A DNA test is nearly 100 percent reliable in detecting whether a man is the biological father of another individual. If you require results for legal purposes, you must follow the correct process with a chain of custody, government issued identification requirements, work with certified DNA collectors and an AABB accredited laboratory. If the mother is pregnant and would like to have a DNA test before she gives birth, then her option would be to have a prenatal paternity test performed to determine paternity.
Prenatal Paternity Tests
A non-invasive prenatal paternity test is a way to determine who the father is before the baby is born. While the mom is pregnant, the DNA profile of the baby is determined from free-floating fetal cells found in the mom's blood sample. The alleged father is swabbed through a buccal swab. Prenatal Paternity tests can be done as a legal or non-legal paternity cases if chain of custody protocols are properly followed.
DNA Blood testing and cheek swabs are equally accurate methods for determining paternity. The lab can process both types of samples, however buccal swabs are the preferred method of DNA collections, blood samples are typically an additional cost to submit to the laboratory. The alleged father and the child will have their DNA collected by swabbing DNA cells inside their inner lining of their cheeks at a medical facility. The samples are then sent to a AABB accredited laboratory for analysis.
How Is Genetic Testing Done?
Genetic testing is often performed during a genetic consultation with your physician. Once a patient decides to proceed with genetic testing, a healthcare provider can arrange for the test. A blood sample, hair, amniotic fluid, or skin sample is used for genetic testing. ARCpoint Labs offers genetic testing, please contact our office for more information.
There are benefits to all types of genetic tests, but it’s important to understand the objectives of the tests, the costs, the limitations, and the actions required when results are provided.
The physician-directed tests are heavily regulated and, as a rule, there is an extra level of expertise in the mix. These are not direct-to-consumer tests. Physicians are required to order them, because they are focused on diagnosis and serious health risk factors that may require counseling (e.g., cancer, prenatal, newborn, and carrier testing). Also, it appears that tests in this category have had to meet rigorous criteria and must be approved by the FDA (e.g., clinical studies, repeatable results, etc.). Each person should discuss these tests with his or her physician before these tests are ordered, because additional actions may be critical when results arrive.
For Direct-To-Consumer (D2C) tests, consumers should self-educate as much as possible (e.g., from the manufacturer, health providers, labs, FDA), seeking information about safety concerns, costs, test objectives, and expected actions when results arrive.
Depending on the suspected disorder, the collected sample is submitted to a laboratory where technicians search for chromosomal changes, proteins, or DNA. The laboratory sends written test findings to a patient's physician or genetic counselor or, upon request, directly to the patient.
The baby's heel is pricked to get a blood sample for newborn screening tests. In contrast to other types of genetic testing, parents often only receive a positive result from prenatal testing. If the test result is positive, more testing is required to identify if the infant has a genetic condition.
Difference Between Legal and Non-Legal Paternity Tests
Legal Paternity Tests
For a DNA test to qualify as legal, there must be a strict “chain of custody” throughout the testing process. First, a neutral testing agency with no investment in the outcome of the test must collect the appropriate samples. The professional DNA testing agency must:
- Verify the identity of all involved parties
- Provide correct legal documentation
- Collect specimens
- Thoroughly document the specimen throughout the testing process
- Properly package specimens
- Properly store and handle specimens
- Create legal reports of results and documentation
This chain of custody must be followed to ensure samples cannot be tampered with either intentionally or through negligence during testing. Only when all these standards have been met can a legal DNA test be admissible in court. Any test that doesn’t meet all these standards is considered non-legal, and while it can be used to establish relationships on a personal basis, it cannot be used in court. Non-legal DNA tests are also known as informational DNA tests for this reason.
This results of a Legal DNA Test are acknowledged as legal proof of the relationship and can be used for the following purposes:
- Orders of Contact/Custody
- Change a Birth Certificate
- Child Support
- Controversial trusts or wills
- Individual Profiling for Identification Purposes
Dealing directly with the lab can be a more cost-effective and secure approach to obtaining court-admissible results. Additionally, the process is quick, taking 10 to 20 minutes at ARCpoint Labs of Santa Fe Springs.
Non-Legal DNA Tests
Non-legal paternity tests are solely used for informational purposes and do not follow the chain of custody, which makes them invalid for use in court. They can be purchased just about anywhere, but it is always best to trust an accredited lab with many years of experience.
Work With a Reliable Team in Santa Fe Springs
Whether your DNA test is purely informational, or you are establishing a court case, working with a team of experienced testing professionals throughout the testing process should be one of your top priorities. At ARCpoint Labs of Santa Fe Springs, we pride ourselves on providing paternity tests that are affordable, reliable, confidential, and, most importantly, accurate. When looking for a prenatal, legal, or informational paternity test, we’re here for the residents of Santa Fe Springs, CA, and the surrounding communities with the best testing methods available, with a solid chain of custody and professionals that really care.
Learn more about what we have to offer and how each of our tests is different by contacting ARCpoint Labs today. Do you need a DNA test and don't know where to get it? At ARCpoint Labs of Santa Fe Springs, we can provide you with the necessary information and safely guide you through our non-invasive and any other DNA testing.