What samples can I use for a paternity test?
The sample used for a DNA test depends on the:
- The type of test being carried out
- The availability or willingness of individuals taking part in the test to submit samples
It is important to note that not all tests can be carried out using any type of DNA sample. Our standard method of sample collection is via mouth swabs- samples collected via mouth swabs can be used for home tests, legal tests and many other of the tests we offer. Whilst homeDNAdirect does carry out DNA tests with a range of samples such as hair samples and blood, these samples cannot be used for any test. For example, in legal testing only mouth swabs can be used due to the fact that all samples need to be collected by a third party witness. Samples such as blood, hair, finger nails etc may sometimes be used in cases of post mortem testing whereby samples would be extracted by a forensic pathologist from the cadaver but the process is full of legality issues and not a straightforward one. Samples other that standard mouth swab samples we refer as discreet samples. You may view a full list of samples here.
Our prenatal paternity test is a bit of a different case as we can only test blood samples collected by medical blood draw from the mother and mouth swab samples from the father.
For any questions about DNA samples, contact our customer support team. They can guide you and answer all your questions exhaustively.
How are mouth swab samples collected?
Mouth swab samples are easy to collect. They are called mouth swab samples because they require clients actually use a swab – a medical pad often used in surgery or by doctors for various tests that looks pretty much like a cotton bud.
The swabs required for a DNA test we provide inside our kit. All you need to do is rub these on the inside of the mouth and against the lining of the mouth (mainly the cheek). The process will collect cheek cells. Once you have swabbed the mouth of all test participants you can leave the swabs dry (this is just a precautionary measure to make sure that no mould grows on them). If you are wondering why mouth swabs are the standard means of collecting DNA, here are the reasons:
- Anyone can use mouth swabs
- Samples are almost always in tip top condition and labs have no issues extracting DNA
- They are painless- which means, that they are suited to sampling on little kids and even babies
More information about sample collection here.
What paternity tests are available?
A paternity test involves directly comparing the DNA of the alleged father and the child. The paternity tests available are home paternity testing, legal and prenatal paternity testing. This said, there are other methods of establishing paternity which include testing the alleged father’s relatives but not testing the actual father. We suggest you view our relationship DNA testing services for more about this.
What is the difference between a home test and a legal test?
A home test is a peace of mind test. A kit is in this case sent directly to the individuals taking part in the test and they will need to collect their own samples at home using the mouth swabs and following the instructions inside the kit. It is a very straightforward and elementary procedure. In a legal test, a third party, neutral and entirely uninvolved in the test will need to be employed to collect the samples. There is a DNA sample verification and authentication process involved which is there to simple make sure no one cheats or accidentally switches DNA samples- remember the results need to stand in court and must be of unquestionable authenticity for a judge and a courtroom.
What is the Human Tissue Act?
Please keep in mind that the UK Human Tissue Act makes it illegal to test human tissue belonging to another person without their consent. The people from which the sample has been taken also need to be made fully aware that their sample will be used for DNA analysis.
Where in the UK can you provide your services?
A paternal test is the most accurate method for confirming whether a tested, alleged father man is the biological father of a child. Your paternity test results will be ready in just 3-5 working days. We can provide paternity testing in Glasgow, Leeds, Kent, Liverpool, Manchester, London or in any other place within the UK or even outside the UK where required.
To see how easy the sample collection procedure is with oral swabs visit our sample collection guide. If you are unable to send in oral swab samples, we offer a range of alternative samples that can be sent in for DNA analysis. Please view our discreet DNA testing options for more information.
Can I get my DNA test done on the NHS?
The cost of a paternal test will depend on the type of test you require. Home paternity testing is offered for just £99. The price of a test will also change depending on the number of people tested and the type of samples used. Note that the NHS does not provide free paternal testing.