DNA Testing for Paternity, Maternity, Sibling and Immigration

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DNA Identifiers has been offering clients peace of mind since 2001. Our service is quick, confidential and compassionate. We are commited to excellence in customer service!

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Facts About DNA Paternity Testing


1. Can The Paternity Test Be Performed Without The Mother?

YES and NO. The truth is – It is possible to obtain accurate results without including the mother in the DNA test. However, in a small percentage of cases, not including the mother’s DNA, in any test at any lab, can lead to inconclusive results or inaccurate results. Therefore it is always recommended to include the mother in the test, if she is available and willing to participate. For more detailed information on why it is important to incude the mother, please click: Why Paternity Testing Should Include the Child’s Mother.

2. Is a Blood Sample Required For DNA Testing? Is A Blood DNA Test Better That Cheek Swab DNA Test?

NO, you do not need to DNA test blood. Now a days, the standard for all DNA testing is a DNA collection using a cheek swab, or buccal swab (pronounced buckle) which, after rubbing on the inside lining of the mouth’s cheeks, collect the skin cells called buccal cells. It is completely non-invasive, painless and convenient. WHY? Your DNA is the same all over your body, the DNA does not change based on the location. When blood is used for DNA we are testing the white blood cells, which is a component of the blood. When we test cheek buccal cells, we are testing the skin cells that are rubbed off of the cheek. Therefore, both types of cells contain the same genetic material and information and will be equally accurate.
Blood is harder to collect, more painful and exposes everyone, including laboratory technicians, to blood bone pathogens and diseases. Blood, on it’s own in a container with no stabilizers or preservatives, can go bad very quickly because the white blood cells can break down within the blood solution. However, cheek cells, when collected on a q-tip, dried and stored in a cool, dry location, such as a desk drawer, can last for a very long time. Furthermore, most professionals and lab techs would prefer not to have to deal with human blood as it is considered to be a possible biohazard and it known to be a carrier of many diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis.

3. Are You Collecting Saliva For Analysis When a Buccal Swab Is Performed?

NO. While saliva is collected on the swab, it is actually the epithelial (cheek) cells that are being collected for analysis.

4. How Are DNA Samples Collected?

A sterile swab, very similar to a q-tip, is rubbed on the inside of the cheek from the child and the alleged father. (If practical, the child’s mother should be swabbed and included in the test for more accurate results.) This action collects genetic material, in the way of skin cells, from inside the mouth. These medical grade Q-tips are typically 6 inches long with plastic stems and Dacron or Polyester absorbant heads. Using this kind of tool, the cellular material will stick to the head, but moisture will be as readily absorbed. While store bought cotton Q-tips can be used to collect DNA samples, cotton will absorb more moisture. We have you place the completed swab in a paper envelope for storage and shipping. Paper is used instead of plastic bags or tubes because it will whisk away remaining moisture and allow the swab to breathe and, ultimately, dry. This is important as a moist, air-locked environment is prime for growing bacteria which eats the DNA, in turn destroying it and preventing us from obtaining a viable sample.

5. Is the Cheek/Buccal Swab Accurate?

YES. Because DNA is the same in every cell in your body, analysis performed on cheek cells is just as accurate as analysis performed on blood.

6. At What Age Can A Child Be DNA Tested?

There are no age restrictions. DNA testing can be performed on children and individuals of any age. Newborns can be tested using either a buccal (cheek) swab or umbilical cord blood, both are easy and painless procedures. We can also preform prenatal, before birth paternity tests!

7. Can A Paternity Test Be Performed Before The Child Is Born?

Yes. We are able to perform both non-invasive and invasive before birth Prenatal DNA Paternity Tests. Non-invasive is a blood collection performed on both the mother and possible father. We use the fetal cells and white blood cells to perform analysis. Invasive uses two procedures by which to collect prenatal DNA samples; Chorionic Villi Sampling (CVS), performed at ~10-13 weeks of pregnancy or Amniocentesis at ~14-24 weeks of age. All invasive procedures involve some medical risk, therefore any mother interested in prenatal testing should consult with her OB/GYN before moving forward with this type of testing.

8. Can Paternity Testing Also Show If The Mother Is Not Really The Mother?

YES. Although it’s rare, there have been several cases in which non-maternity has been found while
performing a routine paternity test. This is because we use the mother in the test to eliminate her half of the DNA, thereby just leaving the DNA from the father remaining to test. If the mother does not match the child, then we know that she is not the mother of the child.

9. Can Parentage Be Determined When The Alleged Father Is Deceased?

YES. There are several options. Blood or buccal samples collected at the time of death can be used, as well as tissue specimens from previous surgeries or an autopsy. The possible father’s parents can be tested in place of him in order to determine if they are grandparents. It is best to test both parents of that male in order to complete his whole genetic makeup. If both are not available, then just testing one grandparent is possible, but you should include the mother of the child for the best result. Also, if the male has not been cremated, his body may be exhumed and a tissue or bone sample taken by a forensic pathologist for DNA testing.

10. What If The Mother And Alleged Father Are Related?

It does not matter, the results are still valid and true. Both the mother and father would match their child at every genetic location even if they are related.

11. What if The Two Alleged Fathers Are Related (i.e Brothers, Father and Son)?

It is possible for both individuals to have the same or similar genetics markers, therefore the laboratory should be informed of these circumstances, as extended testing may have to be performed. Also, it is always best to test both possible fathers to see which match is stronger.

12. Can The Alleged Father’s Test Results Be Used In Another Paternity Case?

YES. But ONLY if the alleged father agrees to it in writing or there is a court order mandating it.

13. What If The Mother, Child And Alleged Father(s) Live In Different Cities/States?

We can accommodate each participant of the same test with separate appointment times (for legal tests) and or locations across the U.S. If you are utilizing a private paternity test we can split the kit up and send each portion to a different address. Each kit is identified by a unique laboratory accession number so that all samples can be tested together once received back in the laboratory.

14. Can Different Biological Specimens Such As A Buccal Swab From A Child And A Blood Sample From An Adult Be Used For The Same Test?

YES. Because DNA is the same in every cell in your body, analysis performed on cheek cells is the same as analysis performed on blood cells.

15. Can I Change My DNA By Drinking Alcohol Or Taking Drugs?

NO. DNA patterns are not altered by such things as drinking, eating, medication, or age. However, individuals who have had a bone marrow transplant should provide a buccal (cheek) sample instead of blood, since the transplant introduces donor DNA into the blood.

16. How Long Does It Take To Get My Test Results?

Once the lab receives your parentage test samples, results will be available in approximately 2 business days. For those needing faster service, express testing is also available.

17. Are The DNA Test Results Admissible In Court?

YES. As long as you choose the LEGAL Paternity Testing option.

18. What Is The Difference Between A Private Paternity Test And A Legal Paternity Test?

The primary difference between the two types of tests is the sample collection method. Private paternity test samples can be collected by the test participants, without any witnesses and are not accredited by AABB at any laboratory. Legal paternity test samples are collected by a disinterested 3rd party, where your identification will be verified, and a photograph may be taken. The purpose of these stringent procedures is to ensure that the participants are who they say they are. Legal tests are accredited by AABB.

19. Do I Need A Doctor’s Prescription Or Attorney’s Order To Have The Paternity Test Performed?

NO, unless you live in New York. While many cases do involve doctors and attorney’s, you are not required to have an order. You can order paternity testing yourself through our website. New York State law, requires a licensed physician’s prescription or a court order for all paternity testing. Clinical laboratories cannot perform analysis of samples without the original prescription or court order.

20. Can You Accept Samples From New York?

YES. The lab is authorized to perform DNA Parentage/Identity Testing on samples originating in the State of New York by the New York State Department of Health, PFI: 8237.

20. Is Paternity Testing Covered By Health Insurance?

NO. Paternity testing is not considered a medically necessary procedure and therefore it is not covered by medical insurance.

21. How Do You Handle The Confidentiality Of Each Test?

Information of any kind regarding your test will only be available to the individuals tested or other designated representative(s) (i.e. Attorneys) when a written authorization is provided. Also, due to the sensitive and confidential nature of the test we will only release results for the DNA test by the donor or guardian’s written instruction on the Results Release form, which we provide with each test.

22. How Will I Receive My Results?

Using your Results Release form, DNA test results reports are sent by any of the following that you elect: Telephone call, email, fax and mail, to each adult tested and their designated representative. 

23. Does The Test Have To Be Paid For All At Once?

YES. Testing will not be completed and results will not be issued until the test has been paid for in full.

24. Which Forms Of Payment Do You Accept?

We accept personal checks*, cashier’s checks, money orders, debit cards, MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. You also have the option to pay with cash if you visit our Portland, OR office. *Payment with a personal check may result in delayed reporting pending clearance of the check.

25. What If I Have More Questions?

If you have more questions or would like a free consultation, please either call us toll free at 888-362-4339 or Email Us.

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