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DNA Paternity Testing

Who must be tested to establish paternity?
For routine cases using buccal swab testing, the child, mother, and alleged father must be tested. For non-routine cases, sample collection may include:

  • Only the alleged father and the child.  
  • Siblings or grandparents for family studies.  
  • Specimens from deceased individuals.  
  • Amniotic fluid.  
  • Multiple alleged fathers.  

What is the cost of a paternity test? This is LEGAL TESTING and is below average pricing
The standard cost for buccal swab testing is $299  for two people ( this is typically all you need, Alleged father & Child), $399 for three people, such as mother, child, and alleged father, and $100 for each additional person  (includes specimen collection).   

Where do I go for specimen collection?
We contract with a network of labs for convenient specimen collection.  Upon receipt of the necessary forms and payment information, we will identify the specimen collection labs closest to the persons being tested, schedule appointments for specimen collection, and notify those persons of the dates, times, and locations of their tests via telephone or fax.  

What forms of payment are accepted?
VISA, MasterCard, Amercian Express and Discover cards as well as debit cards are the preferred forms of payment. Money Orders or Cashiers Checks are also acceptable forms of payment, but need to be received by us before testing.  

Common Questions About Paternity Testing

How is a paternity test scheduled?
Please send us your inquiry through the ORDER TESTS  page or call  866-297-9736 to begin the process of scheduling a paternity test.    

Is there a 6 months of age requirement for infants?
No. This was previously a common policy in paternity testing because of the difficulty of drawing blood from small infants and due to the AABB requirements. Buccal swab specimen collection, in which cells are obtained from the inside of the mouth (the inner cheek), has eliminated the need to draw blood.  

How does a buccal swab sample differ from a blood sample?
For purposes of identity testing, there is no difference in the DNA obtained from buccal swabs and blood.  

When a buccal swab specimen is collected, do you collect saliva for paternity testing?
Although some saliva is contained on the swabs, the technician is actually collecting cells from the inside of the mouth.

Are buccal swabs contaminated since they are collected from the mouth?
No. DNA testing is not affected by the DNA of bacteria or by common foods, tobacco, or toothpaste.  

What steps are taken to prevent a mismatch of samples?
Good laboratory practices that incorporate exclusion confirmation and duplicate testing of independent specimen preparations help prevent and detect mismatched specimens. Buccal swab collection is performed using different colored swabs for the mother, child, and alleged father to minimize specimen mishandling.  

How many test systems (loci) should be run?
The multiple genetic systems selected for routine testing at LabCorp usually exclude 99.99% of falsely accused men from paternity. LabCorp has an extensive battery of genetic tests available if the 13 core DNA tests do not provide a definitive result.   

Can paternity be established for a deceased alleged father?
If blood or buccal swabs are collected from the alleged father at the time of death and shipped immediately to the laboratory, standard testing can be performed. If the alleged father is deceased, his parents can be tested to determine whether they may be the child's grandparents. An alternative is to generate paternity reports based on a transplant list (such as heart, kidney, or bone marrow), human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typings, tissue specimens from previous surgeries, or blood types from medical records. People who die in motor vehicle accidents often have specimens collected for toxicology studies. Specimens or tissue samples from an autopsy (obtained from the coroner's office) can be used to determine paternity. Human remains can also be exhumed to obtain a tissue sample for testing.  

Can paternity evaluation be performed without testing the mother?
Paternity testing can be performed if the mother is not available, although additional laboratory processing is necessary. The mother's parents may also be tested to improve the statistical evaluation or confirm maternity.  

Will testing show if the mother is excluded from maternity?
Although rare, confirmed cases of non-maternity have been found through routine paternity testing.  

If specimens are collected for one case, but the results are needed in another case, can the findings be used in both cases?
We maintain a strict privacy policy and will only use samples or results from a previous case if the person agrees to the additional testing or if there is an order from a court or administrative tribunal.  

Can reliable testing be performed when the parties specimens are drawn at different times?
Specimens for paternity testing do not need to be obtained at the same time. LabCorp securely stores specimens until all specimens needed for case resolution are received.  

Can specimen types be different within a case, such as a buccal swab from the child and blood from the adults?
DNA testing can use different sources, because DNA markers are the same throughout a person's nucleated cells (with exceptions for people who have undergone bone marrow transplantation). Buccal swabs should be used for any person who has had a bone marrow transplant.  

How long are buccal specimens valid for future testing?
The labs we utilize have had excellent results in testing buccal swabs that were more than 2 years old. Based on the success of testing dried blood stains, we anticipate that dried buccal specimens will offer many years of stability. We currently retain paternity samples a minimum of 7 years. Some contractual requirements run longer (10 years).    

If the mother and alleged father are related, will the testing be affected?
No. When the mother and alleged father are related, the testing is still valid.  

If two alleged fathers are related (brother-brother, father-son, or nephew-uncle), is the testing valid?
The laboratory must be informed of the circumstances, because it is possible for the men to have similar genetic markers even when DNA analysis is performed. Extended testing may need to be performed until one man is excluded. Related alleged fathers should be tested at the same time until one is excluded.  

Paternity Testing and Family Studies
DNA tests are highly accurate, usually excluding more than 99.99% of non-parents. DNA testing can also provide a high probability of paternity.

Testing protocols are designed to readily resolve routine questions of disputed paternity as well as less common cases, such as:

  • Absent mother
  • Family studies
  • Deceased parties
  • Multiple alleged fathers who are related
  • Twin zygosity
  • Sibling testing
  • Grandparent testing
  • Family study/reconstruction (to determine paternity when a parent's DNA is unavailable)
  • Y chromosome testing

Our labs perform testing on several different sample types. The most commonly used sample is the buccal swab. This type of sample is collected by swabbing the inner facial cheek (buccal cavity) with a sterile cotton swab. Blood samples also can be used for paternity or identity testing.

Call 1-866-297-9736 OR ORDER ONLINE to arrange DNA Testing.