When you find yourself needing a paternity test, there are 3 main things you’ll need to consider as you begin the DNA testing process.

1. Is the test purely for personal knowledge, or do you need to show the test result to others?

The answer to this question dictates whether or not you need a legal paternity DNA test (also known as chain of custody paternity test), or a home DNA test.

In a legal paternity DNA test, your DNA sample is collected by a trained professional at one of our convenient DNA testing locations nationwide. You will be asked to present identification so that the laboratory can certify the names of the individuals being tested. The results are notarized and can serve as a legal proof of paternity or non-paternity. Separate appointments can be scheduled for each participant if desired (ie. the mother, child, and possible father); the samples are then transported to our laboratory where they are analyzed.

If you only want the test for personal knowledge, you may opt for home DNA testing. In this test, a DNA collection kit will be sent to your home or other address you specify, and you collect the samples for the father, child, and/or mother using cheek swabs. Because your identity is not verified by the laboratory, the results will not be notarized.

2. How do you choose the best paternity testing laboratory?

One of the key things to look for in a paternity testing laboratory is whether or not they have the AABB accreditation. Look into the laboratory’s history–you’ll know that a laboratory is reliable if they have an established AABB accreditation history.

In addition to accreditation, experienced staff is a must. Look for a laboratory with full-time, experienced laboratory directors. Check into how long the laboratory has been in business, and find out its staff qualifications in the areas of human genetics and DNA testing.

Call the laboratory and get a feel for their customer service. See how they respond to your particular concerns. Ask how they can ensure your privacy during the testing process.

If you’re opting for a legal test, another important consideration would be their network of local DNA sample collection sites. You’ll want one that has locations close to you, and if the tested parties live separately, a bigger network will allow for efficient and convenient appointment scheduling.

3. What are the testing costs?

The testing cost is partially determined by type of test (home or legal), as well as the turnaround time (i.e., how quickly you need the results back). At DDC, our goal is to make high-quality DNA testing accessible and affordable. We have a range of options for you to choose from, including:

  • Online test results
  • Standard 2-day turnaround time
  • Expedited 1-day results available
  • Partial payments accepted for legal paternity testing

To get started or find out more, call us for a free, confidential consultation at 1-800-613-5768 or visit our paternity testing page.