Frequently Asked Questions

+Can the paternity test be performed without the mother?

YES. You can obtain accurate results without testing the mother. However, in a small percentage of cases, not including the mother’s sample can lead to inconclusive results, therefore it is always recommended to include the mother in the test, if she is available.

+Is a blood sample required?

NO. Paternity testing can be performed using a buccal (cheek) swab. It is completely non-invasive, painless and convenient.

+How are the 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 mother should also be sampled, however this is not mandatory for an accurate analysis.

+Are you collecting saliva for analysis when a buccal swab is done?

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

+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.

+How old must a child be to perform DNA testing?

There are no age restrictions. DNA testing can be performed on individuals of any age. Newborns can be tested using either a buccal (cheek) swab or umbilical cord blood – both are easy and painless procedures.

+Can a paternity test be performed before the child is born?

Yes. Our lab now offers state-of-the-art pre-natal paternity testing. From as early as the 9th week of pregnancy, we can perform this test. The test requires a blood draw from both the mother and the alleged father. Since the mother’s blood actually contains fragments of the fetal blood, the lab will identify the fetal blood and compare it to the alleged father’s blood, to determine paternity.

+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.

+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, tissue specimens from previous surgeries or an autopsy may be used, his parents can be tested to determine if they are grandparents, or the body can be exhumed and a tissue sample taken for testing.

+What if the mother and alleged father are related?

It does not matter, the results are still valid.

+What if the two alleged fathers are related (i.e brothers, father-son)?

It is possible for both individuals to have the same or similar genetic markers, therefore both of the alleged fathers need to be tested. If one of them is not available for testing, the laboratory should be informed of these circumstances, as extended marker testing may have to be performed.

+Can the alleged father’s test results be used in another paternity case?

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

+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.

+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.

+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.

+How long does it take to get my test results?

Once we receive your samples, results will be available in approximately 2 business days. For those needing faster service, express testing is also available.

+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 certified third 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.

+Are my results admissible in court?

YES. As long as you choose the LEGAL Paternity Test.

+Do I need a doctor’s or attorney’s order to have the paternity test performed?

Only if you live in New York. New York State law, requires a New York licensed physician’s prescription, a New York attorney’s order or a government order for all paternity testing. Clinical laboratories cannot perform analysis of samples without the original New York prescription, New York attorney order or government order. We can arrange all of this for you.

+Is paternity testing covered by health insurance?

NO. Paternity testing is not considered a medically necessary procedure and therefore is not covered.

+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.

+How will I receive my results?

Reports are sent by email / fax (as requested) to each adult tested and their designated representative.  Reports are also sent via US mail for legal tests.  Due to the sensitive and confidential nature of the test, results will not be given over the telephone.

+What if I have more questions or want to order a test?

Call us at 1-844-DNA-DADS (844-362-3237) and we will make all of the arrangements for you, nationwide.