How legal DNA testing work?
Legal DNA testing may be used for many types of biological relationships such as paternity, maternity, siblings, grandparents, and avuncular aunt/uncle DNA tests. You may be asking yourself whether you really need legal DNA test results or just informational. In this post, we will explore a few considerations that you may want to think about before making your buying decision.
It’s no secrete that DNA test results can truly change lives. Legal DNA testing can used to confirm an existing relationship, or potentially introduce someone new like a previously unknown brother or sister. Whatever the case, it’s important to carefully plan and consider what ramifications the results may bring, and if any legal action may be necessary as a result.
First and foremost, make sure you chose to go with an AABB accredited lab for your testing regardless of doing legal or non-legal testing. Next, know the industry jargon. A legal DNA test, or court admissible DNA testing, is one that will produce a signed and notarized certificate of result, and will have the AABB seal on it. Informational non-legal DNA testing, does not produce a legal document and as such may be used only for personal knowledge.
Legal DNA Testing requires that the DNA collection must follow strict chain of custody as set forth by the AABB. Most importantly this means that the DNA collection must be witnessed from beginning to end by a third party not related to the case in a clinic or lawyer’s office if mutually agreed by both parties.
It is important to note that some companies tell you that you can use a friend or neighbor to be your witness in legal DNA testing, but if the results or chain of custody is challenged it will not be admissible. All test parties must provide a valid source of ID. This is in contrast to a non-legal informational test, where no one needs to be present to witness the collection and no IDs are required. The informational DNA test is the only one that can be done in the privacy of your own home.
What can a legal DNA test result be used for?
Many things! Some of the most common uses for the legal document would be to change a birth certificate, immigration DNA test purposes, to prove a relationship exists for social security or insurance benefits. Often, people use the results for divorce cases as well; child custody and paternal rights can be gained with a legal test result.
It’s important to consider upfront if you think that you may want to pursue any sort of legal action after you get your test results. If you believe you need to proceed with a legal action, it’s best to start with the legally-binding DNA test. If you choose to perform a non-legal test first, you cannot go back and change the test type afterwards. You would have to start all over with a new legal DNA test. Another thing to consider, is once someone knows the outcome of the test results, they may not want to participate in legal DNA test.
If you have any questions, simply call or email us for consultations. We actually answer the phone when you call unlike most DNA testing companies. We would be happy to discuss your with you and advise which test would be best for you.