Should I Take a DNA Test?

What are the implications of taking a DNA test?

Should I Take a DNA Test?

There are a number of reasons why someone would want to take a DNA test. One of the most common reasons is a paternity test, which can establish whether an alleged father of a child is the true biological father. Similarly there are a number of different tests that can prove whether or not two people or more are related in one way or another through DNA relationship testing.

A person may already know the relationship between their relations, but need to prove so in order to bring that person into the country. For example a UK citizen may use DNA testing for immigration purposes in order to bring their child over as a legal requirement of the Home Office.

Peace of Mind DNA Testing

DNA testing is usually for peace of mind or for legal reasons (court approved DNA testing) both of which can be provided by AlphaBiolabs. Peace of Mind DNA testing involves DNA testing for some of the reasons mentioned above, that are just for the someone’s own knowledge and are not to be used in court (or for the CSA or Home Office).

These usually come in the form of a DNA testing kit and are one of the few scenarios where a DNA test can be self-administered as they are just for peace of mind and do not have to follow such a strict sample collection procedure (although the instructions should be followed carefully.)

Discreet or Infidelity Testing

Other tests that can be conducted at home or by someone provided with a test include ‘discreet’ or ‘infidelity’ testing, in which samples are collected without the knowledge of the person who is being tested.

Although it may not be clearly stated by the providers of such tests these types of test are usually used to determine if someone is cheating in a relationship or if a partner doubts the claimed parentage of child.

Even though this is not to be used in court (it certainly would not be accepted as evidence in any court) and is only for peace of mind, it is still a risky area of testing as it breaches section 45 of the Human Tissue Act if it does not ask for consent from the person being tested.

As AlphaBiolabs adhere to this act, alongside every other required law around DNA testing, we do not offer such testing.

You may be considering using a DNA test to prove a partner has been unfaithful, but consent should always be given when performing DNA testing for any purpose. You should always ensure that you use a company that asks for the relevant consent of everyone being tested.

Court Approved DNA Testing for Civil Law Courts, CSA and Home Office

DNA testing may be required for legal reasons to prove (or disprove) a biological relationship between two or more people in legal cases that have a strong involvement concerning this relationship. For example an alleged father may need to dispute that he should pay child maintenance for a child that he claims is not his, or a mother may want to dispute a claim that a child is the offspring of an alleged father if they want to deny them access to the child. These particular cases would usually relate to the Child Support Agency (CSA), which will be explained in more detail, but such testing could be used for a number of legal cases.

As another example DNA testing could be used to establish a biological relationship if it was disputed that someone is entitled to inheritance due to a family connection to the deceased. They can also be used in immigration cases as mentioned earlier.

AlphaBiolabs is UKAS ISO 17025 accredited*, so we are independently assessed to meet the highest standards, meaning our DNA testing is approved for use by the Ministry of Justice (for use in court), by the CSA and the Home Office. We also adhere to a strict chain of custody and remain 100% confidential during all parts of the DNA testing process.

DNA Testing to find out whether alleged parents are biological parents

You may consider getting a DNA test to prove whether or not people claiming they are your alleged parents are, or you suspect them to be, your biological parents. You may have been separated from your parents at an early age or have been adopted for example, requiring either a paternity DNA test or a Maternity DNA test (or both) to determine the truth.

It is important to get their consent before any testing can take place and it may also be important to consider the impact of the consequences of DNA testing. You may need to consider if it is possible that a certain degree of trust may be lost on request of consent to a DNA test for this purpose, or it may even upset those with parental responsibility, such as foster parents.

However, it may be particularly important to take a DNA test if you hardly know the people who are claiming to be your biological parents and you may be wary of the possible reasons they could be doing so. DNA testing for these purposes can be particularly useful, but if you need help considering the effects it could have then give our support team a call on 0333 600 1300.

If you do not wish to discuss the issues with a company before deciding whether or not you should take a DNA test, then you may find it useful to seek independent advice or counselling. Please visit our support services page for more information on the relevant available services.

How Long Does A DNA Test Take?

Whether or not you should take a DNA test may simply be a case of how much time you have available until you need the answers you require. The speed in which you will receive your results normally depends on what kind of DNA testing you require. Below are some examples of our DNA testing.

24 Hour Next Day DNA testing

With AlphaBiolab’s DNA testing for Peace of Mind you will receive the results within the next working day as standard. This means that if your sample is received by our laboratory before 10:00 am you will receive the results (via email) within the next working day, without any hidden or additional charges for such a speedy service.

It is just for your own knowledge and cannot be used in court or for CSA cases, but if this is not needed it could be a cheaper and quicker alternative to court approved testing. This is especially so when you consider that it can be self-administered at your own convenience with our DNA testing kit (discreet packaging and instructions included) and offers such a high-speed of results as standard.

Legal DNA Testing Results within 3 days

With AlphaBiolab’s court approved DNA testing (legal testing) you will receive the results within 3 days as standard. This means that when your sample is received by our laboratory that you will receive the results within the next 3 working days as standard.

This is a great turnaround time if you need to get your results fast to meet strict case deadlines or court dates. It mainly depends on your own time constraints as to how long DNA testing can take to get back. For an additional cost you can get your results even quicker, as we provide DNA testing results in a number of different times:

DNA Testing Results within 8 hours

Even if you need your results for the same working day, within as little as 8 hours we can provide you with the results as long as the sample is received by our laboratory before 10:00am. This is provided at an additional cost, but can help you reach the tightest of deadlines or court dates if required.

Other speeds of service include results within the next working day (24 hours), which can provide results within the same time as our Peace of Mind test (above) or within 2 working days (48 hours) for an additional fee if you do not have enough time to wait for the standard 3 working days.

Free DNA Testing

It is important to take into consideration the total cost of DNA Testing as some companies may seem tempting offering free home DNA testing kits, but then they may have a considerably high lab fee.

AlphaBiolabs make all fees clear at the point of sale, whether they are additional fees or otherwise. It is important to choose the right DNA testing service for you, depending on the level of service you require throughout the whole process. With our UKAS ISO 17025* accreditation we provide the highest standard of testing, follow a strict chain of custody and remain 100% confidential.

We provide excellent speeds of service as standard (see above) and provide accurate DNA test results swiftly.

The full process of DNA testing (including, admin, kits or sample collection and laboratory for example) can rarely ever be provided for free even if people cannot find the means to pay for them, as they are not provided by the NHS and people on benefits do not receive special discounts.

There has been new funding approved to once again give legal aid to qualifying people in DNA related cases, but cannot afford the testing. However, the reform is in the early stages at the time of writing this – so it is still not clear what circumstances qualify for the government to provide legal aid in this sense.

DNA Testing Child Age Limit

One thing to consider when DNA testing children is the child’s age. There is no age limit or minimum age that a child can take a DNA test, as the process uses painless mouth swabs for the sample collection process.

It is also possible to conduct a DNA test on an unborn child, with a paternity DNA test being performed while pregnant for example. However, with alternative methods being risky it is important that a non-invasive prenatal DNA test is chosen and that the sample collection is conducted after 9 weeks of being pregnant.

The Impact of DNA Testing

Although there is no age limit for the DNA testing of a child it is important to consider that DNA testing results may have significant effects on a number of people including the child and their siblings. DNA testing should be conducted with the children’s best interests in mind. If a child can understand the issues involved, their opinion should be taken into account when deciding whether or not the test is in their best interests, during a child support DNA test for example.

It may also be important to consider the impact of sibling DNA tests, where test results reveal whether or not two children are half or full siblings.

For example, the siblings themselves may not wish to know if it is not them who initiates the testing process, but they may subsequently find out that they are not full siblings. This may upset them if they are unaware of this, or consider each other to be full siblings regardless of the outcome of a DNA test and do not wish to know that information.

The NHS website suggests that when considering DNA testing “it is important to use a company with high quality service and standards”. If you are unsure of what forms of impact DNA testing could have in your particular circumstances, then you can give AlphaBiolabs a call our support service on 0333 600 1300 to ask any questions you may have regarding this subject.

If you do not wish to discuss the issues with a company before making the decision of whether or not you should take DNA test then it may be useful to seek independent advice or counselling.

Please visit  Please visit our support services page for more information on the relevant available services.

Child Support DNA Test

DNA testing may settle disputes over child maintenance payments or over contact rights. Certain claims may be made of individuals when couples separate, especially if they do so on bad terms. The truth may become unclear as the element of trust may have been lost, so DNA testing could possibly be the only resolution or method of acquiring accurate answers for certain individuals.

It can be important for someone to know the truth as to whether they are the true biological parent of a child not just for their own knowledge but also due to financial reasons. Child support contributions amount to 15% of disposable income, as well as additional expenses maintaining a face-to-face relationship with a child.

It is understandable that if someone truly believes a child is not theirs that they would not want to make such contributions, even in circumstances where the unveiling of the truth is more important to an individual.

DNA testing can seem even more important when you consider that the Child Support Agency presumes a man named by the mother is the father until it is proven otherwise by a DNA testing. No matter how much a man claims the child is not his – if the mother names him as the father and he refuses to provide a DNA test sample to prove his contention – he will continue to have to pay child maintenance.

If a man takes a DNA test proving he is not the biological father after already having to pay child maintenance then this will be refunded if the test comes back negative.

The number of negative results from challenges to the CSA has been rising and is currently in excess of 19%. Therefore it may be important that you should take a DNA test if you are unsure as to whether you are the biological parent of a child (or adamant that you are not), especially if you need the money that would be spent on child maintenance to provide for your biological family.

Consent of DNA Testing and DNA testing the deceased

In order to perform a DNA test for any purpose you need to get all the relevant consents (also see discreet testing section of this webpage) but it is important to note that in legal cases it is possible that if a person with parental responsibility refuses consent for a child to be tested but the court considers the test is in the child’s best interests, the court may order the test to go ahead. Similarly this may also be so if an alleged father or mother refuses their consent. In this sense, the courts are exempt from the consent clauses within the Human Tissue Act, in order to serve the best interests of the child.

Another situation where you may not be able to directly get consent from an individual is a DNA test for someone who is deceased, such as a family member who has passed away. If you think you should get a DNA test for this purpose then this is possible, by getting a DNA sample during autopsy for example. ‘Qualifying’ consent can often be given in these circumstances, for example their next of kin may give consent for paternity DNA testing of the deceased to go ahead.

Many of the reasons why you may consider a DNA test on a deceased person may be very similar to the reasons why you would test a living person. For example you may need complex relationship testing such as:

  • Grandparent DNA testing
  • Aunt and Uncle DNA testing (also known as Avuncular DNA testing)
  • Sibling testing
  • Extended family DNA testing (for example cousins or if a biological relationship is unknown)

This is just to name a few of the DNA tests that can be conducted, with a number of the tests being essentially the same. It is generally just the collection method and the forms of consent that will be different.

DNA testing for Ancestry

DNA testing can also be used for people who wish to discover their ancestry, they may then use this information to learn more about their heritage for example.

Should I Take a DNA Test

If this webpage has helped you to make the decision to take a DNA test for one of the many purposes outlined above, or if you need more help and support, then please call our friendly customer service team on 0333 600 1300 and we will can help you with any services you may need or any enquiries you may have.