What happens to the DNA test samples after a home paternity test?

What happens to the DNA test samples after a home paternity test?

After a home paternity test, our normal procedure is to retain the samples for one year in case additional testing by our client is necessary. There can be many reasons additional testing might be requested, and we can continue the testing with the swab we received for the initial test. 

If the test is an exclusion, thereby eliminating the possibility that the tested person is in fact the father, the mother may want a second test to confirm a different man. This question of paternity can be further explored, until a biological father is in fact identified. Accrediting bodies collect data from certified labs, and it has been reported as recently as 2010 that roughly one-quarter of all paternity tests result in an exclusion. In many of these exclusions, follow up testing is requested. With the swabs remaining in the laboratory, more testing can take place.

For the majority of paternity test participants, the first test will produce definitive results, and the case is closed. Many people are concerned that their DNA can then be used by the laboratory, or passed to other agencies, even government agencies. At PTL, one does not have worry about their DNA or the data of the test being shared. The profile generated to complete the test is safe and secure.

The standard protocol for sample storage is to keep the sample for 12 months. Unless the client asks for the sample to be kept longer, we will then destroy the sample. If you wish, however, you may request that all samples containing DNA be destroyed immediately after completing the test.

Conversely, we do also have people ask that DNA be stored for longer than the 12 months. There are times in legal battles over a deceased’s estate that may require people to be tested to prove a biological relationship years down the road, and the DNA can be stored as long as the client wishes. In special circumstances the lab could choose to charge a storage fee.

If you have any question about the storage or use of your DNA, ask before the DNA is tested. It’s your right to know how and when your DNA is tested, used, and stored.