Frequently Asked Questions
Get answers to our most-asked questions here. Have more? Contact us for a free consultation.
Pre-Test & Testing
Will my test results be legally binding?
DDC strictly adheres to the chain-of-custody procedure as outlined by the AABB, and this makes our test results legally defensible. More judges in more courtrooms will see DDC reports than any other paternity report. Many of our patients use their test results for legal purposes such as child custody, child support, immigration, Social Security benefit claims, inheritance claims, and more.
You must call the lab directly to set up the test. Call us at 800.681.7162
Can I use my legal paternity test results to obtain child support?
Testing through DDC follows a strict chain of custody, which makes our results defensible in courts and other government agencies. Many of our patients use their test results to obtain child support and for other important legal purposes, such as validating claims for Social Security benefits or inheritances.
We’re ready to help. Call us at 800.681.7162
What does “chain of custody” mean?
The chain of custody process is what makes a DDC legal paternity test results legally defensible in courts and other government agencies. It involves three main aspects:
- The tested parties are properly identified when their samples are collected. (Their government-issued IDs are verified and photocopied.)
- The DNA samples are collected by a neutral third party—someone who has no personal interest in the outcome of the test (e.g., a hospital, clinic, or laboratory staff person. DDC will coordinate this collection).
- The samples are tamper-taped, securely packaged at the collection site, and carefully inspected upon receipt for any evidence of tampering.
When these requirements are satisfied and documented, the results are legally defensible. This means that the patients can use them for legal purposes such as child custody, child support, immigration, and more.
This test must be set up directly through DDC. We’re ready to help. Call us at 800.681.7162
How soon can you DNA test a baby after birth?
You can DNA test a baby after birth as soon as the baby has been cleaned up by hospital staff. Because a cheek swab is used, it’s important that the baby’s mouth be free from meconium, amniotic fluid, breast milk, or formula when doing the DNA collection.
What types of samples does DDC use for a home paternity test?
DNA is collected by test participants at home, using cheek swabs (also called buccal swabs). Cheek swabbing is a quick and painless way to collect cheek cells containing DNA. This is not a saliva test. To prevent swabs from getting “too wet,” avoid gum areas and do not spit on the swabs. If they seem very wet, wave swabs in the air for 60 seconds prior to placing them in the paper sample envelopes.
How soon can I have my sample collected?
Because we have sample-collection sites all over the world, we are be able to schedule an appointment for you quickly—often on the same day that you call.
What do I need to bring to the appointment?
All adult test participants must bring a valid government-issued ID—such as a driver’s license, state ID, military ID, or passport—to the sample collection appointment. For minors, a recent photo is required, although the collector is likely going to take a photograph of all the tested parties, and this will suffice. In addition, the child’s legal custodian needs to sign a consent form allowing the minor to be tested.
What will happen at the sample collection appointment?
When you arrive at your appointment, you will need to present proper identification, which the sample collector will verify and photocopy.
After you are properly identified, you will need to sign a form giving your consent for the test. If you are the legal custodian of a tested minor, you will have to sign the form on behalf of the child.
The collector will collect your DNA samples using simple buccal swabs—cotton-like swabs that he or she will rub against the inside of your cheek to gather loose cheek cells. The collector will then send all the samples to our laboratory.
Our collection process is designed to be convenient, simple, and painless!
How long does it take to get DNA paternity-test results for a home test?
Results are posted 2 business days after samples are received at the lab. 1-day or same-day results once samples arrive at the lab are available for an additional fee.
How will I receive my results?
For security reasons, we do not send a copy of your results via email. Instead, a PDF report can be downloaded from your secure online account on our website. We immediately send a notification email to the address on file as soon as the online report is ready to view. For a legal paternity test, all tested parties receive a hard-copy of the report as long as mailing addresses are given in writing.
Does a legal paternity test report have names of participants on them?
Yes; names are on the report because a chain-of-custody process has been followed and the identities of participants have been independently verified.
What do test results look like, and how do I interpret them?
We follow all paternity-test guidelines for the language used in the report. For this reason, your paternity test results will say whether the possible father IS EXCLUDED or IS NOT EXCLUDED as the biological father of the child tested.
- IS EXCLUDED: Means that he cannot be the father because testing determined that he and the child do not share a biological parent/child relationship.
- IS NOT EXCLUDED: Means that he is likely to be the biological father because testing determined that he and the child do share a biological parent/child relationship with a high degree of probability.
A paternity test result includes a table that lists:
- The allele sizes of the different DNA markers examined and used in the statistical analysis portion of the test (i.e., the DNA profile)
- A Probability of Paternity value
- A Combined Paternity Index (CPI) value
You will want to focus on the probability of paternity percentage. A result of 0% means the alleged father is not the biological father; a result of 99.99% or higher means the alleged father is likely to be the biological father. The CPI value represents the odds against another random, unrelated, untested male in the population having the same results as the tested man. IMPORTANT: Paternity testing is calculated using statistics. Therefore, a probability of paternity can never be 100%, because that perfect score would require testing every man on earth with the same racial background of the man tested—which isn’t possible. A probability of 99%+ is considered conclusive for paternity.
How much does a legal paternity test cost?
Our legal DNA paternity test (with court-admissible results) starts at $300.
Is a legal paternity test covered by health insurance or Medicaid?
Because this is a voluntary test, paternity testing is not covered by health insurance or Medicaid.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept the following forms of payment:
- American Express
- Pre-paid credit cards
- Western Union Quick Collect
- Money orders
- Cashier’s checks
- Personal checks (with the payer’s driver’s license number written on the check’s memo line)
- Checks by phone (U.S. patients only)
Do you have payment plans?
As part of our mission to make the best DNA testing services accessible and affordable, we offer flexible payment plans to individuals who need time to pay for their tests. If you want to take advantage of our payment plans, call us at 800.681.7162.
Do you protect my privacy?
We take our customers’ privacy very seriously: both for your case and your DNA data.
- We will not release any information about your case to anyone without your authorization.
- We will always follow any special instructions you give us for communicating with you or other parties involved in your test.
- We never release test results over the phone.