DNA Test Frequently Asked Questions

Below are DNA test frequently asked questions; how they are used, why they’re important, what they’re used for, how the samples are collected, and how they can help you. For more information about fee schedules and ordering, you can call 800-831-0178.

What is a DNA Paternity Test?

A paternity test compares the DNA of a child to that of his mother and alleged father to show the probability of whether or not the man is or is not the biological father of the child. The child and the alleged father can be tested alone but it is preferred to test the mother as well whenever possible.

Do I need a doctor’s order?

A doctor’s order is not required unless the DNA identity or relationship tests are being performed on a New York resident. In compliance with New York state law, The DNA Clinic must require a prescription, court order, or ordering by other authorized persons to perform tests on New York residents.

Do I need an attorney or court order?

An attorney or court order is not required if all parties involved agree to participate. However, In compliance with New York state law, The DNA Clinic must require a prescription, court order, or ordering by other authorized persons to perform tests on New York residents.

Can a DNA Paternity Test be done without the mother?

DNA Paternity Tests can be done without the mother; However, it is preferred that the mother also provide a DNA sample.

Can drug consumption or age effect results of the test?

No. A person’s DNA used in paternity testing does not change due to age or drug consumption.
What if there are two alleged fathers who are related to one another?
It is highly recommended to test both possible fathers if two related men are possible fathers of the child. It is important to notify the laboratory where the testing will take place that there are multiple possible fathers who are related, even if testing on both men cannot take place.

How is my personal information protected?

Your privacy and security are very important to us. When samples are completed at the collection sites, they are packaged in tamper-proof bags in preparation for shipping to our DNA testing laboratory. Entry into the DNA testing facility is only done so by restricted access. All computer systems are secured and all samples are bar-coded. Information on the case and any results are shared only with authorized individuals. Results are not released over the phone. As required by accreditation guidelines, all samples and DNA profiles are retained for a period of time, but are destroyed after the required storage period.

Can my DNA be used to test for any pre-existing conditions that may prevent me from receiving health care?

The DNA markers used for relationship testing are not known to provide information on specific physical or medical conditions that could affect health insurance coverage.

Why use The DNA Clinic?

For more than 30 years, The DNA Clinic has been the leader in the genetic testing field. We guarantee the quality of our results, and they come with speed, convenience, and most importantly, accuracy. We have a probability of paternity of either 99.99% or 0% with our results. Whether results are for personal use or are being used in a legal matter, The DNA Clinic has the support you need.

DNA Test Frequently Asked Questions – Specimen Collection

Can samples be collected in home?

In a non-legal test, the standard cheek swab testing may be collected at home or any other non-clinical setting. Such results are not intended for use in a court of law. Results using samples collected outside of a clinical setting are for personal use only.

Can I eat before the test?

Food consumption will not affect your DNA, however, food particles left inside the mouth could contaminate the sample collection. This may inhibit the extraction of DNA from the swab. If you have eaten recently, the collection technician will ask you to rinse out your mouth.

Who needs to be tested?

It is preferable to receiving testing from the child, alleged father, and the mother of the child. Testing is possible, however, without the mother’s sample, and in certain circumstances, such as when the alleged father is unavailable or deceased, it is possible to conduct a test using stored DNA samples from the alleged father or DNA from a close biological relative.

What types of samples are used for testing?

The cheek swab (buccal swab) is the standard sample taken for a paternity test. A long cotton swab is rubbed inside the inner cheek lining of a person’s mouth. Typically, four swabs are collected from each individual being tested.

Are buccal swabs as accurate as blood samples?

Both the buccal swabs and blood samples provide results with the same degree of accuracy. Because buccal swabs are easy and painless to collect, the majority of DNA paternity tests are done with them.

Is there a minimum age requirement for obtaining a sample?

There is no minimum age to collect a DNA sample. Buccal swabs and blood samples are both safe to collected from persons of all ages. Minors, however, must have consent from a legal guardian or a court order in order to collect the sample.

Where are samples collected?

One of our company-operated or contracted sites throughout North America will be where the samples from the DNA paternity test are collected.

Is there a collection site close to me?

The DNA Clinic consists of a nationwide network of more than 900 locations across the United States. There are no additional fees for samples collected at any of The DNA Clinic locations. The DNA Clinic is contracted with more than 10,000 collection sites globally, where additional fees may apply. Please use our Collection Site Locator to find a site near you.

Do all involved parties need to submit samples together?

All involved parties do not need to submit their samples together. Parties can provide samples at different times and from different cities or states. When placing your order, let us know if certain parties should be scheduled together or separately.

Can testing be done if one or more of the parties reside in different states?

Yes, all testing can be completed at different times and in different locations.

How is identity kept safe for the participants?

In a legal test, every involved adult party is required to provide government-issued photo identification at the time of collection. The individual collecting the specimen will examine the identification and will either record the information on the Chain of Custody form or they will make a photocopy to attach to the Chain of Custody form. A photograph is also taken of each party. Minor children will be identified through an official birth certificate and a government-issued photo ID if it is available.

What do I need to have with me at the appointment?

In a legal test, every adult being tested must bring government-issued photo identification (typically a driver’s license or a passport). If possible, government-issued identification should be provided for the child as well (usually a birth certificate).

DNA Test Frequently Asked Questions – Prenatal DNA

Are prenatal paternity tests available?

Your personal qualified medical practitioner can collect a sample prenatally of either amniotic fluid or using a chorionic villus sampling.

What is a Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)?

A CVS is a sample of the placenta that is collected during early pregnancy by a qualified medical practitioner.

What is amniocentesis?

Amniocentesis is a procedure in which a sample of amniotic fluid is collected during early pregnancy by a qualified medical practitioner.

Who collects a CVS or amniotic fluid sample?

Both sample types are collected by a physician. If prenatal testing will be completed, a collection kit with a Chain of Custody form as well as shipping instructions will be provided to your physician.

Does a physician need to collect samples from the parents?

The doctor can collect buccal swab samples from the alleged father and the mother. If the physician prefers not to, The DNA Clinic can arrange an appointment for the alleged father and the mother to give the samples at a local collection site.

Is a doctor’s order required for a prenatal test?

A doctor’s order is not generally required. However, if one of the involved individuals is a New York resident, in compliance with New York state law, The DNA Clinic must require a prescription or court order for all DNA identity and/or relationship tests performed by them.

Do I need an attorney or court order for a prenatal test?

If all parties involved agree to participate voluntarily, neither a court order or an attorney is required. However, if one of the involved individuals is a New York resident, in compliance with New York state law, The DNA Clinic must require a prescription or court order for all DNA identity and/or relationship tests performed by them.

Does the mother have to provide a sample in a prenatal paternity test?

Yes, a mother’s sample is required in all prenatal tests. The mother’s sample is tested to ensure that the sample from the fetus is pure and originates from the fetus, and not the mother.

DNA Test Frequently Asked Questions – Fees

How much is a DNA Test?

DNA test range in price. Many home test kits will cost $35 or less for the kit. Then you will pay another $80 to get it processed by the lab and

What does your fee include?

The DNA Clinic’s fee includes specimen collection at The DNA Clinic facility, shipment of the sample to our DNA laboratory, DNA analysis, the generation of written reports as well as the shipment of those reports to the tested parties by mail/email and to their attorneys, if applicable.

Do I have to pay an extra fee for specimen collection?

Fees included through The DNA Clinic include the specimen collection(s) when samples are collected at any of the The DNA Clinic locations. Collection fees may apply at other locations not associated with The DNA Clinic.

Is DNA paternity testing covered by health insurance?

DNA paternity testing is considered a non-medical test and is not covered by health insurance plans.

DNA Test Frequently Asked Questions – Results

How long does the test take?

Usually, the standard DNA paternity test takes 3-5 business days to provide results once all samples are received in our DNA testing laboratory.

What will the results indicate?

Results from The DNA Clinic usually provide a probability of paternity of either 0.00% or 99.99% or greater.

Will results be accepted in court?

The DNA Clinic is a fully accredited laboratory. Results of our legal DNA paternity test may be used in a legal matter and may also be accepted in a court of law, assuming the Chain of Custody form was completed according to the strict chain of custody guidelines held by The DNA Clinic. Results of a non-legal test are not intended for use in legal matters.

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