A legal vs. non-legal DNA test is the same test, what differs is the process you go through to get it done. A legal test involves oversight (chain of custody) throughout the entire process; however, there are many benefits to getting the test done this way
Non-Legal “Good To Know” Paternity DNA Test
Non-Legal “Good To Know” Paternity DNA Test: Alleged Father and Child DNA Specimen Type: Buccal Swab
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Sometimes you don’t have a court order. Sometimes you don't need to produce a verifiable record of paternity. Sometimes you just want to know. If you’re looking for a trustworthy and accurate test that can answer your questions of paternity, Test Smartly Labs can provide exactly what you need.
More Than Curiosity
There are many, many reasons that would drive interested parties to obtain a paternity test. In popular culture this drive is often considered synonymous with family drama, and that’s because the question of paternity is an important one. Sometimes it can solve disputes.
Sometimes it can unite families. Some lab testing customers come in with a prospective father and son or daughter, each of them just trying to find the truth. Our tests are able to satisfy that curiosity with a basically non-existent margin of error.
A Time-Tested Strategy
Testing paternity has been a practice since the 1920s, with the earliest tests being performed by matching blood types. Thankfully, the technology has rapidly increased all the way to PCR testing that started in the 1990s and that offers a 99.99% exclusion rate.
The DNA method has produced many labs and in-home solutions to this question, and we encourage you to carefully research each one. Some in-home tests have materials of a lower quality which may increase the likelihood of inaccurate tests, and that’s why it's necessary to find a partner like TSL, where every procedure is followed and every result is carefully considered.
Contact Test Smartly Labs today!
Information On This Topic
Benefits Of Legal DNA Testing
The Importance of Establishing Legal Paternity
The Importance of Establishing Legal Paternity
In the last decade, the importance of establishing paternity has increased in value due to several legal developments regarding financial rights as well as medical-related issues of the child.
Consider STI/STD Testing along with your Paternity Test
Consider STI/STD Testing along with your Paternity Test
If you are sexually active and pregnant at the same time, you might want to consider taking a comprehensive STI/STD test along with the paternity test. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) are as common in pregnant women as in non-pregnant women.
When would you need a relationship DNA test?
Relationship DNA tests most often deal with families (and all of the complications that can come with them)! Here are some of the most common reasons people need our help with DNA testing in their families:
- Prove or disprove someone is the father (paternity testing) or mother (maternity testing)
- Prove or disprove someone is the father/mother or prove a biological relationship with a child by testing grandparents (grandparentage testing)
- Determine if two individuals are full or half siblings (siblingship testing)
- Check if twins are fraternal or identical (twin zygosity test)
- Whether you need DNA testing for issues of custody, child support, inheritance, name changes or for general information and/or peace of mind, we can help.
- Immigration DNA testing. This can play a significant role when someone’s trying to get a visa application to go through and enter the U.S. – especially if you need to prove biological relationships.
At Test Smartly Labs, we work with AABB-accredited labs for immigration DNA testing to make sure the DNA test results can be used as part of the Department of State’s visa review process. Learn more about immigration DNA testing.
How many DNA tests will be needed to prove family relationships?
All DNA tests will require samples from at least two people in order to be performed, but oftentimes adding more people in the biological family tree can help with the accuracy of results.
Because genes have variants (called alleles), they can be expressed differently from person to person. (That’s why we don’t all look the same!) However, because of these variants, when you’re testing for family relationships, the more people willing to offer samples, the more complete picture of a biological family you’ll get. DNA testing looks for “matches” within the samples offered – so the more people willing to offer a sample, the more accurate the matching process will be.
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.
What is an “At-Home” or “Good-to-Know” Paternity Test?
Home Paternity Kits are a convenient method to provide individuals with results about your paternity towards a child, all from the privacy of your home. Following a similar process as Professional DNA Lab, they both take and analyze your DNA. You ship the kit away to the DNA company and receive the results through the mail.
The accuracy and results of the test differ between each company and the quality of DNA you provide to the labs. Before you purchase your home paternity kit, research the quality of the lab and shelf life of your kit ensuring it isn’t expired.
These kits are okay for finding initial information related to the paternity of your child, but they are not accepted as evidence if you decided to go to court. There are also many reported errors from insufficient samples to contaminated specimens. If this occurs, the home kit must be repurchased and the process starts again.
Problems with “Good to Know” Paternity Kits
- Tampering is the biggest problem for “Good to Know” At-Home Paternity Tests. As tests are shipped, they may suffer interference, contamination, or other outside influences providing varied results. For court cases, this provides inconvenience to individuals as they need to retake a test that follows the strict chain of custody process.
- Additional Costs for the shipping increases the cost of “At-Home” Paternity kits by an extra 20%. That isn’t including the return shipping if you provide an invalid DNA sample that isn’t accepted by the lab, wasting your time and money.
In comparison, Certified DNA Collectors at approved Testing Centers such a Test Smartly Labs follow exacting legally admissible procedures (Chain of Custody), giving you an easy one-time process, where the results can be used as valid and defensible evidence for your paternal court case.
- Inferior Quality of specimen collections or kits to unaccredited labs, that may return unreliable results. Make sure you research each home kit and its labs that are used to test before purchasing. Watch for hidden costs such as lab fees, shipping, processing etc.
- Privacy is a big issue for At-Home Kits. As they are providing a cheaper upfront cost, they may sell your DNA profile private information to private parties or researchers.
What is a Legally Admissible Test?
Legally Admissible Paternity tests are one of the defensible evidence accepted by the court. They are Chain-of-Custody tests that provide proof paternity for:
- Confirmation of Fatherhood
- Legal Parenting Disputes
- Rights to Child Support or Custody
- Social Security and Tax Benefits
Before beginning these tests, all parties are properly identified and tested from a third-party professional with no relation to the patients, ensuring the validity of the results. Requiring documentation of two passport photos and a government-issued form of ID such as a driver’s license or passport. Birth Certificates may also be required.
How Legally Admissible Tests Work?
- An independent, third-party lab collects a DNA sample using a cheek swab for the test. This is done by a professional who first verifies your identity.
(Different from a Home DNA test, the whole process is done under the supervision of a certified DNA collector.)
- Once the sample is collected and stored, a court-approved third-party delivery service takes the DNA specimen and delivers it to an AABB Certified DNA Lab in the case of Test Smartly Labs. An in-tact chain-of-custody ensures that each specimen has not been substituted or tampered with throughout its journey from collection to final results. The entire chain of custody is thoroughly documented and therefore admissible in a legal court or other use.
- The sample is tested and analyzed in an AABB-approved lab. The results must be sent to the court directly. No photocopy or scans are accepted.
Why Test Smartly Labs for Legally Admissible Tests
Test Smartly Labs is your comprehensive DNA testing solution for individuals, families, employees, and organizations across the country. Partnering with AABB accredited DNA laboratories ensuring strict national guidelines and procedures are followed, guaranteeing correct results. We accommodate for the privacy, confidentiality, and comfort of our clients. We regularly arrange separate specimen collection times for the participants in a Paternity case as sometimes animosity exists. We make it easy for all involved to get the testing they need without disrupting their schedule or life.
Here is why you should use Test Smartly Labs for your Legally Admissible Tests instead of At-Home DNA Kits:
Accuracy - At-Home DNA Kits have the potential to be tampered and manipulated easily. DNA swabs can be swapped and submitted using someone else’s DNA sample. Men who want to avoid paying child support. Women can cheat the test by using DNA from another child. Going through a strict verification process ensures your paternity test results are accurate and valid, providing peace of mind.
Accredited - AABB supports high standards for medical performance, scientific investigation, and clinical application. Auditing and assessing quality systems and operational areas to be compliant with strict guidelines. We use AABB accredited laboratories, guaranteeing you get the best service possible, expert specimen collection, analysis, and reporting processes using the strictest and highest standards.
Speed - Unlike most At-Home Lab kits who take a minimum of 5-7 days (not including shipping times), Test Smartly Labs provides your Paternity DNA test results within 2-3 days.
Genetic Markers - Standard At-Home Tests save money by testing for 16 or fewer genetic markers. At Test Smartly Labs we test more markers with more alleles providing a 99.99% accurate result. “All Paternity tests are not created equal”. Cheaper tests test fewer genetic markers and lack the highest degree of certainty.
Double Checking - Test Smartly Labs processes the samples independently, testing them two times and comparing the data for consistency before running the report, ensuring reliable, reproducible, and accurate test results.
Proficiency in Analysis
For 10+ years, the staff at Test Smartly Labs has been running Legally Admissible Tests for Paternity, Relationship DNA, Immigration, and DNA Matching Tests. We specialized in advising our clients on the best DNA testing options and correctly, ethically, and efficiently collecting and processing DNA specimens. We always follow the strict chain of custody processes ensuring the tests can be used as valid and defensible evidence in court.
Even if you don’t need a Chain-of-Custody Paternity DNA Test, using an accredited lab that goes through a secure process provides you with comfort and peace of mind, knowing that your information is safe and the results are accurate.
Contact Test Smartly Labs for your Legally Admissible Paternity DNA…