic studies. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 42, 25-51.


9% among the Brazil/Venezuela Yanomanö. (Sample: 132).




Unpublished, McLaren, "Liverpool Flats study". (Possibly Major Hugh Cameron McLaren, 1913-1986, obstetrician).

Cited in Cohen, John, 1977. "Reproduction". London: Butterworths, ISBN: 0408707984

20 - 30

England (Liverpool): ... Blood group studies indicate levels of paternal discrepancy .... up to 20-30% ....




1978 Unpublished, Shields.

Cited in: Scharfetter, C. 1978. "Alleged vs. biologically possible paternity". Behavior Genetics 8: 383-384.

4.8 U.K. KGA1
1978 Hirsch, Jerry, and Atam Vetta.1978. "Gli errori concettuali dell’analisi geneticocomportamentale". Richerche di Psicologia 78: 47-67. 13 Italy KGA1


Chagnon, N.A, "Mate Competition, Favoring Close Kin, and Village Fissioning Among the Yanomamo Indians". Excerpts and Female Centered Proto-Culture and Promiscuous Social Structures - Matrilineal Studies: Part 2. In "Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior". N. Chagnon & W. Irons, eds. Pp. 98


"Using several different antigen systems we tested blood samples from parent/offspring triads and, allowing for possible errors due to mislabeling specimens, estimated that the nonpaternity level is about ten percent."

1980 Salmon, Denise, Jeanine Seger, and Charles Salmon. 1980. "Expected and observed proportion of subjects excluded from paternity by blood phenotypes of a child and its mother in a sample of 171 families". American Journal of Human Genetics 1980 May;32(3):432-44.

6.9 - 9.4


France - they excluded 25 children in 171 families, but the number of children may not have been specified. (BHA1 says the sample was 300).

(KGA1 gives 6.9% and 9.4%. BHA1 gives 7.0%).




Ashton, Geoffrey C. "Mismatches in genetic markers in a large family study". American Journal of Human Genetics 1980 Jul;32(4):601-13

2.3 U.S. (Hawaii). "Two independent approaches gave consistent estimates, suggesting that approximately 2.3% of the 2, 839 tested children from these families were probably the result of infidelity, concealed adoption, or another event. About two-thirds of the mismatches detected were probably due to properties of the techniques employed".





Lathrop, G. M., A. B. Hooper, J. W. Huntsman, and R. H. Ward, "Evaluating pedigree data. The estimation of pedigree error in the presence of marker mistyping". American Journal of Human Genetics Mar; 35:241-262


"This model allows the maximum-likelihood estimation of the rates of various forms of pedigree error and laboratory error from genetic marker data collected on putative families. The method is illustrated by applying it to data obtained from a South Pacific island population, Tokelau (administered by New Zealand). From the observed distribution of genetic marker inconsistencies between the parents and offspring of putative families, derived from the extensive genealogy of this population, we are able to estimate that the error of a paternal link is 4%, the error of a maternal link is zero, and the overall system typing error is 1%". (Sample: 1983).

1983 Murphy CC, Go RCP, Acton RT, Barger BO, Roseman JM: "Genetic analysis of multiply affected families with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) probands". Human Heredity 1983, 33(6):344-356 1

Cited by: James C Barton, Luigi F Bertoli and Ronald T Acton, "HFE C282Y and H63D in adults with malignancies in a community medical oncology practice":

"In family-based studies in which HFE mutation or other DNA-based testing is not used, non-paternity is an additional source of error (1.0 – 1.4% non-paternity in American Caucasians)". Refers to this paper and Schact and Gershowitz.

1983 Emery EAH. "Elements of medical genetics" [6th ed]. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 1983.

Cited in John Harris, "Assisted reproductive technological blunders (ARTBs)", Journal of Medical Ethics 2003;29:205-206

10 John Harris says: "A figure of 10% is often cited", then cites this book. (He also says: "Doubt has been cast on the credibility of the highest figures, although high figures have been confirmed to me anecdotally").  
1984 Unpublished, Chagnon.

Cited in: Smith, Robert L. 1984. "Human sperm competition".

10 U.S. (rural Michigan). KGA1


Smith, Robert L. 1984. "Human sperm competition".

In "Sperm Competition and the Evolution of Animal Mating Systems", Robert L. Smith (ed.), pp. 601-659. Academic Press: New York.



9% among the Venezuelan Yanomanö.

10% in U.S. (rural Michigan) - probably this.

1985 Unpublished;

Cited by Ritz in: Grünfeld, Jean-Pierre. "The clinical spectrum of hereditary nephritis". Kidney International 1985 Jan;27(1):83-92.

10 Munich and Copenhagen. KGA1

Peñaloza, Rosenda, Carlota Núñez, Silvia Alatorre, Roberto Lagunes, Blanca García Escobar, Fabio Salamanca, and Carlos Zavala. 1986. "Frequency of illegitimacy in a sample of the Mexican population". La Revista de Investigación Clínica (Méx), 38: 287-291

2.9 Mexico families with new borns. Blood and other markers.



1989 Walker RH, Pohl BA. Department of Clinical Pathology, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan. "Paternity testing with an absent mother. The probability of exclusion of red cell surface antigen, Gm, Hp, and HLA systems in North American whites and blacks". Transfusion. 1989 Jan;29(1):31-5



"With all of the genetic systems used in this study, the combined probability of exclusion (CPE) of men falsely accused of paternity, in cases where the mother is absent, is approximately 95 percent for whites and 92 percent for blacks".

(This may be a theoretical study, not a real population).


Stewart, Alistair D, "Screening for cystic fibrosis". Nature Oct 26;341(6244):696.

10 10%?  
1990 Baker, R. Robin, and Mark A. Bellis. 1990. "Do females promote sperm competition? Data for humans". Animal Behavior 40: 997-999. 6.9 - 13 England. (2708 magazine readers).





1991 Diamond, Jared, book, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee", pp. 72-73 10

Significant number of children turn out to have be fathered by someone other than their putative father: "extramarital sex is an integral, albeit unofficial, part of the human mating system." Also, refers to "... a study of blood typing and genetics which had unexected results and was quashed. It was done in the 1940s at a "highly respectable" US hospital. The study found that fully 10 percent of babies were not the biological offspring of their legal fathers".

1991 Brock, D. J. H. & Shrimpton, A. E. "Non-paternity and prenatal genetic screening". 2nd Nov 1991, Lancet, 338, 1151.

This letter is a comment on Macintyre & Sooman, "Non-paternity and prenatal genetic screening".

1.35 - 1.4

England, U.K: "We believe that cited rates of non-paternity are somewhat exaggerated, and that the truth lies closer to one per cent". They identify 7 incompatible results from 521 families, during cystic fibrosis screening, 1.35%. Their number has been quoted as:

1.4% by Anneke Lucassen et al (2001); and BHA1.

1.35% quoted by MG1 and KGA1.




1992 - 1993

Le Roux, Marie-Gaelle; Pascal, Oliver; David, Albert; Moisan, Jean-Paul;, Andre, Marie-Therese; Herbert, Odile. "Non-paternity and genetic counselling". Lancet. 1992 Sep 5; 340(8819):607.

Le Roux, Marie-Gaelle; Pascal, Oliver; David, Albert; Moisan, Jean-Paul, "Nonpaternity rate and screening in genetic disease analysis". Lancet. 1993 Jan 2; 341(8836):57.

France. These two articles appear to be reporting the same research.

They tested DNA markers in 89 nuclear families in France in 1992 in the course of genetic testing. Of the 362 children tested, there were 10 who could not have been the offspring of their declared fathers. (This is 2.8%).




1993 Poon, Man-Chiu, Samantha Anand, Barbara M. Fraser, David I. Hoar, and Gary D. Sinclair. 1993. "Hemophilia B carrier determination based on family-specific mutation detection by DNA single-strand conformation analysis". Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine 122: 55-63. 4.0 Canada. (Sample: 25).



1993 Baker, R. and M. Bellis. "Human sperm competition: ejaculate adjustment by males and the function of masturbation". Animal Behaviour 46: 861-65] 10 Timothy Taylor refers: "...In tests of genetic paternity recently conducted by Robin Baker and Mark Bellis, they found that around 10 percent of children had been sired by someone other than their ostensible fathers -- although the fathers consciously believed these children to be their own".  
1993 Mennie, M.E., Compton, M.E., Gilfillan, A., Liston, W.A., Pullen, I., Whyte, D.A., et al. (1993). "Prenatal screening for cystic fibrosis: psychological effects on carriers and their partners". Journal of Medical Genetics, 30, 543-8. 1.4 "... information leaflets have exhorted couples with doubts about the identity of the father not to take part. The proportions of couples citing this as the reason for non-participation were 1.4% in the two step trial".  


Sasse, Georg; Muller, Hansjakob; Chakraborty, Ranajit; Ott, Jurg. Department of Research, Kantonsspital, University of Basel, Switzerland, "Estimating the frequency of nonpaternity in Switzerland". Human Heredity 1994 Nov-Dec; 44(6): 337-43

0.78 - 0.83

Switzerland: "The methods were applied to a sample of 1, 607 children and their parents. Genetic marker data were investigated to test for exclusions due to nonpaternity. Among the 1, 607 children, 11 or 0.68% exclusions were found. When a constant nonpaternity rate was assumed for each child, its maximum likelihood estimate turned out to be 0.78% with asymptotic 95% confidence limits of 0.41% and 1.35%. When varying nonpaternity rates were assumed, its mean was estimated as 0.83% with asymptotic 95% confidence limits of 0.32% and 1.33%."




1994 Livingstone, J., Axton, R.A., Gilfillan, A., Mennie, M., Compton, M., Liston, W.A., Calder, A.A., Gordon, A.J., & Brock, D. J. H. (1994). "Antenatal screening for cystic fibrosis: a trial of the couple model". BMJ, 308, 1459-1462. 2.7 "... information leaflets have exhorted couples with doubts about the identity of the father not to take part. The proportions of couples citing this as the reason for non-participation were ... and 2.7% in this trial".  


Baker, R. Robin, and Mark A. Bellis, "Human Sperm Competition: Copulation, Masturbation and Infidelity". London: Chapman and Hall. (Robin Baker and Mark Bellis were at Manchester University)

1.4 - 30


... estimated a cross-cultural median EPC figure of 9%, with a range from 1.4 - 30%. (EPC = Extra-pair copulation).

Published estimates of 'paternal discrepancy' range from 1.4 per cent for Caucasians in post-war Michigan and 2 per cent for the !Kung bushmen to 30 per cent in deprived urban areas of Britain. pp199-200.

... a worldwide median nonpaternity rate of 9% from a sample of 10 studies.

1996 Unpublished, Reed.

Cited in: Allison, D.B. 1996. "The use of discordant sibling pairs for finding genetic loci linked to obesity: Practical considerations". International Journal of Obesity 20: 553-560.

10 - 30 U.S. KGA1


Robin Baker, book, "Sperm Wars: The Science of Sex"


5 - 6

10 - 30

"Some men ... have a higher chance of being deceived than others -- and it is those of low wealth and status who fare worst."

"Actual figures range from 1 percent in high-status areas of the United States and Switzerland, to 5 to 6 percent for moderate-status males in the United States and Great Britain, to 10 to 30 percent for lower-status males in the United States, Great Britain and France. Moreover, the men most likely to sexually hoodwink the lower-status males are men of higher status."



Cyril Ruwende, "Host genetic factors in susceptibility to malaria and tuberculosis." PhD diss, Oxford University, Oxford.

Cited in: Cervino, A.C.L., and A.V.S. Hill (2000).


In Africa, Ruwende found 30% nonpaternity in some families.

1997 Heyer, E., J. Puymirat, P. Dieltjes, E. Bakker, and P. De Knijff. 1997. "Estimating Y chromosome specific microsatellite mutation frequencies using deep rooting pedigrees". Human Molecular Genetics 6: 799-803. 1.2 Canada (Quebec): ".... 257 independent paternal meioses. One clear case and two possible cases of illegitimacy were identified". KGA1


Steven J. C. Gaulin, Donald H. McBurney, Stephanie L. Brakeman-Wartell. (University of Pittsburgh), "Matrilateral Biases in the Investment of Aunts and Uncles: A Consequence and Measure of Paternity Uncertainty". Human Nature Volume 8, Number 2 (1997) pp. 139-151

13 - 20

9 - 17

".... In addition, we propose a simple method for estimating the level of paternity uncertainty from kin investment data; application of this method to our data on aunts and uncles suggests that between 13% and 20% of children are not the offspring of their putative father. Our parallel analyses of Euler and Weitzel's (1996) data on grandparental investment suggest a similar estimate, that paternity uncertainty lies between 9% and 17%". (285 college undergraduates).

1997 Ellis, Lee & Walsh, Anthony (1997), "Gene-based evolutionary theories in criminology", Criminology, 35:229-276. 1 - 3

Cited by "Fatherhood as a Deterrent against Female Promiscuity: A Time to Refurbish the Electra Complex", Nancy S. Coney & Wade C. Mackey:

"While the incidence of cuckoldry cum issue, which is unknown to husbands, is not zero, it appears to be close to error variance (1 % - 3% of births). (Ellis and Walsh 1997, Brock and Schrimpton 1991)."

1997 June Baroness Hooper, House of Lords Official Report, 7th December, 1989 col 1112

Cited in Nicola Davies, "The Legal Implications Of The Provision Of IVF Services In Jersey", Jersey Law Review, Volume 1 Issue 2 June 1997

5 "... although a later study put the figure at only 5% - see Baroness Hooper, House of Lords Official Report, 7th December, 1989 col 1112".  

Ricardo M. Cerda-Flores, Sara A. Barton, Luisa F. Marty-Gonzalez, Fernando Rivas, Ranajit Chakraborty, "Estimation of nonpaternity in the Mexican population of Nuevo Leon: A validation study with blood group markers". American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Volume 109, Issue 3, Pages 281 - 293, Published Online: 1 Jul 1999


"A method for estimating the general rate of nonpaternity in a population was validated using phenotype data on seven blood groups ... on 396 mother, child, and legal father trios from Nuevo León, Mexico. In all, 32 legal fathers were excluded as the possible father based on genetic exclusions at one or more loci.... The maximum likelihood estimate of the general nonpaternity rate in the population was 0.118 ± 0.020".

"The nonpaternity rates in Nuevo León were also seen to be inversely related with the socioeconomic status of the families, i.e., the highest in the low and the lowest in the high socioeconomic class".




1999 Boster, James S., Richard R. Hudson, and Steven J.C. Gaulin. 1999. "High paternity certainty of Jewish priests". American Anthropologist 100: 967-971. 0.4 - 1.2 Sephardic Kohanim (Jewish priests): 0.4%.

Ashkenazic Kohanim (Jewish priests): 1.2%

1999 Broman, Karl W. 1999. "Cleaning genotype data". Genetic Epidemiology 17 (Suppl. 1): S79- S83.


0.8 U.S. KGA1
1999 Chataway, Jeremy, Stephen Sawcer, Robert Feakes, Francesca Coraddu, Simon Broadley, Hywel B. Jones, David Clayton, Julia Gray, Peter N. Goodfellow, and Alastair Compston. 1999. "A screen of candidates from peaks of linkage: evidence for the involvement of myeloperoxidase in multiple sclerosis". Journal of Neuroimmunology 98 (2): 208-213. 1.59 - 1.6

U.K. (Sample: 744).

(KGA1 says 1.59%. BHA1 says 1.6%).




Meisner S, "The genetics of susceptibility to leprosy". PhD thesis, The Open University, Oxford.

Cited in: Cervino, A.C.L., and A.V.S. Hill (2000) .



... an estimated overall nonpaternity rate of 15.3% in the southern Indian population, and also mentions observed rates of 32% in families from Vishakapatnam.

2000 May

Robin Baker "Sex in the Future: The Reproductive Revolution and How It Will Change Us". ISBN: 1559705213

10 "On average, the supposed father does not sire "his" child on about 10 percent of occasions: men's worries over paternity are sometimes justified."  


A. C. L. Cervino and A. V. S. Hill, The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, "Comparison of Tests for Association and Linkage in Incomplete Families". American Journal of Human Genetics 67: 120-132.

10 - 40

This appears to be a theoretical study. They varied the nonpaternity rates in their models from 10% to 40%. They used other research, quoted elsewhere on this page, to arrive at those figures:

Meisner (1999). Ruwende (1996).

2000 March & April

Sykes, Bryan and Catherine Irven. "Surnames and the Y chromosome", University of Oxford, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford, electronically published March 17, 2000

Sykes, Bryan and Catherine Irven. "Surnames and the Y chromosome", American Journal of Human Genetics 66, no. 4(April 2000): 1417-19.
1.3 "A randomly ascertained sample of males with the surname "Sykes" was typed with four Y-chromosome microsatellites. Almost half the sample shared the same Y-chromosome haplotype, which has not been observed in control samples either from the same geographic region or from the United Kingdom as a whole. This points to a single surname founder for extant Sykes males, even though written sources had predicted multiple origins. The distribution of other Sykes Y-chromosome haplotypes were not significantly different from those in controls and may be accounted for by the historical accumulation of nonpaternity during the past 700 years, in which case the average rate estimate is 1.3%/generation".



2000 Thorvaldur Ingvarsson, "Prevalence and inheritance of hip osteoarthritis in Iceland", thesis, Department of Orthopedics, Lund University Hospital, Sweden, 2000.



Iceland: "The Icelandic genealogical database .... By examining the genotypes of more than 20 000 Icelanders it has been estimated that the sum of laboratory error rate and the non-paternity rate is less than 1.5 percent".



Anneke Lucassen, Michael Parker, "Revealing false paternity: some ethical considerations", Lancet 357 (2001), 1033-5.

Perhaps this should be classed as a meta-analysis.


1 - 30

"The true frequency of non-paternity is not known, but published reports suggest an incidence from as low as 1% per generation up to about 30% in the population. References -":

Sykes B. "Surnames and the Y chromosome". American Journal of Human Genetics 2000; 66: 1417. (Suggests 1.4%).

Brock DJ, Shrimpton AE. "Non-paternity and prenatal genetic screening". Lancet 1991; 338: 1151.

Le Roux MG, Pascal O, David A, Moisan JP. "Non-paternity rate and screening in genetic disease analysis". Lancet 1993; 341: 57.

Lincoln PJ, Syndercombe CD. "Rates of non-paternity". Lancet 1992; 340: 1108.

Cerda-Flores RM, Barton SA, Marty-Gonzales LF, et al. "Estimation of non-paternity in the Mexican population of Nueva leon". American Journal of Physical Anthropology 1999; 109: 281-93.


Michael C. Neale, Benjamin M. Neale, and Patrick F. Sullivan, "Nonpaternity in Linkage Studies of Extremely Discordant Sib Pairs", American Journal of Human Genetics

5 - 10 "Although estimates vary, the population rates of such nonpaternity may be as high as 5% - 10%. The proportion in discordant pairs may be much higher".  
2002 March

Alfred, Jane, "Flagging non-paternity", Nature Reviews Genetics 3: 161.

1 - 20 Quotes estimates of "1% – 20%" without further analysis.  
2002 March Peter J Aspinall, Simon M Dyson, "Secondary Review Of Existing Information In Relation To The Ethnic Question", NHS Haemoglobinopathy Screening Programme.


Perhaps this should be classed as a meta-analysis.

1 - 3


No new material. Cites other papers, with comments:

"Estimates of incidence are wide-ranging": Lucassen & Parker (2001). MacIntyre and Sooman (1991).

"... criticised for focussing on families attending genetic counselling clinics for estimation of recurrence risks, which might have contributed to self-exclusion": Brock & Shrimpton (1991). Le Roux et al. (1992).

"These low estimates of around one to three per cent from UK laboratories carrying out pre-natal diagnosis for cystic fibrosis are probably the most accurate estimates": Mennie et al. (1993). Livingstone et al. (1994).

2003 Helgason, Agnar, Birgir Hrafnkelsson, Jeffrey R. Gulcher, Ryk Ward, and Kári Stefánsson. 2003. "A population coalescent analysis of Icelandic matrilineal and patrilineal genealogies: Evidence for a faster evolutionary rate of mtDNA lineages than Y chromosomes". American Journal of Human Genetics 72: 1370-1388.



Iceland. "The current rate of false paternities in Iceland is relatively small, estimated at 1.49% per generation on the basis of genotype data analyzed by deCODE Genetics (this estimate includes laboratory handling error)."

This appears to come from the same source as Thorvaldur Ingvarsson 2000. The figure is much-quoted in articles about the Iceland Database.

2003 November Leigh W. Simmons, Rene´ E C. Firman, Gillian Rhodes & Marianne Peters. "Human sperm competition: testis size, sperm production and rates of extrapair copulations". ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 2004, 68, 297e302.


0.03 - 11

"A review of the literature suggests that rates of extrapair paternity are in the region of 2%".

In fact, they cite papers giving values from 0.03% to 11.8%. They are the source for the figures quoted here in: Edwards 1957; Schacht & Gershowitz 1963; Potthoff & Whittinghill 1965; Peritz & Rust 1972; Ashton 1980; Brock & Shrimpton 1991; and Le Roux et al. 1992.


2004 November

Robin Williams, Paul Johnson, Paul Martin, "Genetic Information & Crime Investigation" November 2004.

Cited in House of Commons Session 2004-05, Science and Technology - Seventh Report, 4 National Databases

5 - 20 "... estimates of the non-paternity rate in the UK vary between 5 and 20%".  

Wiener, Alexander S. 1950. "Heredity of the Rh blood types. Observations in a series of 526 cases of disputed parentage". American Journal of Human Genetics Jun;2(2):177-97.

30 - 34 U.S. (New York City), black: 30%.

U.S. (New York City), white: 34%

1953 Unger, Lester J. "Blood grouping tests for exclusion of paternity; results in one hundred eight cases". Journal of American Medical Association 1953 Jul 11;152(11):1006-10. 55 U.S. KGA1
1954 Sussman, Leon N. 1954. "Blood grouping tests in disputed paternity proceedings; studies with ABO, MN, and Rh-Hr factors". Journal of American Medical Association 155 (13): 1143-1145. 42 U.S. KGA1
1956 Sussman, Leon N. 1956. "Blood grouping tests in disputed paternity proceedings and filial relationships". Journal of Forensic Sciences 1: 25-34. 28 U.S. (New York City) KGA1
1957 Marsters, Roger W. 1957. "Determination of nonpaternity by blood groups: A series of two hundred cases". Journal of Forensic Sciences 2: 15-37.

23 - 32


U.S. (Cleveland, OH)

(KGA1 separates these values. BHA1 merges them into 29%).



1963 Hirschfeld, Jan, and Aage Heiken. 1963. "Application of the Ge system in paternity cases". American Journal of Human Genetics 15: 19-23. 55 Sweden KGA1
1978 Terasaki, Paul I. 1978. "Resolution by HLA testing of 1000 paternity cases not excluded by ABO testing". Journal of Family Law 16: 543-557. 25 U.S. KGA1
1980 Valentin, Jack. "Exclusions and attributions of paternity: Practical experiences of forensic genetics and statistics". American Journal of Human Genetics 1980 May;32(3):420-31



Sweden, blood or other markers. "The Swedish State Institute for Blood Group Serology is a central government laboratory handling all blood typing in paternity cases in Sweden, each year testing 1, 500-2, 000 cases using about 13 polymorphisms. Of the accused men, 35%-40% are nonfathers, but in one-man cases (about 78% of all cases), approximately 75% are the true fathers".

(KGA1 derives 38%. BHA1 derives 26%).



1982 Houtz, Terry D., Robert E. Wenk, Margaret A. Brooks, and R. Ben Dawson.. "Laboratory evidence of unsuspected parental consanguinity among cases of disputed paternity". Forensic Science International 1982 Nov-Dec;20(3):207-15 25 U.S. Blood or other markers. (Sample: 2500).



1982 Singh G, Johns MM, Paul G. "Paternity testing: analysis of six blood groups and HLA markers, with particular reference to comparison of races". American Journal of Clinical Pathology. 1982 Nov;78(5):748-52 26 US? "Blood groups (ABO, Rh, MNSs, Kell, Duffy, and Kidd) and HLA markers were tested in cases involving 563 children of disputed parentage. In 149 (26.5%) cases, the accused men were excluded as the biologic fathers of the children in question.... No significant difference among races was observed in the rate of exclusion of accused men".  
1986 Mickey, M.R., D.W. Gjertson, and P.I. Terasaki. 1986. "Empirical validation of the Essen-Möller probability of paternity". American Journal of Human Genetics 39: 123-132.



U.S. (Los Angeles), white. Blood or other markers. (Sample: 1393).

(KGA1 derives 24%. BHA1 derives 25%).



1986 Baird M, Balazs I, Giusti A, Miyazaki L, Nicholas L, Wexler K, Kanter E, Glassberg J, Allen F, Rubinstein P, and Sussman, Leon N. "Allele frequency distribution in two highly polymorphic DNA sequences in three ethnic groups and its application to the determination of paternity". American Journal of Human Genetics 1986 Oct;39(4):489-501. 29 U.S: "three ethnic groups (American blacks, Caucasoids, and Hispanics) from the New York metropolitan area". KGA1
1988 Helminen, Päivi, Christian Ehnholm, Marja-Liisa Lokki, Alec Jeffreys, and Leena Peltonen. "Application of DNA "fingerprints" to paternity determinations". Lancet 1988 Mar 12;1(8585):574-6. 34 Finland: 26 cases of disputed paternity were tested by the methods routinely used in Scandinavian countries and by the DNA "fingerprinting" technique".



1989 du Toit ED, May RM, Halliday IL, Schlaphoff T, Taljaard DG. "Paternity exclusion using 18 genetic systems in 2124 cases in four South African population groups". South African Medical Journal, 1989 Feb 4;75(3):103-5.

22 - 41


South Africa, 2, 124 cases of doubtful paternity: White (22%). Cape Malay (30%). Cape Coloured (40%). Black (41%).

(KGA1 separates these values. BHA1 merges them into 38%).



1991 Jeffreys, Alec J., Michelle Turner, and Paul Debenham. "The efficiency of multilocus DNA fingerprint probes for individualization and establishment of family relationships, determined from extensive casework". American Journal of Human Genetics 1991 May;48(5):824-40. 16 United Kingdom: 1, 702 Caucasian paternity cases. KGA1
1991 Gasparini, P., P. Mandich, G. Novelli, E. Bellone, F. Saniuolo, F. De Stefano, L. Potenza, E. Trabetti, M. Marigo, P.F. Pignatti, B. Dallapiccola, and F. Ajmar. 1991. "Forensic applications of molecular genetic analysis: An Italian collaborative study on paternity testing by the determinations of variable number of tandem repeat DNA polymorphisms". Human Heredity 41: 174-181. 45 Italy KGA1
1992 Helminen, P., A. Sajantila, V. Johnsson, M. Lukka, C. Ehnholm, and L. Peltonen. "Amplification of three hypervariable DNA regions by polymerase chain reaction for paternity determinations: Comparison with conventional methods and DNA fingerprinting". Molecular and Cellular Probes 1992 Feb;6(1):21-6. 15 Finland. (Sample: 35).



1993 Krawczak, Michael, Ingolf Böhm, Peter Nürnberg, Jochen Hampe, Joachim Hundreiser, Hubert Pöche, Christian Peters, Ryszard Slomski, Jolanta Kwiatkowska, Marion Nagy, Anita Pöpper, Jörg T. Epplen, & Jörg Schmidtke. "Paternity testing with oligonucleotide multilocus probe (CAC)5/(GTG)5: A multicenter study". Forensic Science International 1993 May;59(2):101-17. 16 Germany. (Sample: 256).



1993 Pena, S.D.J., P.C. Santos, M.C.B.N. Campos, and A.M. Macedo. 1993. "Paternity testing with the F10 multilocus DNA fingerprinting probe".

In "DNA Fingerprinting: State of the Science", S.D.J. Pena, R. Chakraborty, J.T. Epplen and A.J. Jeffreys (eds.), pp. 237- 247.Birkhäuser Verlag: Boston.

22 Brazil (Belo Horizonte), 200 paternity cases. KGA1
1993 James, W.H. "The incidence of superfecundation and of double paternity in the general population". Acta Geneticae Medicae et Gemellologiae (Roma). 1993;42(3-4):257-62. 29 U.S. (Baltimore). KGA1
1994 Alford RL, Hammond HA, Coto I, Caskey CT. "Rapid and efficient resolution of parentage by amplification of short tandem repeats". American Journal of Human Genetics. 1994 Jul;55(1):190-5 26 U.S. "In 37 of the 50 cases, paternity could not be excluded by any of the loci. In the remaining 13 cases, paternity was excluded by at least two of the STR markers". KGA1
1996 Strom, Charles M., Svetlana Rechitsky, Norman Ginsberg, Oleg Verlinsky, and Yury Verlinsky. 1996. "Prenatal paternity testing with deoxyribonucleic acid techniques". American Journal of Obstetric Gynecology 6: 1996 Jun;174(6):1849-53; discussion 1853-4



U.S. (Illinois): In postnatal testing 37% of alleged fathers were excluded from being the father of that child.

Prenatal testing excluded 53% of alleged fathers.

753 postnatal paternity tests were performed and in the study each mother admitted that the paternity of her baby was ambiguous.



1996 Rouger P, Van Huffel V. "Polymorphisme de I'ADN et exclusions de paternité : analyse de 543 cas de recherche de filiation". Transfusion et Clinical Biologie 1996;3:273-278. 38 France (Paris): 543 paternity cases. KGA1
1997 Molyaka, Y.K., I.V. Ovchinnikov, A.B. Shlenskii, G.I. Korovaitseva, and E.I. Rogaev. "DNA Genotypescopy in paternity testing: Use of hybridization probes". Genetika 1997 Jun;33(6):831-5. 14 Russia. (Sample: 21).




(UK) Child Support Agency, Annual Report & Accounts 1997/98, UK Child Support Agency paternity testing statistics.


"Discounted DNA Paternity Testing was introduced during 1995/96, giving alleged non-resident parents the opportunity to resolve a paternity dispute without the need to go to court. There has been a steep increase in the use of this method and, in 1996/97, nearly 90 per cent of tests proved positive". (In fact, 89%, see below).



Hansard: letter from Mrs. Faith Boardman to Mr. Archy Kirkwood, 1998-02-18, UK Child Support Agency paternity testing statistics.


"In 1996/97, paternity was established in 89% of cases referred for DNA testing. In the current year, to the end of January, the figure is 87%".

(Figures for 1998-2005 are available).

1997 December BR Hawkins. "Fourteen-year experience of human leucocyte antigen typing in cases of disputed parentage in Hong Kong". Hong Kong Medical Journal 1997;3:369-72 29 "Seventy-seven cases of disputed parentage were studied using the human leucocyte antigen system over a 14-year period in Hong Kong.... An exclusion of parentage of at least one of the alleged parents was shown in 23 (29.9%) cases".  
1998 Cheng-Hwai Tzeng, Jau-Yi Lyou, Ying-Ru Chen, Hui-Yu Hu, Jeong-Shi Lin. "Polymorphisms Of Twelve Short Tandem Repeat Loci In A Taiwanese Population And Their Application In Parentage Testing". (Journal of the Formosan Medical Association 1998;97:738-44)



Taipei: "Paternity was excluded by STR analysis in 59 (35.3 %) of the 167 cases, including 40 of the 112 trios and 19 of the 55 dues".

"Trios": mother, father, child. (40/112 = 37%).

"Dues": father, child. (19/55 = 34%).

1998 Cheng-Hwai Tzeng, Jau-Yi Lyou, Ying-Ru Chen, Hui-Yu Hu, Jeong-Shi Lin, Chien-Hui Yung, James Chun-I Lee. "PCR-amplified Short Tandem Repeats for Disputed Paternity Testing: Experiences in Veterans General Hospital-Taipei". Chinese Medical Journal (Taipei) 1998;61:S239



Taipei: "... 137 disputed parentage studies. Failure to exclude an alleged paternity was noted for 60 out of 92 matching trios.... 28 out of 45 matching duos, ... were also considered as non-exclusions".

"Trios": mother, father, child. (32/92 = 34%).

"Duos": father, child. (17/45 = 37%).

1998 Chao-Sung Chang. "Clinical Experience of Paternity Test in KMCH". (Blood bank, Kaohsiung Medical College Hospital). Chinese Medical Journal (Taipei) 1998;61:S241 46 Taipei: "During the last year, thirty nine pairs have been done for paternity test. Most cases were undergone both blood grouping and HLA typing, some were performed HLA typing only. The results revealed 18 cases (46.15%) could be excluded by either red cell blood grouping or HLA typing and 21 cases (53.75%) couldn't".  
1999 Lucia Sacchetti, Giuseppe Calcagno, Iolanda Coto, Nadia Tinto, Emilia Vuttariello and Francesco Salvatore. "Efficiency of Two Different Nine-Loci Short Tandem Repeat Systems for DNA Typing Purposes". Clinical Chemistry 45: 178-183, 1999. 50

Italy. "We tested 40 paternity trios, analyzed previously in our laboratory by System-1 STR, by the System-2 STR to establish the diagnostic efficiency of the latter loci for both the attribution and exclusion of paternity.... Twenty of the 40 paternity trios were attributions.... The other 20 cases were paternity exclusions". (Were they random?)

1999 June Professor Ergun Karaagaoglu, Meriç Çolak, Husniye Aydin. "The use of decision analysis and decision trees in paternity testing in forensic medicine".


22 Turkey. (The data was gathered from the records of Ankara University Dept. of Forensic Medicine, which covers paternity testing cases between 1968 to 1989). "Three hundered and fourty eight paternity testing cases were studied, among which 79 cases were identified as being non-fathers, the remainning 269 cases were labeled as being fathers".  


American Association of Blood Banks. Annual Report Summary 1999





"The overall exclusion rate for 1999 was 28.2% for accredited labs. Exclusion rates for non-accredited US and foreign labs were slightly less at 22.7% and 20.6% respectively".

2000 Geada, Helena, Rui M. Brito, Teresa Ribeiro, and Rosa Espinheira. 2000. "Portuguese population and paternity investigation studies with a multiplex PCR - the AmpFISTR Profiler Plus". Forensic Science International 108: 31-37.



Portugal: two values given, 27% (sample: 83) and 29% (sample: 790).




American Association of Blood Banks. ANNUAL REPORT SUMMARY FOR 2000 - Prepared by the Parentage Testing Standards Committee




The overall exclusion rate for 2000 was 27.9% for domestic accredited labs.

Rates for foreign labs were slightly higher for 2000 at 30.5%.


American Association of Blood Banks. ANNUAL REPORT SUMMARY FOR TESTING IN 2001 - Prepared by the Parentage Testing Program Unit, October 2002


28 - 29

Of the cases reported 90, 227 were reported as exclusions or a rate of 29.06% exclusions. The average exclusion rate for the laboratories is 28.10% with a standard deviation of 7.17. The median exclusion rate is 29.25% and the mode is 27.87% with a range of 11.03 – 40.86%.

BHA1 derives 29%.

2002-12-23 Dr Ainsley Newson, submission G283 to the Australian Law Reform Commission and Australian Health Ethics Committee (ALRC/AHEC) Joint Enquiry

10 - 11

22 - 31

"... a large provider of parentage testing services reported that its rate of non-paternity in motherless tests was 10%, whereas the rate for tests involving all parties was 22%; and a smaller accredited laboratory reported that its rate of non-paternity for motherless tests was 11%, while its rate with traditional testing was 31.6%."  

American Association of Blood Banks. ANNUAL REPORT SUMMARY FOR TESTING IN 2002 - Prepared by the Parentage Testing Program Unit - November 2003



Of 340, 798 cases reported, 97, 681 (28.70%) were reported as exclusions. The average exclusion rate for the laboratories is 27.12% with a standard deviation of 7.80. The median exclusion rate is 28.12% with a range of 3.70% to 48.10%.

2003 January A. Sawaguchi,, X. Wang and T. Sawaguchi. "A critical review for DNA polymorphic markers and blood group markers in paternity testing". Progress in Forensic Genetics 9. Proceedings from the 19th International Congress Series, Volume 1239, January 2003, Pages 749-753 22 "We compared the probability of paternity examined using 16 DNA polymorphic markers and 20 conventional blood group markers in 50 cases of disputed paternity in our laboratory.... The mean rates of exclusion thus obtained were 0.3655 and 0.1591, respectively, for 16 DNA polymorphic markers and 20 conventional blood group markers in 11 cases of excluded paternity".  
2003 Richard A. Collins, Wing See Wu, Jun Xing, Lok-Ting Lau and Albert C.H. Yu, "Parentage testing anomalies in Hong Kong SAR of China", Chinese Medical Journal 2003;116(5):708-711




"Alleged fathers who strongly suspect that they are not the biological father tend to apply for in-person testing with the suitability of the test report for use in a legal setting, whilst alleged fathers who are merely satisfying a nagging doubt over paternity, opt first for the anonymous test. That some 40% of these men are subsequently excluded from paternity may indicate the presence of a large population of children in Hong Kong whose parentage is in doubt".

Anonymous testing: 40%. In-person testing: 18.4%.


American Association of Blood Banks. ANNUAL REPORT SUMMARY FOR TESTING IN 2003 - Prepared by the Parentage Testing Standards Program Unit October 2004


27 "The average exclusion rate for the laboratories reporting exclusions is 27.40% with a standard deviation of 6.01.

The median exclusion rate is 27.98% with a range of 11.94% to 41.18% (two laboratories reported completing three cases, with two exclusion cases (66.67%) but because of the small sample size, they were not included in these statistics)."


New Zealand Law Commission, Report 88, April 2005, "New Issues in Legal Parenthood"


20 "Approximate figures given by the only New Zealand accredited laboratory undertaking DNA parentage testing are that approximately 80 per cent of paternity testing results are positive and 20 per cent negative. Information provided by Dr Patricia Stapleton, DNA Diagnostics, to the Law Commission (2 March 2005) telephone conversation."  
2005-07-26 "Letter from Immigration and Nationality Directorate - paternity testing"

Immigration and Nationality Directorate

Home Office

  This identifies a failure to obtain paternity testing statistics from the UK's Immigration and Nationality Directorate: "Your request would at present be too costly to answer because to find the information would involve searching through individual case files as the data is not collated and held separately".  

"Letter from Her Majesty's Courts Service - paternity testing"

Civil and Family Directorate

Her Majesty's Courts Service

  This identifies a failure to obtain paternity testing statistics from the UK's family courts system: "... unfortunately this Department does not keep a central record of DNA tests ordered by the courts and no data regarding the total number of tests ordered by the courts or of their results is collected centrally by DCA.... the Department is not obliged to comply with your request".  
1998 - 2005 "Letter from the CSA - paternity testing"

Child Support Agency (of Great Britain)


14 - 19

Negative tests for the following financial years:

1998/1999: 15.2%. 1999/2000: 19.8%. 2000/2001: 14.0%. 2001/2002: 14.2%. 2002/2003: 16.6%. 2003/2004: 15.4%. 2004/2005: 15.4%.

(Mean: about 16%. Figures prior to 1998 are available).

1997 - 2005 "Letter from the NI CSA - paternity testing"

Child Support Agency (of Northern Ireland)


6 - 23

Negative tests for the following financial years:

1997/1998: 21.3%. 1998/1999: 14.6%. 1999/2000: 16.9%. 2000/2001: 20.7%. 2001/2002: 6.1%. 2002/2003: 18.9%. 2003/2004: 8.7%. 2004/2005: 23.1%.

(Mean: 16.5%. Only 65% of referrals actually took the test).

There are vast numbers of informal sources, but nearly all of them are secondary or worse. These are a few that do not simply quote the above sources.


Barbara Katz Rothman, "Recreating Motherhood: Ideology and Technology in a Patriarchal Society"



"A fair percentage of us, it turns out, are not genetically related to the men we grew up with as fathers anyway. Some physicians doing tissue typing for organ donations estimate that maybe 20 percent of people are not genetically related to the men who claim fatherhood; others say it is less, perhaps as low as 5 percent".



MICHAEL SCHMIDT, "DIY paternity tests raise questions - Quick genetic check makes life easy - or does it?".

The Durban Sunday Times



"A quarter of a century ago, a scientist conducting unrelated blood type research in a southern English town found about 30 percent of the children were not related to their fathers.

The Sunday Telegraph recently reported that Professor John Burns, a geneticist at Newcastle University, argued that the figure was closer to 10 percent".



Brooks Egerton, " DNA tests alter legal landscape for dads - Man supports sons not biologically his".

The Dallas Morning News




"DNA Diagnostics Center … an industry leader, says 30 percent of the men it tests prove to be misidentified. Similar numbers come from the Texas attorney general's office, which enforces child support: About a quarter of the men who disputed paternity in the last year turned out to be right. In Florida, the proportion was one-third".



Lois Rogers, Medical Correspondent, "One in seven fathers 'not the real parent'".

The Sunday Times


"David Hartshorne, spokesman for Cellmark, said that in about one case in seven, the presumed father turns out to be the wrong man".



NICHOLAS WADE (THE NEW YORK TIMES), "If Anatomy Is Destiny, Then Men Can Expect Unfaithful Mates".

The Santa Barbara News-Press


15 - 25

"For the population as a whole, "The generic number used by us is 10 percent," said Dr. Bradley Popovich, vice president of the American College of Medical Genetics.

[15 to 25 % has been determined from blood tests of parents and offspring in Canada and the US.]"



Walter H. Schneider and Candis McLean, " Pregnant on the sly - The practice of falsely attributing fatherhood is rising among women".

The REPORT Newsmagazine



"The rate of wrongful paternity in "stable monogamous marriages," according to the Max Planck Institute in Munich, Germany, ranges from one in 10 with the first child to one in four with the fourth".



ALEXANDRA GILL, "Say cheese!".

The Globe and Mail


"Anecdotal evidence suggests these numbers bear out in Canada as well…. Maxxam Analytics in Guelph, Ont., performs approximately two paternity tests a day. and according to Dr. Wayne Murray, head of the human DNA department, one out of four men who come in pointing a finger at their spouse is not the biological father of the child in question".



Anthony Browne, health editor, "Women are promiscuous, naturally".

The Observer


"One study followed couples waiting for NHS fertility treatment, where the men were 'azoospermic', meaning they produced no sperm and were totally infertile. The researchers found that 25 per cent of the women became pregnant before fertility treatment started".



Letter to Allison Giles, Chief of Staff, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means.

DADS of Michigan





"However, recent data demonstrates that nearly a third of all paternity tests EXCLUDE the alleged father . Additional research indicates that at least 10% of marital births EXCLUDE the husband ".

(In fact, the "nearly a third" are given above as "The overall exclusion rate for 1999 was 28.2% for accredited labs. Exclusion rates for non-accredited US and foreign labs were slightly less at 22.7% and 20.6% respectively". The source of "at least 10%" is not given).

: Annual Report Summary 1999: American Association of Blood Banks

2002 Steve Jones, book, "Y: The Descent of Man". 10 Chapter 6: "In one clinic, a tenth of the women who came for help became pregnant even as their partners stayed sterile. They had taken their destiny into their own hands".

Chapter 7: "The figure of one in ten once much quoted by geneticists seems to be no more than an urban myth".



"Getting Human Nature Right", A Talk With Helena Cronin.

Edge 73

1 - 30

"And it turns out that misattributed paternity is as minimal as 1% among very high-status American males but up to 30% among unemployed, deprived, inner-city males."

2004-07-31 Steve Crandall, "hot mormon genes"


"Mormon genes are subject of major research study", By Kirk Johnson.

The New York Times, August 07, 2004


"In Utah, or at least in the families at the heart of the various genetics studies over the years, the rate of "nonpaternity," as it is called, is less than 1 percent, private industry researchers and University of Utah scientists say. "They stick to their knitting," said Mark Skolnick, the chief scientist at Myriad Genetic Inc."


Greg Callaghan, "Whose Baby? - Who's your Daddy?".

The Australian Magazine, quoted on Men's Rights Agency web site.




"The Australian Medical Association says that in at least 200, 000 families "the presumptive father is not the biological father".

In the US, it is estimated that this is the case for up to one in ten people.

In Australia, about one in four men taking paternity tests discovers he is not the father of his children.

According to a US survey, up to 30 per cent of unwed mothers who sign affidavits of paternity name the wrong man as the father."


TIM HUME. "DNA tests show 1 in 3 dads duped".

Sunday Star Times. (New Zealand).


3 - 20

10 - 20

"DNA Solutions ... says it tests about 15 kiwi men a month. In 30 per cent of cases, the samples did not match - meaning the man was not the child's father.

"The 30 per cent mark is higher than New Zealand's estimates of "misattributed paternity".... That estimate ranges from 3 per cent to 20 per cent.

"Stuart Birks, director of Massey University's Centre for Public Policy Evaluation, said low-income men were more likely to be raising someone else's child without knowing it. Nationally, a rate of 10 per cent is highly likely, it could be as high as 20 per cent".

2005-05-20 XINHUA online, "Paternity tests cautioned" 20 Lu Huiling, Director of the forensic medicine service center in Beijing's Zhongshan University: "80 percent conducted tests proved to have consanguinity, which means only 20 percent of children tested were not kin to their "father"" . (Based on more than 1, 300 paternity tests for the public last year, a 10 percent increase over 2003, and 20 times more than the figure of 1998, when the paternity test service was first open to the public).  
2005-05-22 (Australia) Sunday Mail, ELISSA DOHERTY, "Secret DNA tests on rise" 20 Melbourne-based DNA Solutions: "In 20 per cent of cases, the man tested was not the biological father".  
2005-05-30 News Guangdong, More couples turn to DNA tests in Shenzhen 11 "almost in nine out of 10 cases, the suspicion turns out to be false"  
2005-10-02 Boston Herald, "'Pop?' The question" 17 Massachusetts: "Of the 1, 838 children genetically tested in paternity cases before 14 Probate and Family courts involving the state Department of Revenue during fiscal year 2005, 17 percent of men were ruled out as fathers of the children in question".  
2006-01-04 CRIENGLISH.com, "Migrant dads return home suspicious"

Xinhua News Agency, "Migrant dads return home suspicious"

Chinadaily.com.cn, "Migrant dads return home suspicious"

10 - 20 "As Spring Festival draws near, migrant workers are heading home for family reunions after a year of hard work. But for some of them, the happy moment is shadowed with a sense of suspicion over the fidelity of their long-separated spouses. This explains the rising number of paternity tests at this time of the year".

About 90 per cent of those who bring their children for tests are fathers. 80 per cent of the tests ... done since ... 2001 have shown positive results, proving the suspicious father is the biological father of the baby.


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