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How to Select a Paternity Test Lab Selecting the Best DNA Paternity Lab by Quality and Reputation

Selecting the Best DNA Paternity Lab by Quality and Reputation

Selecting a paternity test lab is an important step in determining the biological father of a child or children when there is a question of paternity. Should the case go to court, results from DNA testing are admissible and the evidence they provide is compelling.

DNA diagnostics are a highly specialized field and although there are recommendations established by the government, there isn’t an oversight organization directing the daily operations of DNA labs. This means that consumers should look for certification through an organization such as the AABB and  FQS-I Accreditation Services  as crucial first step in picking an appropriate laboratory.

Accreditation – Why is this so important?

Organizations such as The American Association of Blood Banks monitor procedures and technology for scientific validity. However, the AABB only regulates paternity tests that are legal tests. They do not accredit home testing although the may accredit the institution that is offering them.  DNA labs must meet rigid industry standards and submit to routine inspections to hold and retain their accreditation. This protects the public by ensuring that all testing meets these standards and that the results will standup in a court of law. The AABB routinely requires biannual proficiency testing as another means of regulating quality.

Other reputable accrediting institutions include The College of American Pathologists (CAP) and The Forensic Quality Services International (FQS-I).

Accredited labs provide accurate and valid testing and DNA diagnostics. People searching for a paternity testing lab should also consider staff qualifications, type of testing and procedures used. For example, a highly skilled and trained staff should include PhDs that oversee testing.

Know what types of testing is being done and how many genes are tested

The standard in North America is the testing of at least 16 genes and those tests should be run twice though not all facilities do. This may increase the time involved in testing as well as the costs associated with the procedure, but it verifies the accuracy of the DNA diagnostics associated with each case. DNA Diagnostics reports should be available and contain the results for each gene tested.  Other important considerations for selecting the right DNA lab should include the company’s experience, and capacity.

A legal DNA diagnostics test will samples for all parties involved. These samples should always be monitored carefully. For instance the DNA lab will need to see proper id from all parties, the collection will be carefully monitored generally by swabbing the inside of the cheeks rather than through blood testing. The samples should then be held to a strict chain of possession to ensure all samples are correctly identified and preserved. People who are seeking the services of a DNA testing company should always be aware of the company procedure as well as the reputation that they have earned through the entire process of DNA diagnostics.