Home Paternity Test Now

your source for DNA paternity testing information

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
How to Select a Paternity Test Lab Don't Let the Information Overwhelm You

Don't Let the Information Overwhelm You

Selecting a paternity test lab can be a daunting task for an individual or family already under the strain of personal or legal burdens; however, making the right choice doesn't have to be complicated or stressful. Using a few basic guidelines can help you quickly and easily decide upon the lab best suited to perform your paternity DNA test.

For a paternity DNA test, you first need to establish if the testing is purely for your own knowledge. If you need only to clear up questions in private, to gain the relief of knowing the truth about a child's parentage, an at-home test will suffice. If there is a chance that the results may need to be presented in court, it is better to use a legally accepted form of paternity DNA test, as this will save time, money, and effort overall.   

Next, be aware that not all labs are the same. Accreditation is one way to help determine if a lab follows acceptable industry practices. Accredited labs have been checked to assure that they adhere to certain quality control standards. This process assesses the staff and procedures in place and assures that federal guidelines and state regulations are met or exceeded. There are many forms of accreditation, but one of the leading forms is given through the AABB. They inspect each lab in a number of areas, including their methods of measuring, equipment standards and maintenance, and staff proficiency.

The level of accuracy of the final result of your paternity DNA test is a critical factor to consider. Not all labs test samples in exactly the same way. The number of genetic markers examined to determine paternity varies, but it is commonly accepted that a minimum of sixteen markers should be checked to give an accurate result. The minimum level of testing guaranteed by a lab and the probability of the results can and should be obtained in writing before testing begins.  

The lab should perform its own work, not outsource your samples to another facility for testing. This protects your sample from being handled by the lowest bidder or by a lab whose credentials you haven't seen. The lab you choose should have a number of years of experience in performing paternity DNA testing.

There is a long list of labs in competition for your business, so potential customers shouldn't accept the first name they see. Even in this industry, you should shop around to get the best deal, one that fits your needs. Most labs offer payment plans, convenient collection times and locations, and promise speedy results. Look for affordability, as tests come in a range of costs. Generally, the more services you want along with your paternity DNA test, the more you will pay.

Personal considerations when choosing a lab are equally important. As a client, you want a lab with excellent customer service. The personnel should be responsive and willing to answer your questions. The lab should have facilities for sample collection available for each person to be tested, even if those who need to submit samples live far away. Paternity DNA results may be available by mail, phone or the Internet (with a special password). Finally, the lab should seek to protect your confidentiality in all matters from test results to your payment method and personal information.