FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING
DNA TESTING AND PATERNITY TESTING
1. What is paternity?
Paternity means fatherhood. Paternity is established when a paternity testing laboratory uses genetic testing methods / DNA test, to demonstrate to a legal standard, that an alleged father is the biological father. Paternity is disproved when these same methods and standards demonstrate that an alleged father is not the biological father.
2. What is DNA testing?
DNA testing refers to the process of examining an individual’s DNA markers for the purpose of genetic human identification and for determining the relationship between two people.
3. How accurate is DNA-Based paternity testing?
The DNA profiling method is an extremely accurate genetic testing method. It can absolutely determine if the man is not the biological father and reliably exclude him. DNA profiling can establish that the alleged father is the child’s biological father with a probability of paternity of 99.99% or higher. Each year many individual clients, child support offices, attorneys, judges and physicians choose Genetic Profiles as their source for information, guidance and testing services in order to determine paternity.
4. Are the results admissible in court?
Yes. The laboratory follows a strict chain-of-custody procedure which allows for court/legal admissibility. If you are interested in other types of DNA testing, please contact our Client Services Department at 1 (800)551-7763 for information.
5. Is the Lab accredited? Are the results reliable?
The DNA testing laboratory used by Genetic Profiles is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks(AABB)for the purpose of performing paternity (parentage) tests. Your paternity test will be processed by highly skilled and trained laboratory technicians. Every test is evaluated by a Ph.D. scientist with several years specializing in DNA genetic testing.
6. How long does it take to receive results from the paternity test?
It typically takes about 3-4 working days to complete the testing. In cases where the mother’s sample is not included or when an abnormal/difficult sample is used, testing may require more time. For specific information on the time required for your test, please contact Client Services at (800) 551-7763.
7. Are the paternity test results confidential?
Yes, The DNA test results are strictly confidential. They are released only to the adult persons who were tested and, as requested, to their authorized agents (e.g. attorneys).
8. How does DNA paternity testing work?
DNA analysis, which has proven to be a major advance in the field of paternity testing, involves the direct examination of the genetic material that a child inherited from its biological parents. DNA is located throughout the human body and in the same identical form. Thus, DNA in blood is the same as that in skin, cheek lining, muscle, bone, teeth and various other tissues. The DNA of a person is fully established at conception and remains totally constant throughout life. During the paternity testing process, the genetic characteristics of the child are first compared to those of its mother. Those characteristics in the child that cannot be found in the mother have been inherited from the biological father. If the tested man (alleged father) does not have the genetic characteristics necessary to be the biological father of the child, he is excluded. If the tested man’s DNA does contain those genetic characteristics, then the probability that this man is the true biological father is calculated and reported by the laboratory.
9. What are some of the reasons DNA testing is conducted?
There are many legal and personal reasons that require DNA testing. Some of the more common include:
peace of mind
family medical concerns
inheritance/benefits (social security, insurance, etc.)
crime scene analysis (forensic testing)
10. Can I do anything to alter the results of the test?
No, you can not alter the results of a test. Medication, drugs, alcohol, food, age or lifestyle can not alter the DNA pattern within an individual.
11. How does DNA paternity testing work using a Buccal Swab?
A buccal swab is a specialized applicator with a sponge, cotton or Dacron tip. The applicator is rubbed on the inside of the cheek to collect epithelial cells. This procedure is non-invasive and painless.
12. What kinds of samples are needed for DNA testing?
Genetic Profiles frequently uses a cheek swab collection (buccal swab) since it is easy to obtain, completely non-invasive, painless, and is just as accurate as blood samples. Almost any biological sample could be used since DNA is located everywhere throughout the body in the same form and structure as it is detected and recorded by paternity testing methods.
13. What is the difference between a blood test and a mouth/cheek (buccal) swab?
A buccal swab sample is just as accurate as a blood sample. The advantages of using buccal swab collections are that they are non-invasive, painless, quick and easy.
14. Can hair samples be used for DNA paternity testing?
Yes. However hair samples must have the root follicle intact. For the follicle to remain intact, it generally requires the hair to be pulled directly from the scalp. If this is your preferred method of collection, please contact our client services department for additional information.
15. How old does the child need to be for paternity determination?
There is no age limit with DNA Profiling. Children who are just a few days old can be tested using buccal swab sample collection. Newborns are readily tested by collecting blood from the umbilical cord on the day of birth. Also, DNA paternity testing can be performed on unborn children during pregnancy by using the mother’s blood sample in a non-invasive procedure. Under special circumstances where fetal or maternal health are directly involved, amniotic fluids or CVS samples can be used to determine paternity.
16. Can paternity testing be done without a specimen from the mother?
Yes, it is possible to perform DNA paternity testing by comparing DNA profiles from only the child and an alleged father when the mother is unavailable. However, Genetic Profiles strongly recommends that the mother be included in the testing whenever possible. If the child is a minor, it is absolutely required that the legal guardian provide consent for the child to provide a sample and be tested. If the child is at least 18 years old this consent is not required. Motherless paternity testing could require additional time to complete.
17. Who needs to be tested?
For a paternity DNA test, the mother, the child and the alleged father. We can accurately test for paternity without the mother’s sample but this may require additional analysis by our testing laboratory.
18. What if I want to test more than one child or alleged father?
If the additional child or alleged father is tested along with the other participants, the additional fee is only $125 per person. Please see our Fee Schedule or contact the Client Services Department at (800)551-7763 for additional information.
19. What if the two possible fathers are related?
When possible, both men should be tested at the same time. Relatives have similar DNA patterns, but the laboratory will always perform enough tests to completely resolve the paternity issue. It is important that you inform us of the situation when you order your test.
20. What if one of the parties lives in some other city, state, or country?
Genetic Profiles can coordinate and accomplish a sample collection in virtually any city in the United States and in many foreign countries. Clients can provide specimens at one of Genetic Profiles’ many established paternity specimen collection sites or the collection can be done at a medical center, hospital, clinic or physician’s office. Genetic Profiles coordinates the entire specimen collection procedure. Once the specimen is collected and placed in the Genetic Profiles kit, it is sent to our paternity laboratory by overnight courier, which maintains the chain of custody of the specimens. The samples are united once they all have arrived at our testing laboratory. Samples collected early can be stored as DNA for as long as necessary until the last required sample is collected. Since the parties involved may provide specimens at different times and/or different locations, each individual participating in the testing can be scheduled at their convenience.
21. Where do I go to have my sample collected?
Generally, you will be scheduled by Genetic Profiles at a medical facility or laboratory in your area to have your sample collected. The samples are safely shipped by overnight courier to our paternity laboratory
22. How many paternity tests / DNA tests has Genetic Profiles performed?
Genetic Profiles has performed over 18,000 DNA tests. The laboratory used is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks(AABB) for the purpose of performing paternity (parentage) tests. Your paternity test will be processed by highly skilled and trained laboratory technicians. Every test is evaluated by a Ph.D. scientist with over 20 years specializing in DNA genetic testing.
23. Who gets the test results?
Typically, all adults over age 18 who are tested are eligible to receive a copy of the test results. In addition, individuals representing tested parties, such at attorneys, can receive a copy of the report at the request of a test participant. Let Client Services know if you have special requirements and we will work with you to meet your needs.
24. Can I get the test done before the baby is born?
Yes, we do offer prenatal testing. Prenatal testing is significantly more expensive. DNA paternity testing can be performed on unborn children during pregnancy by using the mother’s blood sample in a non-invasive procedure. Also, under special circumstances where fetal or maternal health are directly involved, amniotic fluids or CVS samples can be used to determine paternity. Here, the mother must have an obstetrical procedure (for example, amniocentesis) in order to obtain a sample on the fetus. Genetic Profiles will assist you with information and coordination.
25. Can paternity testing be done without a specimen from the Mother?
Yes. We can accurately test without the mother’s sample, however this may require additional analysis by the laboratory. Since one half of the child’s DNA comes from the mother, we prefer to include her in the test if possible.
26. Can testing be done if the alleged father is missing or deceased?
Yes. Other relatives, such as the alleged father’s parents, can replace him in the test if necessary. At times, biological samples from a deceased person can be obtained from a hospital or the coroner’s office. For additional information, please contact our Client Services department at (800) 551-7763.
27. Do I need a doctor’s order to have a paternity test performed?
No. A doctor’s order is generally not required for you to have a paternity test conducted.
New York residents please note: New York State rules and regulations allows a clinical laboratory to examine specimens only at the request of a licensed physician or other persons authorized by law to use the findings of laboratory examinations in their practice or in the performance of their official duties. In the State of New York you need a physician’s prescription to obtain a paternity test or other genetic relationship test. We can assist you with this process. Please contact our Client Services team for the latest information.
28. What does DNA testing cost?
Please see our Fee Schedule. The Client Services department will be pleased to answer any additional pricing/cost questions that you may have. Call us toll free at: 1 (800) 551-7763.
29. What forms of payment does Genetic Profiles accept?
Fees for testing are prepaid by money order, cashier’s check, attorney’s trust account check, MasterCard (debit or credit), Visa (debit or credit), American Express or Discover card.
(No personal checks please.)
30. How do I get an appointment?
First, contact Genetic Profiles by calling toll-free 1 (800) 551-7763. A member of our Client Services department will assist you in initiating the testing process and setting up your appointment. At that time you will be asked to provide the names, addresses and telephone numbers (if appropriate) of the parties to be tested, as well as the age of the child. We can also email, fax or mail you our brochure on paternity testing, our Paternity Test Order Form, or any additional information you may want.