How Long Does AABB Immigration Testing Take?

Immigration doesn't always seem to move fast - except for the DNA testingDNA testing is often required in immigration cases where a U.S. citizen is sponsoring the immigration of a relative and needs to prove to the U. S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) or U.S. embassy or consulate that the person seeking to immigrate to the U.S. is indeed a blood relative.

Similarly, DNA testing may be required in cases where a child is born on foreign soil to a parent or parents who are citizens of the United States in order to allow the child to ultimately be granted U.S. citizenship. In these cases, the parent or parents contact a local U.S. embassy or consulate and request a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.  In the process of evaluating the claim of maternity or paternity, the U.S. officials may, in some cases, request a DNA test to establish maternity and/or paternity.

DNA Tests in a Foreign Country
In these immigration and citizenship cases, the petitioner must be able to arrange to have the relative or child tested by an AABB approved DNA testing laboratory in the United States, but have the samples for DNA testing taken from the relative or child in a foreign country under strict guidelines established by the USCIS or Embassy, which are designed to ensure that samples are properly handled and that the chain of custody is correctly documented so that it can withstand any legal challenge.

DNA sample collection abroad is generally arranged directly by the DNA testing laboratory in the United States after arrangements are made with them by the petitioner.  Needless to say with DNA collection abroad, sample delivery to the testing laboratories in the United States and proper documentation and delivery of results to the petitioner and government entities is more complex than a simple DNA test performed in the United States for non-legal purposes.  Nonetheless, DNA Diagnostics Center has the experience and expertise to minimize delays and deliver certified results quickly.

Click here if you are in the UK or a country other than the United States for more information about our international testing options, or immigration to countries other than the U.S.

Working Under Timelines
DNA collection can often be arranged within 24 hours of receiving a request along with the proper documentation.  The sooner the proper documentation and information is provided, the sooner the test results can be available to the petitioner and the USCIS or embassy.  DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC) has worked with petitioners and embassies from over 165 countries. DDC generally needs a copy of the written request for DNA evidence from the USCIS or U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  Key information provided by this letter will include the file or case number, the names of the persons to be tested, and the type of relationship to be tested, whether parent and child, sibling, or other.

Once received, DDC will send a kit to the embassy who will make collection arrangements with the beneficiary.  As staffing and procedures at U.S. embassies and consulates can vary by country, the time needed to make arrangements for DNA sample collection can also vary, making this step in the process less consistent than some.  Although DDC cannot directly influence embassy or consulate procedures, they have more than fifteen years of experience working with these embassies and consulates from around the world, and they are known for their work in the diplomatic community worldwide, minimizing the chances of unwanted delays in the process.

Sample Collection
Once samples are collected, they are sent to testing laboratories in the United States by secure delivery where it may take 2-7 working days for complete testing, review of results, and reporting to the immigration office, depending on the lab and the type of testing to be done.  Importantly, as DDC performs all DNA tests twice, our results are highly reliable and are widely accepted by immigration and consular officials, further reducing the risk of delays in the process.

Once all AABB immigration testing and reporting is complete, the further processing of the immigration or citizenship application is in the hand of the U.S. officials.  However, with regard to final maternity and paternity results, DDC fully stands by its work and is always prepared to provide documentation to ensure that the legal process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.

 

 


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Swabs vs. Blood Samples in DNA Testing

blood samples and swab DNA testing comparisonsThe two most popular methods for collecting DNA in labs are blood samples and mouth swabs.  The DNA testing results from extracting DNA-rich cells by swabs or blood samples are exactly the same, only there are differences in how the two samples are processed. Both have their advantages and disadvantages depending on your preference. Neither has been proven to be more accurate than the other, so it ultimately depends on your preference or the lab’s ability to provide.  The convenience and comfort of a buccal/mouth swab makes it the clear favorite for DNA paternity testing! Let’s explore how these two methods work.

How Swabs and Blood Samples Work
Persons seeking DNA samples for paternity cases or immigration cases usually follow the normal procedures in DNA testing centers around the country. DNA collected from a blood sample is exactly the same as DNA collected from your cheeks. So when blood is analyzed, the results are going to be as accurate as the DNA collected from your cheeks. There are actually several different methods for collecting DNA from your mouth;

  1. Dry procedures – These require the insertion of swabs that scrape tissue from your gums and cheeks. They can potentially also contain bacteria from your teeth.
  2. Wet procedures – This usually involves swishing a liquid around in your mouth and spitting the specimen into a collecting device. During this process, bacteria can also be released into your sample.
  3. Noninvasive procedure – With some procedures, you spit out the collecting solution and another is added to eliminate bacteria and help preserve the integrity of the sample.

Depending on which procedure is used at the DNA testing facility, a collection specialist verifies the person’s identity, gets a signed consent form, swabs the inside of the patient’s cheek, and then safely packs the DNA specimen into its safe storage. The process of collecting blood works basically the same, but isn’t quite as easy – a needle is inserted to draw your blood. Some patients are squeamish with needles, so there is always that initial testing apprehension. The process for both swab samples and blood samples is relatively straightforward, but there are indeed pros and cons for each that are discussed below:

Pros and Cons for Swab Samples
Swab collections have a number of advantages:

  • No needle is used, no puncture of the skin is necessary
  • It’s a quick, non-invasive procedure, with no pain involved
  • The DNA collected is good indefinitely after collection if stored properly
  • Scientists prefer the easier extraction process from a testing point of view
  • Patients usually are more relaxed and less stressed about the DNA collection process
  • They’re relatively affordable to collect

On the other side, the main cons ascribed to swabs are:

  • Bacteria can attack the cells containing DNA if not dried and stored
  • Since the cells are not visible, there is no way to visually verify DNA is present

Pros and Cons for Blood Samples
Taking blood samples for DNA testing do have a few pros of their own, including:

  • Clean blood in proper tubes minimizes chances of contamination
  • Fast and quick procedure
  • Blood samples are visible

However, in some rare instances, if a person has recently had a blood transfusion before a sampling is drawn, the results could show two separate DNA samples. Clearly, though, the chances of this happening are on the rare and unexpected side. Blood samples do have cons for patients seeking this type of DNA test:

  • Needles puncture the skin – patients will feel some degree of pain
  • Multiple attempts may be required to insert the needle into smaller, thinner blood veins
  • Possible screaming and crying if children are required to get a DNA blood sample
  • Blood samples are fast to collect, though not as quick as swab samples

Test Reliability
Swab tests are highly reliable because of the source of its DNA. Some people believe the buccal epithelial cells are the only source of DNA. But, research studies show differently. And in fact, a study by Thiede and others in Bone Marrow Transplantation shows up to 74% comes from white blood cells. No matter which method is used though, a DNA sample from your mouth is just as accurate as one from your blood sample when processed by an experience testing laboratory.

Which Would You Use?
Both of these tests have their advantages and disadvantages. The bottom line is that you get highly reliable results from both. From a practical perspective, it does not matter which procedure you opt for. After learning a little more about both processes, you might now have a clear idea of which one makes the most sense for you.

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How Long Does it Take to Get DNA Paternity Test Results?

If you’re wondering how long it takes to get the results back from a DNA paternity test, the answer can vary, depending on which lab you choose. While some DNA labs can provide results in 1-2 days, others can take 3-12 weeks or longer! Most people are looking for paternity results sooner rather than later; DDC’s standard is 2 working days with online results for the fastest answers. Whatever your reason may be, there are many options for DNA paternity tests: legal, curiosity, prenatal, post-natal–choose wisely to fit your needs, and your budget.

how long to get paternity test results

Why would it take longer to find test results?

If you decide to go through a child support office in your county, you must meet specific criteria for a court ordered DNA test. The time the process takes has come down significantly over the years, but there are still forms to be processed, a court order to be sent down from a judge, coordinating the DNA collection, and more paperwork before results can be released. There is no “RUSH” option during these adoption procedures, so there may be a lengthy wait ahead. Once everything has gone through, the results will become public record, and court admissible.

  • Longest wait: 4-6 weeks and longer, from county Child Support office—if you qualify.
  • Shortest wait: 1-2 days, from private lab—but call first!

How can you get faster paternity test results?

If you contact a DNA lab directly, and hustle in for the DNA collection of all parties, some labs offer a priority turnaround times on results. You could be seeing your results the day after the lab has all the samples and paperwork. Imagine doing the initial call on a Monday with the results on a Friday! The key is to call and talk directly to a testing coordinator and get very specific about what you want, when you want it, and how much it will cost.

Some paternity testing sites offer fast testing, but it may take them a week to mail you the kit, with a week to return it. Make sure when you are shopping around, that fast testing is only part of the picture. Other labs offer a low introductory price, but then layer in “Shipping & Handling” and other fees, making it not so savvy after all. Make sure you call and ask about all the features, otherwise, you’ll likely be disappointed.

Don’t forget about accuracy! If you get the results fast but aren’t 100% confident in the results, you’ve wasted your money. Before buying, make sure to do your homework on the lab and make sure it is the right choice for such an important test. When you are browsing, look for AABB Accreditation, BBB ratings, and other independent ratings that ensure good practices and accuracy.

To talk to a DDC representative, click here for a list of services and phone numbers.

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Can a DNA Paternity Test be Done Without the Father?

DNA paternity tests without the father do not stand up in courtPaternity testing in the laboratory is a complex, but very accurate process that helps prove the paternity of a person through DNA testing. This testing helps identify the true biological father of a child and helps those involved find clear evidence and even peace of mind. This blog post answers several questions you might have about DNA testing when only one adult is involved.

It is possible to have a DNA paternity test without the father’s direct involvement.

One way is to test the father’s parents or his first degree relatives. Or, non-standard samples from the father, such as an autopsy sample can be used. However, a Chain of Custody form that authorizes the procedure must be signed and processed in order for the court to recognize the validity of the results. And, the results will be less conclusive if the sample is biologically further away from the father’s closest living relative.

Paternity Testing be Done Without the Father’s Knowledge
Conducting a DNA paternity test without the father’s knowledge is called a “non-legal” paternity test. But results to hold up in court, the father tested must be aware of the testing. Legally, he must sign a Chain of Custody form that authorizes the test.

DNA tests can be conducted without the father knowing, but the results will be strictly for personal information and use only. This is why DNA home kits have seen some interest. A person can work with an outside laboratory for the testing material needed to collect evidence from the father and the child. Samples can be taken and sent in for analysis. But because the father’s awareness and consent of the test is non-existent, the test cannot be used as evidence in court.

Can the Father Refuse DNA Paternity Testing?
The alleged father of a child does have the right to refuse a court-ordered DNA test.  However, he will experience legal consequences for doing so. DNA testing is typically considered a civil lawsuit, which the judge uses to force the alleged father to submit to at a court-approved facility.

If the alleged father refuses to take the test at this point, he can be held in contempt of court.  This can lead to legal consequences such as fines and criminal charges. If a paternity suit gets filed, the court won’t necessarily force the alleged father to have a paternity test right away. First, it will review the facts of the situation. If there’s enough information to warrant a paternity test, the court will issue the order.

How Accurate is a DNA Paternity Test?
If you are able to get a sample directly from the father, as is the case with simple buccal cheek swabs, these tests can have up to 99.9999% accuracy.

DNA tests are powerful tools when determining paternity in divorce and related custody or child support cases.  They help women identify biological fathers, and alleged fathers prove they are not biological fathers.

What matters most is how the samples are collected. They must follow the chain-of-custody process.  When being tested, mothers and named fathers must present a valid ID, sign the Chain of Custody authorization, and their samples must be securely attached to their ID. It’s worth repeating but if DNA samples are collected without the knowledge of the other party that makes the test invalid in court.

Can You Contest the Results of a Potentially Falsified DNA Test?
In some cases, even accurate DNA test results can be contested.  There are a few situations where this can happen:

  • If the result is believed to be fraudulent
  • In cases where the alleged father proves he is infertile
  • Clear evidence is available showing someone has tampered with the lab results

How Many DNA Tests Are Done Each Year?
In 2006, the National Institutes of Health conducted a study that showed 300,000 paternity tests are performed each year in the United States.  Since then, however, that number has grown steadily, climbing to 400,000, according to the New York Times.  The latter article also notes that men who question whether they are the biological father of the child they’re raising are in fact not the biological father about 30% of the time. Thirty percent is a high number.

The AABB has found that number has surged to 500,000.  Most of these tests are requested by child support agencies. The bottom line:  paternity tests are a useful tool for proving paternity in divorces and other legal cases.  If you are trying to determine paternity, just make sure you have the results collected legally by using a Chain of Custody.

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Prince’s DNA & Paternity Testing

The sudden death of music icon Prince has once again left a multi-million dollar estate up in the air, and bought new people forward asking for paternity testing to prove a biological relationship. The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office is in possession of Prince’s blood, and is now authorized to provide it to DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC) in Fairfield, OH for testing, as reported by the StarTribune in Minneapolis.

Prince was cremated shortly after his death, but the Midwest Medical Examiner collected blood. It’s not uncommon for blood to be saved, and in this case, because Judge Kevin Eide said that Brenner Trust can obtain the blood because “parentage issues might arise.”

It can be difficult to establish paternity while the alleged father is alive. Celebrities and athletes are often the accused, but they don’t have to participate in DNA testing unless ordered to do so. Therefore more people may surface for testing following a death, when an estate is being divided.

In April 2007, Dr. Michael Baird announced the results of the Anna Nicole Smith and Larry Birkhead paternity test. The leader in the quality DNA paternity testing, DDC was chosen for it’s commitment to accuracy and complete confidentiality.

Time will tell how many people come forward claiming to be relatives of the pop legend. One man has already filed a claim in a Minnesota probate court. Carlin Q. Williams’ mother is claiming she had a one night stand with the singer in July of 1976, in Kansas City.

It will now be up to the courts to decide who is tested for biological ties to Prince. One report claimed that up to 700 people may be ready to submit their samples, but the number will likely be much smaller. Whatever the number, DNA testing is proven once again as the gold standard for providing the credible evidence needed.


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Can I get a paternity test while pregnant?

One of the questions we hear most often is —“Can I get a paternity test while I’m pregnant?”

The answer is YES.

There are various reasons for wanting to know the answer as soon as possible. Certainly, peace of mind throughout the rest of the pregnancy is reason. A DNA test confirming paternity may pave the way for legal and medical benefits for a child born to unmarried parents.

A child’s DNA profile is set at conception and does not change. Therefore, a DNA test can be done before you give birth by acquiring the DNA from the unborn child that is mixed in with with the mothers blood. Blood from the mother and a cheek swab from the father is what’s needed to perform the paternity test. This can be done any  time after the 8th week with the prenatal paternity test from DDC.  The sample collections are easily coordinated with a call to our DNA Experts who work closely with expecting mothers and fathers every day.

Once the samples are sent to our laboratory, we can perform the DNA paternity test in 5-7 business days. Please click through to our website to see prices, payment plans, and more details.

 

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How Much Does a Paternity Test Cost?

 

You might be wondering if you can afford a high-quality paternity test. There are many companies offering “cheap” paternity tests on the internet—and there is often a direct relationship between paternity test cost and quality. At DDC the range is from $159 to $459 (with further discounts often available) depending on the services needed. We tailor the right test to your needs, and most importantly, give you accurate results with full customer service.

This post sheds some light on what goes into paternity testing costs.

Although a DNA test may seem as simple as a pregnancy test, many factors can affect the accuracy of a DNA test result and what you can use the results for. These are the top two considerations when looking at how much a paternity test costs.

First: accuracy. Because DNA testing is a highly sensitive test, careful and precise steps must be taken to ensure the correct result is reported. In our laboratory, two independent teams of DNA analysts run every legal DNA test twice, using state-of-the-art equipment, and the end results are verified by a trained scientist with a PhD degree. We do this above and beyond the AABB requirement, to assure our clients of  100% accurate results.

The second thing to consider is what you eventually will use the test results for. Many people need a paternity test to provide legal documentation of paternity—for child support, child custody, and inheritance, and others.

A legal paternity test provides documentation of the entire testing process, and a trained professional collects the DNA samples from the participants. This type of paternity test costs more, but you can be assured of legally admissible test results should you need them now, or in the future.

On the other hand, if you just want the paternity test results for personal knowledge, a home paternity test allows you to collect the samples conveniently and in private. This type of test costs less, but the results may not be accepted in a court of law. Since this test may not be challenged in court, some companies cut costs on these tests.

If you feel that a company’s DNA paternity test cost sounds too low to be reliable, it’s probably true. You never know what shortcuts a company is taking to drive their costs down. Be smart—the most important test you’ll ever purchase deserves the most trusted laboratory in the world.

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Celebrity Paternity Update

There are many stories of paternity swirling in the news today, so it’s time for a Celebrity Paternity Update!

Jay Z has a love child—at least that’s what Rymir Satterthwaite claims, and has taken his paternity case to federal court. In an exclusive interview with Radaronline.com, the alleged son of the 46-year-old rapper Jay Z said “I will not stop until justice is served in court. Everybody deserves a fair due process in a court of law…this is not just about paternity, it is about the court system doing what is right, instead of being persuaded by power.”

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi was married to infamous novelist Salman Rushdie from 2004 to 2007, when they divorced. Still “hurting” from her divorce, she began dating and then became pregnant with her daughter Krishna. What she later revealed in her memoir Love, Loss and What We Ate was that she didn’t know for sure who Krishna’s father was at birth. She dated late billionaire Teddy Forstmann and venture capitalist Adam Dell (brother of Dell Computers’ Michael Dell). It was later found that Adam Dell was the father, and Forstmann left part of his fortune to baby Krishna in his will when he passed away in 2011.

O.J. Simpson is back in the news; Khloe Kardashian has never left the news! She’s been “plagued by rumors” for years that she’s not a real Kardashian. In the Inquisitor.com, Amanda Lynne reported that Khloe addressed paternity on her TV show, Kocktails With Khloe, that have be swirling for years. She expressed her anger over the rumors and former step-mother Jan Ashley who started them. Ashley was married to Robert Kardashian, who she alleges had spoken out about his doubts that Khloe was his child. There may be no resolution to this paternity case, and it may just be that the Kardashian’s prefer that the mystery lives on.

Finally, paternity leave continues to be a hot topic in the workplace. John Legend recently announced he is planning paternity leave after his daughter’s birth with wife Chrissy Teigen. One might wonder “leave from what?”, as we don’t imagine artists punching the clock every day. But surely his is a busy schedule, and it’s great news that he’s taking the time to be home during the first weeks of his daughter’s life. Company’s continue to roll out better and better paternity leave programs, most recently ETSY, who is now giving six months paid leave to all employees, mothers and fathers.

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Paternity Test Needed? Do You Wonder?

Here’s a segment of an article from the Huffington Post, where Matt Brennan takes a tongue-in-cheek look at everyday situations with his sone and wonders: Is a paternity test needed?

As parents we often look at our children’s “bad” habits and point the finger—he got that from you! Of course there are also endearing habits that we can surely take credit for. Grandparents are a great resource for tie-breakers, as they knew us best in the early years. It’s a mystery what traits and habits get passed on when DNA meets DNA, and the unique mix is created in our sons and daughters. Some children share striking resemblances of their mom or dad, while others may fall in the “Paternity test needed” category–

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Do sports gene’s get passed on?

when in comes to looks.

Here’s Matt’s take on some every day situations where he sees the similarities and differences of his son. Do you have a list?

  1. He picks the cheese off pizza and only eats half the slice. Paternity test needed.
  2. He runs to his target on the other side of the room, completely oblivious to his surroundings because he’s looking down at his feet. He either runs into the bench or trips over his own feet, it’s tough to say which caused the fall. Sadly, no paternity test needed.
  3. He uses green beans to mask the taste of the chicken. Paternity test needed.
  4. He eats six-course meals that leave his mother wondering what grocery bills will look like during his teenage years. No paternity test needed.
  5. He prefers cartoons to sports. I don’t care if he is only 2. Paternity test needed.
  6. He wants to read everything. If you delay too long when the book is open and he expects you to read to him, he’ll say “Talk to it, daddy.” No paternity test needed.
  7. At the age of 2, when one parent says “no,” he’ll go ask the other parent. I’m pretty sure I did the same thing, but I don’t know if I started that early. No paternity test needed.
  8. He’s exceeded his number of free answers to questions for the year. I’m thinking about charging a quarter per remaining question. This idea isn’t entirely original, however. A friend of the family threatened to charge me, when I was a kid. No paternity test needed.
  9. When he makes us laugh, he repeats his joke over and over and over. Sadly, no paternity test needed.

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DNA Paternity Testing News in India

The United States is a trend-setter in many areas: fashion, technology, transportation to name a few. We also can boast the broadest and strongest medical technology sector in the world, which includes the emerging field of DNA research.

DNA testing is an exciting and evolving frontier, with weekly news stories describing potential breakthroughs. An area that has been established for over 15 years is that of DNA paternity testing. In fact, the same technology and ‘markers’ used today were developed in the late 1990’s.

No country is as heavily invested in DNA paternity testing than the United States. We have entire departments in each state dedicated to the establishment of paternity. We have hospital training programs dedicated to identifying and soliciting signatures from unmarried dad’s just after birth—called Paternity Opportunity Programs. This stemming from a need to hold individuals responsible for their actions, and a state government’s demanding that the cost of child care fall on the father, not the state.

This is not always the case in other countries, where the culture may not place a high priority on identifying the men responsible for fathering children. In fact there are still countries where it may be the norm for men to have multiple families, and the need for “proof” of paternity is not necessary.

With the growing middle class of countries like India, there are changes in consumer behavior. With the added wealth spread across this growing middle class has come the appetite for the West’s technologies—like DNA testing. The price for the testing has decreased simultaneous with new demand, and one can look to the news to find a growing number of stories related to the subject.

Take this story from The Hindu. It’s one of many stories from India, although this one has a unique twist. It is often the case that a “child” will try to establish paternity with their biological father seeking financial gain. In this case, the 73-year-old father is trying to establish the paternity of a celebrity daughter, Lissy, in order to receive “maintenance,” or monthly compensation, as his health is failing, and proper care is expensive.

Here is another, talking about the shared duty (and technology) between a forensic laboratory and paternity testing. Establishing a DNA profile can be used to match samples, as with forensic testing, or comparing samples, which can establish biological relationships.

India has a huge population, and a growing middle class with disposable income—which can be used to pay for testing, as prices continue to decline. It’s safe to say DNA paternity testing will play a bigger and bigger role in India in the future, as an indicator of future growth can be found in articles on the subject. We’ll continue to monitor and update our readers on newsworthy paternity tests.

 

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