Legal & non-legal DNA tests are both accurate but are necessary for different scenarios. Understanding the difference will help you decide which DNA testing is right for you. In this article, you’ll learn:
- Legal DNA Testing requires an uninterrupted and secure chain of custody to ensure samples cannot be tampered with.
- Legal DNA testing and non-legal DNA testing are both crucial types of tests that serve crucial purposes when it comes to uncovering and gathering information in a proper way.
- Selecting the right type of test is crucial for fulfilling your ultimate goals when the paternity of other DNA test is involved
Difference Between Legal and Non-Legal DNA Testing
While DNA testing for the purpose of determining paternity, relationships, and other details has become quite commonplace in today’s society, many individuals do not know that there are, in fact, multiple types of DNA tests. Legal DNA testing and non-legal DNA testing are both crucial types of tests that serve crucial purposes when it comes to uncovering and gathering information in proper ways. It’s vital to know the differences between these two testing options before you invest in your own DNA test to ensure you’re approaching your particular situation from the right angle and getting the results you’ll really need.
The Key Differences between DNA Testing
By and large, the biggest difference between legal and non-legal DNA testing is that legal DNA tests can be used in court, while non-legal tests cannot. This is why the distinction between these two testing options is so critical. If you require a paternity test for a court hearing, for example, you’ll be required to have a legal DNA test. If, on the other hand, you’re only trying to establish paternity outside of the court system, a non-legal test will suffice in most cases.
In order 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 in order to ensure samples cannot be tampered with either intentionally or through negligence during testing. Only when all of these standards have been met can a legal DNA test be admissible in court. Any test that doesn’t meet all of 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.
Which Type of DNA Test do You Need?
The answer to this common question depends entirely on your end goals. Are you planning on using a paternity test to establish a case in regards to child support or other legal matters? Then you’ll require a legal DNA test. If, however, you’re simply looking to establish paternity, invite a new sibling into the family, or any other occasion that doesn’t merit a court hearing, then a non-legal DNA test will likely be perfectly adequate for your needs. If you’re in doubt, you can always consult with your attorney or with a representative of a professional DNA testing lab for advice on which route will be suitable for your needs.
Work With a Reliable Team
Whether your DNA test is purely informational or you’re 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 Woburn, 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 Woburn, MA, 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.