DNA TESTING FAQ

About DNA Testing

What is DNA?

DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA carries our genetic information. It is like a fingerprint — small portions of our DNA are unique to each individual person so these traits or “markers” can be identified. We get half of our DNA from our father and half from our mother. To determine paternity, the DNA of a child is compared to the DNA of his or her father.

What is DNA testing?

DNA testing is used to determine the parentage of a person. Typically, a DNA test is used to determine the paternity or who the father of a child is. DNA testing, however, can also determine maternity (who the mother is) of an individual, as well as other familial relationships like siblings, grandparents and grandchildren, etc.

DNA tests involve testing cells found in a sample of blood or skin cells taken from the inside of your cheek using a buccal swab. These cells are analyzed in a lab. For accurate test results, at least two samples are required to determine heredity, genealogy or paternity.

How does DNA testing work?

DNA can be collected in a variety of ways. The easiest and quickest way is painless. A large buccal swab that looks like a big Q-tip is gently rubbed along the inside of the cheek to collect skin cells. These cells are transported to a lab where they are analyzed and the DNA is extracted. Two or more samples are then compared to determine heredity. We also collect blood samples for testing. DNA tests can also be performed on hair and other bodily fluids.

What kinds of situations need a DNA test?

DNA testing is used in lots of different situations. It can be used to determine the perpetrator of a crime if blood, saliva or bodily fluids are left at the crime scene. DNA testing is used to determine with certainty the father of a child in situations of infidelity or when the biological father is unclear. This is especially useful in adoption situations or for surrogacy to alleviate conflicts over parental rights after the child is born. DNA testing can reunite separated family members and also establish inheritance when someone is making a claim to an estate or attempting to set up Social Security benefits.

There are many reasons why you may need a DNA test. We recommend the legal test for any and all situations where you may need to make a claim in a court of law. These situations include attempting to get legally mandated child support, social security or other government benefits, medical insurance to cover a child or even to change a child’s name on a birth certification.

Do you need to draw blood for a DNA test?

No. We use a buccal swab to brush the inside of your cheek and collect skin cells for testing. If you prefer, however, we can collect a blood sample instead of a cheek swab.

What is the process to have a DNA test?

The first step is visiting our office or scheduling a visit from our mobile service. We will collect a sample using either a buccal cheek swab or we’ll draw the necessary amount of blood needed for the test. The choice for collecting the sample is up to you. These samples are then labeled and if you need legal results we’ll include identification and other necessary Chain of Custody paperwork. The samples are then sent to our certified lab for analysis where the DNA is extracted and compared. The results are returned to us within 2-3 business days. We’ll email you a copy immediately and mail the hardcopy results to you.

Do I need a doctor’s note or referral for a DNA test?

In most states, you do not need a referral from a doctor to have the test done. In Atlanta, you do not need a referral, but court cases may require a subpoena.

What if the people who need to be tested live in different places?

We work with an extensive network of clinics and testing centers across the country so we can coordinate sample collection in different areas. You do not need to worry about having multiple people travel to the same location for testing. We can even come to you with our mobile collection service.

Where is the test performed?

You can visit our convenient office location at: 1585 Old Norcross Road, Suite 210A in Lawrenceville, GA 30045. We are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday every day of the year.

In addition, we also offer a mobile testing service that is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday. We can collect the DNA sample in the comfort of your own home, or at the office while you’re on a lunch break. Sample collection is quick and easy and will not require a lot of time.

The mobile testing service is an excellent option if a sample needs to be collected from your young child. We can meet you at home or a place where the child will feel most comfortable to reduce any potential fear or discomfort.

What samples do you need to collect?

We need DNA samples from all the people for whom you are attempting to determine a genetic, biological relationship. So, if you need to determine the father of your child, we need a sample from all potential fathers and a sample from your child. Often a sample from the child’s mother is collected as well, but this is not necessary to complete the test. If you are trying to determine a biological connection between other relatives, like siblings or grandparents, we will need samples from both siblings or grandparents and the child.

Why do you collect the mother’s DNA?

The mother’s sample isn’t necessary when determining paternity. A DNA sample is often collected from the mother because it can be compared to the child’s DNA and can help identify genes the child inherited from his or her mother. This eliminates those traits from consideration during a paternity test. There are not additional fees included if a mother is or is not tested. Results are not more or less accurate if a sample from the mother is included.

Legal DNA Testing

How accurate is DNA testing?

DNA testing is extremely accurate. That is why it is commonly used in forensics during criminal investigations and why it may be legally required during a court case. The most advanced technology is used during testing. Results are 99.999% accurate and definitive. We offer a 100% guarantee on all of our results.

Can I use DNA testing results in a court of law?

Yes, as long as you purchase a legal DNA test and results. The legal version of a DNA test includes Chain of Custody, which means that the samples and results are closely tracked and samples are further identified with fingerprints and government-issued IDs to ensure results are not tampered with during the process.

Are at-home DNA tests legal?

It is not illegal to do a DNA test at home. Any results received from an at-home or DIY DNA testing are not admissible in court and cannot be used during legal proceedings.

DNA Test Results

How long does it take to receive results?

Once your samples arrive in the lab, results typically take 2-3 days. We will send you a printed copy of the results for your records, which will take a few days to arrive in the mail. In the meantime, we email your results immediately after they are returned. For court cases, you will need to present the official printed version and not the email copy.

What is your confidentiality and privacy policy?

We respect your privacy. We only release results to the tested parties and/or their legal guardians or attorneys. We do not give results to any unauthorized individuals, and we also bill discreetly if you are worried about a charge showing up on your monthly statement. Please contact us if you are concerned about privacy.

When will I receive my results?

Typically results are returned in 2-3 business days. We will email you a copy of your results immediately if you’d like, and mail you the hardcopy results. You may also pick up your results in our office.

Will I be able to read my test results?

Yes. Our results are very easy to read and interpret. At the bottom of your results page, you will see two numbers of probabilities. If your results says 99% or higher, the tests results are conclusive and the two people tested are related. If your results show a number between 0% – 0.50%, the results are inconclusive. In this case, the lab was unable to determine a genetic relationship. If you have any questions or need assistance interpreting your results, please contact us and we will be happy to help you.

Is my order refundable?

No. We guarantee our results 100%. If you are dissatisfied, please contact us. We do offer a flexible payment plan.

Do I need to make an appointment?

No. Walk-ins are always welcome at our office location. If you need our mobile service you will need to schedule an appointment.