“Testing” usually conjures images of hours-long exams that force a person to recall long-forgotten facts about a subject. Fortunately, DNA, paternity, and genetic testing don’t require you to stay up cramming all night.
These specific tests can help you establish or certify various things, including:
- Parental rights
- Family health history
- Child support
- Issuance of U.S. passport or immigration visa
While the reasons for a DNA or paternity test may vary, the reason for submitting to one remains the same: to get accurate results to previously unanswered questions. And as with many innovations, misinformation could deter some from performing these vital and precise tests.
The good news is ARCpoint Labs of Jacksonville - Mandarin can help debunk tightly held myths regarding DNA, paternity, and genetic testing so that you can resolve family disputes and understand more about your health.
Myth 1: DNA Paternity Testing Can be Inaccurate
When mystery surrounds a process or procedure, accusations and assumptions are usually born. This can lead to misinformation and theories making the virtual rounds and becoming held beliefs. Many consider DNA paternity testing inaccurate because some labs only test the minimum 16 DNA markers, providing a slight chance of error.
Some testing facilities may only test the minimum number of DNA markers, but ARCpoint Labs tests more markers to remove doubt and debunk precision myths. We provide full transparency about DNA testing, walking you through the process, so you understand how we deliver accurate results.
Myth 2: Paternity Testing Can Only Be Done When the Child is Born
Popular culture and reality TV are the main culprits of this myth. Many watch sensational and dramatized shows for entertainment and construct the belief that DNA testing must be this way. Some may also have heard that collecting a specimen from an unborn fetus will harm it.
Paternity DNA testing does not have to wait until a child is born. Still, some sample retrieval methods, such as amniocentesis and Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS), are invasive and could pose a risk to an unborn baby. Always speak to your OBGYN regarding this testing method to get the facts.
Our Jacksonville and Mandarin team performs DNA testing on children using a non-invasive strategy to collect buccal cells inside the cheek with a gentle swab.
Myth 3: DNA Testing is Very Expensive
Misinformation about the cost of DNA testing has been spreading for years. Some personal experiences have fueled this rumor.
An accredited and licensed testing laboratory typically charges $100-$200, while a court-ordered DNA or paternity test may be a bit more expensive. It’s important to check with the specific lab and your insurance to check benefits. A health insurance provider may cover your test.
Myth 4: Genetic & DNA Testing Are Extremely Invasive
This myth is likely due to the emergence of invasive procedures like CVS and amniocentesis, which are not usually recommended as the first option for DNA testing on an unborn baby.
The truth is that DNA tests today are as simple as a cheek swab that takes less than 30 seconds to complete. You won’t have to deal with a painful needle prick or several minutes in a chair.
More invasive DNA testing is not always the preferred option for many parents, but it may be the best course of action in determining fetal health, any genetic disorders, and fetal organ development. CVS and amniocentesis can be performed late in pregnancy to reduce health risks to the mother and child.
Myth 5: DNA Testing Results Take Forever to Arrive
Like most things, waiting can be the worst part. However, DNA testing has been falsely labeled a procedure that takes weeks, even months, to receive the results.
Contrary to popular belief, paternity, DNA, and genetic testing results will not be available within seconds (like reality TV might have you believe). Depending on the lab and the form of testing, results can be ready as soon as the same day to a few days.
Myth 6: Genetic Testing Is Only for People Who Want to Know if Babies Will Be Born with a Genetic Defect
Some parents may be anxious to know if their baby will be born healthy, so they opt for genetic testing to rule out specific defects. However, this is not the only reason prospective parents or anyone may want genetic testing.
Genetic testing is a medical test that assesses changes in chromosomes, genes, and proteins. It can help determine genetic conditions, development expectancy, organ maturity, and more in both children and adults. There are also various types of genetic testing, including:
- Molecular – This testing type will detect changes in one or more genes.
- Chromosomal – Long-length DNA and whole chromosomes are analyzed to pinpoint abnormalities such as deleted or rearranged chromosome segments.
- Gene expression – Results help us understand which genes are expressed (turned on or off) in different cells.
- Biochemical – This type of DNA test can look at the activity level of proteins or enzymes produced from genes, indicating changes in DNA.
Myth 7: DNA Tests Are Only for People Who Want to Know Where their Ancestors Resided
In recent years, genetic and DNA testing have become popular in determining ancestry. In 2019, it was estimated that more than 26 million people globally have opted for at-home DNA ancestry testing. Still, you can discover much more about just where your ancestors came from.
Genetic testing results can tell you about your family history and health but also determine if you are at risk for various conditions, including cancer, familial hypercholesterolemia (hereditary high cholesterol), hypertension (high blood pressure), autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.
Myth 8: You Can Only Test a Living Person for Paternity
Often, when someone is seeking the results of paternity, the other party is still living. However, you are not out of options if the potential father is no longer alive.
A paternity test can still be performed in the untimely death of a potential father. Typically, a sample is collected from the closest biological match, which may be the paternal grandparents. Additionally, a coroner’s office or other agency can collect DNA directly from the deceased person. This process may take longer, as multiple agencies may have to coordinate, depending on the cause of death.
Misinformation about DNA, genetic, and paternity testing will always leave doubt in people’s minds. The best way to combat myths is with assistance from an accredited lab like ARCpoint Labs of Jacksonville - Mandarin to help you decipher fact from fiction.
Call our team at (904) 530-3018 to conveniently schedule DNA and paternity testing today.