Difference Between Legal and Non-Legal DNA Testing - ARCpoint Labs of Roseville-Rocklin
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Difference Between Legal and Non-Legal DNA Testing

by | Dec 24, 2023 | Uncategorized

While there are many different scenarios for when you might consider a DNA test, a DNA test is typically performed to verify the paternity of a child. However, a DNA test can be used to determine a familial relationship between various people, such as siblings, cousins, and more.

You’ve probably heard the terms legal and non-legal DNA testing and wondered what the difference is between the two types of testing. You want to ensure that you get the correct type of DNA testing for your purpose and personal situation.

The type of DNA testing you need depends on what you plan to do with the results. This guide helps you understand the key differences between the two types of DNA testing:

How Does Legal DNA Testing Work?

When you decide to move forward with DNA testing, you need to know what you plan to use the information for in the future. Non-legal paternity testing won’t get you very far if you try to take the father to court for child support or attempt to fight for custody of a child when you aren’t on the birth certificate.

Legal DNA testing is performed by collecting a tissue sample from inside the cheek of the father and child. Those cheek cell (Buccal cells) samples are then sent to a DNA testing lab for testing.

What can a legal DNA test result be used for?

A legal DNA test can be used as evidence in court, and can be used to sue a parent for child support or get a new birth certificate issued. If your status as a legal citizen is questioned, a legal DNA test can help you establish your citizenship or ability to apply for dual citizenship.

You can also use legal DNA testing to receive survivor benefits through Social Security, and you might need to inherit property or receive life insurance payments. It’s also possible to use legal DNA testing for any court proceeding.

The Key Differences Between DNA Testing

Without a doubt, the most significant key difference between legal and non-legal DNA testing is that you can present the results of a legal DNA test as evidence in court, but you can’t present results from a non-legal DNA test; the reason for this is the chain of custody.

A chain of custody helps the court verify the tested people and how the DNA samples were handled throughout the testing process, from collection to results. Without a chain of custody, the courts won’t accept the DNA test results. It’s considered a non-legal paternity test.

Which Type of DNA Test Do You Need?

In the end, the type of DNA test that you need depends on what you plan to do with the results; If you’re looking to verify your biological relationship with someone else and for no other reason, you might not need to worry about securing a legal DNA test.

However, if you think that the result might lead to a courtroom, it’s best to get a legal DNA test. Even if you don’t ever use the DNA test results in court, it’s always nice to know that you could use them in court if you needed them.

DNA Testing in Roseville and Rocklin, CA

At ARCpoint Labs of Roseville-Rocklin, we’re ready to help you take the next step in testing your DNA. We train our team to provide you with the best service possible and provide you with results that you can trust. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Image Source:  Kittyfly / Shutterstock

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