Paternity Testing Procedure
To start a paternity test, simply call 1-800-613-5768 or use the online order form. Our client service team will take your information and arrange for convenient sample appointments; we can schedule separate appointments for different parties if required.
At the Collection Site
All test participants are asked to present government-issued identification (such as a Driver’s License) and to complete a Client Identification and Consent Form. The legal guardian must sign this form for test participants who are minors. The sample collector takes fingerprints and photographs of all test participants.
Buccal Swab Collection
Samples for a DNA test, such as a paternity test, are routinely collected using the painless and simple buccal swab—similar to a cotton-tipped swab, but made of the special material Dacron®. The swab is rubbed against the inside cheek of the test participant, and loose cheek cells adhere to the swab. Unlike regular cotton swabs, Dacron® provides a consistent surface for sample collection and DNA extraction.
DNA Test in the Laboratory
The sample collector sends the swabs to our laboratory in a sealed, tamper-evident package. When samples arrive in our laboratory, our staff checks to see if the package seal is intact. Each sample is recorded into our database. When all the samples for a paternity test case have arrived, we start the DNA test, which follows the following five steps:
Paternity Test Report
- Samples from each person are divided in two for Dual Process™. From this point on, two independent laboratory teams take the samples through the DNA testing process.
- DNA is extracted from the buccal swabs and purified.
- The extracted DNA is added to a special chemical mix for the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), a process that targets 16 specific locations in the DNA (called loci) and makes billions of copies of each location.
- The products of PCR are analyzed to create a DNA profile, a genetic equivalent of a fingerprint for each tested party.
- The child’s DNA profile is compared with the alleged father’s, and statistical analysis is performed to determine the probability of paternity. A 0% probability of paternity represents an exclusion (the alleged father is not the biological father) and at least a 99.99% probability represents an inclusion in a standard trio (the alleged father is the biological father).
The paternity test results are ready within 2 working days (5 days for prenatal tests). We release the test results immediately, as long as the testing fees are fully paid. Results are sent via first-class mail; we also will send results through fax or courier upon request. Please call 1-800-613-5768 for instructions on requesting special delivery of results.