DNA Specimen Collections for Various DNA Tests
DNA testing can take multiple forms, from paternal to forensic to genetic testing. The testing looks at individual cells, reads genetic markers, and may be used in a variety of legal circumstances, illuminating many sensible questions that arise during our lifetimes. As science has significantly developed in the past years, you can now get the genetic answers you are seeking without a blood sample. This article is going to explore the various techniques of DNA specimen collections, depending on the DNA test you need.
Buccal Swab Specimen Collection for Paternity & Relationship DNA Tests
The most commonly used method of collecting DNA samples is the buccal swab test, which is far less invasive than a blood test and results in a higher level of accuracy. As there is no difference between the genetic material in a blood sample and the one in human saliva, choosing the least invasive and least painful method is always preferred, including in proving paternity and other relationships between individuals.
Regarding paternity testing, there are two types of tests: legal and non-legal. The legally admissible version can be used in court, while the non-legal method involves performing the test at home or unconfirmed identity testing by a DNA lab testing company. The latter is only relevant for personal knowledge and cannot be used in court. If paternity testing is needed for any legal purpose, the test must be taken with the help of a DNA testing company or Direct-Access lab that has an AABB accredited partner. DNA test results obtained from swab samples can be used as evidence to assist in court, but it’s crucial to do the test with the help of professionals – otherwise, the sample could be easily compromised and result in unclear results. There are specific protocols and procedures that must be closely followed for the results of a DNA test to be admissible in court. It is important to use a company that strictly adheres to chain-of-custody procedures for DNA specimen collections such as Test Smartly Labs.
A special swab is used to collect cells by rubbing on the inside of the cheek (avoiding gum areas) for 30-60 seconds, after the patient has rinsed the mouth with water followed by an antiseptic mouthwash. The samples need to be sent to a lab in order to be analyzed for any signs of tampering. Then, the samples are analyzed for a match between the child and the father or any other relative in the case of relationship DNA testing.
Information On This Topic
Understanding the Downside Risks of “At-Home” Non-Legal Paternity Tests
Everyone is well aware of the fact that genetic material comes from both parents. The mother’s and father’s genes come together to form the unique chemical which is generally known as DNA.
Discovering Your Past, Learning Your History, and Uncovering your Heritage
When many people think of laboratory blood tests, they imagine making an appointment at their doctor's office, taking time off work, paying large fees, and waiting around in the lobby for who knows how long.
If you don’t recall the days of high school biology and chemistry – we’ll give you a refresher.
DNA’s long name is deoxyribonucleic acid. It’s a molecule that carries an important code – the genetic code. DNA lives in the cells of your body. This code tells your body how to work and act. Your DNA impacts everything from your hair color to determining if you’re at risk of certain diseases or if you carry a genetic disorder. Everything that lives (including plants and animals) carries DNA. While all humans have the same genes arranged in the same way, the few differences within our human genome are what make us different from one another, or in some cases (like ancestry DNA testing) it makes us the same.
Why would you need a DNA test?
Did you know there are many ways a DNA test can be extremely useful?
- Research your ancestors and ethnicity
- Find out certain things during pregnancy about an unborn baby
- Research medical conditions
- Collect your child’s DNA to prepare for a “worst case scenario”
DNA testing can tell you a lot about a person or event!
Be prepared for your DNA or Paternity Test!
- Bring Government Issued ID
- Bring Birth Certificate for Child. If none, bring a social security card, insurance card, or something else to help support identification.
- Complete TSL Intake Form & HIPAA Disclosure
- Provide Authorizations to Receive Results
- Most DNA will require a Buccal Swab specimen from the mouth
- Prenatal DNA will require a Blood Draw so you will want to by hydrated
- Be prepared to have a photo taken of all parties being tested.
- Do not eat anything (particularly meat, vegetables and breast milk for infants) for an hour before arriving.
- You do not have to arrive together or go to the same Test Smartly Labs Testing Center but do coordinate plans with all parties being tested.
What Are Your Hours?
- All Test Smartly Labs are open Monday through Friday, from 9am - 5pm
- The Overland Park Testing Center is also open from 9am – 1pm on Saturdays
Do We Need To Have An Appointment?
- No appointment is required to come into our labs, and all of our locations are on a walk-in basis. However, it is recommended you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to closing. If your situation requires special time considerations, please call us to determine if it would be better to arrange an appointment time.
Do I Need Doctors’ Orders For Testing?
- No doctors’ orders needed, we are a Direct-Access Testing Center. You are encouraged to consult your medical professional with your lab test results.
What’s The Turnaround Time For Lab Work?
- Average turnaround time is 2-5 business days depending on the complexity of the lab work. Most tests are available in 2-3 days.
Do You Need A List Of My Medications For A Drug Test?
- Per protocol, the lab techs are not allowed to receive or ask for your medications. A medical review officer or MRO, a licensed physician who specializes in toxicology, will call you and ask for your medications and your physician’s phone number if it’s detected in your sample during testing. The MRO will then call your physician to verify your medications.
Deceased DNA Specimen Collection
There are times when a DNA test is needed from an individual who is already deceased – but depending on the state of the individual’s corpse or the specific regulations, trying to obtain DNA from a deceased person can be challenging. Depending on the gravity of the situation, the body can be exhumed to retrieve a DNA sample, but this method is extreme and very costly.
However, if we are talking about more often-encountered situations, the methods are simpler. For example, if a person needs to prove parentage post-mortem, the swab sample collection method is not a viable option anymore, but there are a few alternatives. The coroners usually keep a sample of the deceased person’s DNA in the form of a blood sample, which is going to be destroyed in a year or two. This is why you should request the sample as soon as possible. In some cases, fingernail cuttings, skin cells and hair samples can be used – but only if less than a week has passed since the passing.
Pre-Natal (Pre-Birth) Paternity Blood Specimen Collection
Pregnancy is a challenging time in a woman’s life, therefore, the last thing you need is parentage doubts. Thankfully, any individual can now obtain a safe, reliable, and non-invasive DNA paternity test during pregnancy, as the DNA contained in a pregnant woman’s blood can be isolated and used to determine paternity.
Paternity can be proven as early as five weeks into pregnancy, given the fact that every drop of blood in the maternal bloodstream contains fetal DNA with a genetic link to the DNA of the father. A simple blood draw from the mother’s arm can determine the paternity of the baby by matching the DNA with the alleged father’s DNA. Generally, several tubes of blood must be drawn to provide enough of a genetic sample for accurate results.
Regardless of your DNA testing needs, our knowledgeable team at Test Smartly Labs can help you find the most convenient solution. Our professionals have vast experience in DNA testing and will follow the proper collection, analysis and reporting procedures to ensure the most accurate results.