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FAQs

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CHAIN OF CUSTODY DNA TEST AND A PIECE OF MIND DNA TEST?

A Chain of Custody test is 100% admissible in court. The results and documentation can be presented in any court or legal proceeding to verify or disprove paternity. Chain of Custody tests require that participants provide government issued identification (such as a driver's license or state ID), and complete a client identification and consent form. The legal guardian must sign this form for test participants who are minors. Photographs are also taken of all participants.

The Peace of Mind test provides an absolute answer to the question of paternity, but does not provide any documentation that is admissible in court.



BUCCAL SWAB COLLECTION

All samples for DNA tests are routinely collected using the painless and simple buccal swab - similar to a cotton-tipped swab, but made of the special material Dacron. The swab is rubbed against the inside cheek of the test participant, and loose cheek cells adhere to the swab. Unlike regular cotton swabs, Dacron provides a consistent surface for sample collection and DNA extraction.


DNA TEST IN THE LABORATORY

The sample collector sends the swabs to the laboratory in a sealed, tamper-evident package. When samples arrive in the laboratory, our staff checks to see if the package seal is intact. When all the samples for a paternity test case have arrived, the DNA test is started, which follows the following five steps:


IN A DNA PATERNITY TEST: WHO ARE THE PARTICIPANTS?

In a standard DNA paternity test, the tested parties include a child, the alleged father, and the mother (called a trio).

The mother's participation in the paternity test helps to exclude half of the child's DNA, leaving the other half for comparison with the alleged father's DNA. However, we can perform a paternity test without mother's participation (called a motherless). A motherless test involves additional analysis. Results are equally conclusive whether or not the mother participates. Motherless tests are guaranteed to have at least a 99.9% probability of paternity for inclusions and 100% for exclusion.

MY PATERNITY TEST RESULT: WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?

The paternity test report provided will be rather detailed. The DNA testing company will give you a report with a neatly laid out table showing you all the genetic loci tested. If all genetic loci match and the mother's sample has been included you will have a percentage probability of inclusion of 99.999%; this number is referred to as the probability of paternity. The result will further state that tested father 'cannot be excluded' as the child's biological father. The wording sometimes creates confusion because it does not directly state 'this man is 100% the biological father of the tested child'. The reason for this is that laboratory testing relies on the statistical probability of the alleged father being the child's biological father and not any other randomly selected man from the same ethnic group. Mathematically speaking, there is a chance of another individual having the alleged father's same DNA profile which means scientists can never establish with 100% probability that the alleged father is the biological father of the child- think about it, it does make sense!

PATERNITY TEST RESULT: WHAT DOES EXCLUSION MEAN?

When genetic loci do not match between father and child, even just one locus, the result will show a 0% inclusion of paternity. The result will read 'this person is excluded as the father'; this is independent of whether the mother's samples have been included in the test.

Helpful Links

Father Support Center of STL