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  Home -> Paternity Testing FAQs -> Sample Collection

Sample Collection

  1. Do you have a sample collection location near me?

  2. What happens if the tested parties live in different cities or states?

  3. What types of samples do you use?

  4. How soon can I have my sample collected?

  5. What do I need to bring to the appointment?

  6. What will happen at the sample collection appointment?

  7. Is there a minimum age for collecting a DNA sample?

  8. What is the preferred sample collection method for DNA paternity testing?

  9. Why are DNA buccal swabs preferred?

  10. Is there a different in accuracy between buccal swabs and blood?

  11. Is it necessary to have all the sample types be the same when doing a paternity test?

  12. Is there scientific literature that addresses the use of buccal swabs for DNA paternity testing?

 




  1. Do you have a sample collection location near me?


  2. We have an extensive network of sample collection sites that covers all U.S. states and Canadian provinces. We also have numerous collection sites in other countries around the world. When you call, one of our case managers will search our databases to find local appointments that are convenient for all the tested parties. We will schedule your appointment at the time and place that work best for you.

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  3. What happens if the tested parties live in different cities or states?


  4. We can schedule separate appointments for any or all of the participants in a paternity test. We have thousands of collection sites all over the United States and Canada, and we can usually schedule a convenient appointment close to your work or home.

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  5. What types of samples do you use?


  6. Most of the time, the samples we test are buccal swabs, or cheek swabs. Buccal swabbing is a quick and painless procedure that involves rubbing a cotton-like swab against the inside of the patient’s cheek.

    We can test a number of other types of samples as well.


    In a prenatal paternity test, for example, we will examine a blood sample collected from the Mother, or other DNA samples through chorionic villi sampling or amniocentesis.
    In a case involving a deceased individual, we can test a blood or tissue sample that has been stored at the coroner’s or medical examiner’s office. However, we first need to perform a viability test on the sample to make sure it contains sufficient DNA for testing.

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  7. How soon can I have my sample collected?


  8. Because we have sample collection sites all over the United States and Canada, we will be able to schedule an appointment for you quickly—often on the same day that you call. Please call 1-800-613-5768 to set up your case right away.

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  9. What do I need to bring to the appointment?


  10. All adult test participants must bring a valid government-issued ID—such as a driver’s license, state ID, military ID, or passport—to the sample collection appointment. For minors, a birth certificate, Social Security card, or hospital birth record is sufficient. In addition, the child’s legal custodian will have to sign a consent form allowing the minor to be tested.

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  11. What will happen at the sample collection appointment?



  12. When you arrive at your appointment, you will need to present proper identification, which the sample collector will verify and photocopy.

    After you are properly identified, you will need to sign a form giving your consent for the test. If you are the legal custodian of a tested minor, you will have to sign the form on behalf of the child.

    The collector will collect your DNA samples using simple buccal swabs—cotton-like swabs that he or she will rub against the inside of your cheek to gather loose cheek cells. The collector will then send all the samples to our laboratory.

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  13. Is there a minimum age for collecting a DNA sample?



  14. No. Because DNA is set at conception and generally does not change, a paternity test can be performed on a person of any age—even on a sample from an unborn child (through prenatal testing). At birth, blood from the umbilical cord can be taken for use as a DNA sample source, or a buccal swab can be collected from the newborn.

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  15. What is the preferred sample collection method for DNA paternity testing?



  16. Buccal swabs are the most common source of biological samples for Paternity relationship testing using DNA test methods. According to the most recent Annual Report from the AABB for accredited Relationship Testing Laboratories, over 99.9% of DNA samples are buccal swabs.

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  17. Why are DNA buccal swabs preferred?



  18. The sample collection process is non-invasive, quick, and painless, no needles are used and there is no puncture of the skin.
    The DNA isolated from the buccal cells is viable for an extended time if stored properly. The buccal swabs after sample collection do not require refrigeration, but should be thoroughly air-dried prior to packaging and shipment to the laboratory.
    It is easier to extract DNA from buccal swabs than blood.
    Patients usually are more willing to undergo a buccal swab sample collection than a blood collection.
    Buccal swab samples are easier to collect and do not require specialized training like a phlebotomist for a blood collection.

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  19. Is there a difference in accuracy between buccal swabs and blood?



  20. No. DNA is the same in every cell of a person’s body, regardless of whether it is a blood cell or buccal cell. It has been demonstrated that DNA from a blood or buccal swab sample from the same person produces identical Paternity test results.

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  21. Is it necessary to have all the sample types be the same when doing a paternity test?



  22. No. If a buccal cell sample cannot be collected from all of the individuals participating in a test, that is okay. DNA paternity testing can be performed on a wide range of samples and not all parties participating in the test have to have the same sample type.

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  23. Is there scientific literature that addresses the use of buccal swabs for DNA paternity testing?



  24. Yes, the scientific literature is clear that DNA samples from blood and buccal swabs produce identical results from DNA testing. The following lists several of such articles:

    • 1. Thomas O. Hansen. 2007. Collection of Blood, Saliva, and Buccal Cell Samples in a Pilot Study on the Danish Nurse Cohort: Comparison of the Response Rate and Quality of Genomic DNA. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.

    • 2. Guangyun Sun, Mary Haverbusch, Sabbarao Indugula, Lisa Martin, Joseph Broderick, Ranjan Deka, Daniel Woo. 2007. Quality Assessment of Buccal Versus Blood Genomic DNA Using the Affymetrix 500 K GeneChip. BioMed Central.

    • 3. Alex Livy, Sayhean Lye, Chahil Jagdish, Nurul Hanis, Velapasamy Sharmila, Lian Ler, and Bagali Pramod. 2011. Evaluation of Quality of DNA Extracted from Buccal Swabs for Microarray Based Genotyping. Indiana Journal of Clinical Biochemistry.

    • 4. E. Milne, F. van Bockmeer, L. Robertson, J. Brisbane, L Ashton, B Armstrong. 2006. Buccal DNA Collection: Comparison of Buccal Swabs with FTA Cards. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.

    • 5. STR Amplification of DNA from Buccal and Blood Samples Stored Long-Term on Whatman FTA Cards. 2011. GE Healthcare Life Sciences Application Note.
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