DNA testing is undertaken to verify biological parentage, family history, or to check blood relationship in legal matters such as custody, child support, or inheritance.
In case you are taking a DNA paternity test just for the sake of knowledge or to find your family roots, a home paternity test can suffice. But for paternity tests that are ordered by a court, only a test in hospitals or labs recognized by the court is admissible.
DNA testing is an intricate process and requires precision. If you are aware of all the steps that it involves and can follow the process diligently, you can expect accurate results.
Here are a few tips to prepare for DNA testing:
- Approach a reputable and legally recognized laboratory.
The results of a sibling DNA test or a paternity test can have a great impact on your life and future. It is thus, important that you receive accurate, trustworthy results, in the first DNA test itself.
Also, if a DNA test has been ordered by a court, it is imperative that you get it done from a well-established, reputable DNA laboratory.
When choosing a lab, make sure that it has high-quality equipment, the latest technology, trained technicians, experience in DNA testing and the necessary certifications. Choose labs that have an AABB certification, which ensures high caliber, accurate results.
- Understand the different types of DNA testing.
Home DNA testing or Informational DNA testing is very common and less expensive than legal testing. This test is done at home and the results are not admissible in court. If you ask for Home DNA testing, you will receive a kit including everything (sterile buccal swabs, labelled envelopes, consent forms) that you will need to collect a sample and send it to the lab.
The Legal DNA test is more expensive and is needed to prove biological relationship in court for legal purposes. The samples for a Legal DNA test must be collected by a professional, who will verify participant identities, complete the paperwork, and send the sample to the lab for testing. A Legal DNA test must, at all times, follow the Chain of Custody as mentioned by the AABB, if the results are to be used and accepted in court.
- Be ready with all the paperwork.
Whether you are going for a sibling DNA test, paternity test to be used for legal matters or for the purpose of visa and immigration, you must have all the required documents ready for identification and verification, along with signed consent forms from all participating family members.
- Be aware of your timeline.
Usually, DNA test results are available in 2 or 3 days. But legal DNA testing that includes any forensic testing or special samples may take more time. DNA tests are expensive and although many testing companies do offer urgent testing, you should not rely on this. Take a DNA test well before your deadline, especially for legal matters or for visa procedures, so that you have time to receive the results and share them with the concerned authorities.