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FAQs — Before Taking a DNA Test

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  1. What should I look for in choosing a DNA testing company?
  2. Who needs to participate in a paternity test?
  3. Are there any age limits for paternity testing?
  4. What is the difference between in-home and legal tests?
  5. What samples are used in a DNA test?
  6. Is a court or doctor's order required to take a paternity test?
  7. How do you protect my privacy and keep the test confidential?

 

1. What should I look for in choosing a DNA testing company?

DNA testing is a complex process that must be performed by qualified and experienced staff in a laboratory that has the right equipment and strict quality control procedures. You want to look for laboratories that are at least accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks. Choose a laboratory with proven experience in DNA testing that guarantees conclusive results.

To learn more, please read the article, “Choosing a Paternity Testing Company.”

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2. Who needs to participate in a paternity test?

In a standard paternity test, samples are collected from the child, the alleged father, and the mother. This is called a trio. However, we can perform the test even without the mother when necessary. A motherless test requires additional analytical procedures, but we charge the same fee for a trio and a motherless, and the results are equally reliable.

If you need a paternity test for any legal purpose, please note that some courts might require that the mother participate in the test.

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3. Are there age limits for paternity testing?

There are no age limits for paternity testing. The buccal swab sampling procedure we use is safe even for the newborn babies.

DNA paternity testing can be performed even prior to the birth of a child. DNA testing can be done on samples taken through Chorionic Villi Sampling (CVS), which is generally performed during the 10th to 13th week of pregnancy, or through Amniocentesis, which is performed during the 14th to 24th week of pregnancy.

Either of these procedures would have to be performed by an OB/GYN. If the mother does not have an OB/GYN, we can assist her in locating a physician. We can complete the test and air-express the results within one week.

Any woman interested in prenatal DNA testing should discuss these procedures with an OB/GYN. For more details, please visit our Prenatal Testing page.

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4. What is the difference between in-home and legal tests?

The main difference between in-home and legal tests is that there is no Chain of Custody followed in the in-home test. A Chain of Custody is a legal documentation process that proves:

  • Samples are collected by a neutral third party, such as a clinic or laboratory
  • The individuals tested are positively identified (i.e. They presented a government-issued ID and are photographed and fingerprinted for records.).
  • The samples are carefully tracked throughout the process.
  • The tested parties sign a Client Identification and Consent Form (the minor’s consent form should be signed by the legal guardian)

A Chain of Custody is required for the DNA test results to be legally defensible (accepted by courts and other government agencies). However, many patients would like to take a test for personal knowledge, peace of mind, or curiosity, and they don't intend to use the results for legal purposes. The in-home test option allows them to take the test at a lower cost and in the privacy of their own homes.

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5. What samples are used in a DNA test?

We routinely use the painless buccal swab to collect samples. In this method, a cotton-like swab is rubbed inside the patient’s cheek to collect loose cells. This procedure is safe even for newborn babies.

We can also test other types of samples when necessary. DNA is the same regardless of the sample type (i.e. blood, hair root, preserved tissues, and others). For some samples, however, we first have to perform a viability test to see whether enough useful DNA is present. Please call 1-888-362-2592 to talk to our case managers about your specific situation.

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6. Is a court or doctor's order required to take a paternity test?

No. Private individuals may order a paternity test without a court or doctor’s order. Simply call us at 1-888-362-2592 to order a test, or visit our order page.

New York Residents: New York State Rules and Regulations allow a clinical laboratory to examine specimens only at the request of a licensed physician or a court order. If you live in New York, please call us at 1-888-362-2592 for a free consultation.

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7. How do you protect my privacy and keep the test confidential?

From the time you contact us online or via telephone, we take every means we can to respect and protect your privacy and confidentiality. We use advanced encryption technology so that the information you send through the Internet will not be accessible by any unauthorized parties. We also ask you for a password to help us verify your identity for any communications between you and us online or via telephone.

We only contact you through the method you specify—phone, email, or first class mail. Everything we mail out is sent in plain, unmarked envelopes to the address you designate in order to protect your privacy.

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GeneSys Biotech

DNA Technology Park
225 Corporate Court
Fairfield, Ohio 45014