Frequently Asked Questions?
|How much does a DNA test cost?|
|When and how can I pay?|
|What if the alleged father doesn’t want to give his DNA sample but a member of his family is willing to?|
|How soon will I get my test results?|
|How does a paternity test work?|
|How accurate is the paternity test?|
|Can a paternity test be performed without the mother?|
|Will the DNA test kit arrive discreetly?|
|Can my DNA paternity test be used in Court?|
|What is the chain of custody procedure?|
|What does a DNA Paternity test look like? How can I interpret the results?|
|From what samples is it possible to extract DNA?|
|Is it possible to do DNA tests on hair samples?|
|Is it possible to do infidelity testing by DNA analysis?|
|Why is it important to chose an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory?|
|How long can the DNA samples be kept?|
|What will my paternity test result look like?|
How much does a DNA test cost? Back to top
Prices depend on the test you require as well as the number of participants, please refer to the pricing information on our order and price list page.
When and how do I pay? Back to top
Payment is made when ordering your test. We accept payment by either MasterCard or Visa. Payment can also be made by personal cheque, bankers draft or bank deposit to our bank account. You can also collect your DNA kit and pay cash in person at our reception but only with prior notice by arranging an appointment. homeDNAdirect also offers you the option of paying a smaller amount as a deposit, however the full amount must be paid before testing can commence. Kindly contact us directly to discuss your preferred payment option.
What if the alleged father doesn’t want to give his DNA sample but a member of his family is willing to? Back to top
It is possible to carry out DNA testing if a relative of the alleged father is available (e.g. avuncular or grandparentage testing). If only the child and relative of alleged father are tested, the results may not be completely conclusive. We always recommend including the mother’s DNA sample for this type of testing, as the results will be more conclusive. Please refer to our DNA relationship testing section for more information on relationship testing.
How soon will I get my test results? Back to top
Once your samples are received by the laboratory, the results for most DNA tests will be ready within 5 to 7 working days. If you select the express option your Paternity Test results will be available within 3 working days after the samples reach the lab. Discreet samples such as hair, chewing gum, cigarette butts etc can take a little longer but normally results will be available within the 5 -7 day time-frame. Please note that other types of DNA testing such as ancestry, mtDNA, X chromosome and baby gender testing have a longer turn-around time.
How does a Paternity Test work? Back to top
Genetic testing identifies the unique genetic profile of an individual. The genetic profile of a child is inherited partly from the father and partly from the mother. By comparing the child’s genetic profile with that of the alleged father, a DNA paternity test determines whether this person is the real biological father or can be excluded. The test is performed through our DNA testing kit we supply on order and the samples are taken according to the DNA sample collection guide provided in the kit and on our website.
How accurate is the paternity test? Back to top
homeDNAdirect’s paternity test is extremely powerful in answering questions of parentage. Since we use 16 different genetic markers to build the genetic profile, our test is 100 times more accurate than that required in court. The results guarantee minimum probabilities in excess of 99.99%.
Can a paternity test be performed without the mother? Back to top
Yes, a paternity test can be carried out with just the child and the alleged father. However if the mother’s sample is available we recommend to include them as it strengthens the result.
Will the DNA test kit arrive discreetly? Back to top
Yes. The DNA collection kit will be sent to you in a plain envelope, not marked with our company name. We also include a plain addressed envelope for you to send the samples back to us in. homeDNAdirect can service clients anywhere in Ireland including the counties of Antrim, Dublin, LondonDerry, Galway, Down, Donegal, Tyrone and Wexford.
Can my DNA test be used in court? Back to top
This kind of test requires additional proof of identity and needs to follow a strict chain of custody process including third party sample collection and verification. The peace-of-mind/home paternity test is not legally admissible since the sampling process does not follow these procedures. This test is therefore valid for informative purposes only.
What is the Chain of Custody procedure? Back to top
“Chain of custody” refers to the proper management or control of the DNA samples throughout the testing process. First, it requires a neutral third party to verify the identity of the individuals being tested and collect their DNA samples. Following that, the DNA samples and appropriate paperwork (including signed copies of identification papers) need to be delivered to the testing location ensuring that they have not been tampered with. Finally, the DNA laboratory performing the test needs to ensure they handle the DNA samples and paperwork correctly by tracking and documenting the DNA samples throughout all of the testing process. If the procedures are followed correctly, this will allow the laboratory to issue notarized test results that can be stand up in court.
In contrast, in the at-home or curiosity DNA tests, the samples are taken by the clients themselves and therefore there is no independent verification of the DNA samples. Hence, the laboratory is not able to confirm the identity of the individuals doing the test.
How can I interpret the result? Back to top
In our understanding your DNA results section, we have provided comprehensive information on how to interpret the results. You may view a sample paternity test result if you wish to see the actual format and terminology used for this test and other DNA tests.
From what samples is it possible to extract DNA? Back to top
Contrary to what most people think human DNA cannot be extracted from any body fluid or tissue. There are specific samples that we accept (e.g. saliva, semen, blood, hair, nails etc.) These samples have the possibility of containing the DNA required to proceed with testing. DNA can also be extracted from any item that is contaminated with certain body fluids (chewing gum, cigarette butts, sanitary towels etc.) Please refer to our forensic DNA samples section and review our discreet sample price list to see what is acceptable for DNA testing. It is important to consider the success rate of each discreet sample, samples with the highest success rate (e.g. used Kleenex tissue) are have a much better chance of working. Submission of more than one sample might be required in order to obtain the required amount of DNA. Please note that there is an additional charge, displayed beside each sample, for this type of testing.
Is it possible to do DNA tests on hair samples? Back to top
For a DNA extraction from a hair sample it is best if the hair is freshly pulled out/ taken from the head and that the hair follicle is still intact to the hair strand to get the best extraction results. The results from non-standard samples (as hair) depend very much on the condition of the sent sample. For example if hairs are sent, it is best if more than 5 hairs with root are pulled out from the head and sent for testing (hair without a root or shed hair do not give good results).
Is it possible to do infidelity testing by DNA analysis? Back to top
Why is it important to chose an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory? Back to top
A Laboratory with an ISO 17025 accreditation uses criteria and procedures specifically developed to determine technical competence. Specialist technical assessors conduct a thorough evaluation of all factors in a laboratory that affect the test analysis or calibration of the data. Laboratory accreditation bodies use this standard specifically to assess factors relevant to a laboratory’s ability to produce precise and accurate data calibration and results. This ensures that your test result is the most precise and accurate one you could obtain.
How long can the DNA samples be kept? Back to top
The DNA found in cells in your saliva could maintain its integrity for a couple of weeks. This is provided that the samples are collected correctly (following the guide on our website and in our kit). Obviously the DNA sample has to be stored properly. If saliva swabs are used, it’s important to leave swabs to dry completely before being placed in an envelope. They also need to be placed in a dark and dry place. Other types of samples can keep for different periods of time. We have had many successful cases where we were able to extract DNA from samples that are years old. We are unable to guarantee the success of this extraction in advance and testing is at your own risk. The fresher the sample is the higher the chance of successful extraction.
What will my paternity test result look like? Back to top
Your paternity test result will display the 16 genetic marker profile for each test participant. The result will also show the probability of paternity which will either be an inclusion or an exclusion. To learn more about the terms and expressions we use in these DNA tests, why not read our understanding your results page. You can also view an actual sample paternity test result.