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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Legal Paternity Testing


Who can use the legal paternity test?

Since our legal paternity test and other family relationship DNA tests involve strict chain of custody procedures and require documentation of the identity of all tested parties, legal paternity tests can be used for court cases, child support cases or for immigration proceedings.  


Whether they are used in a state, tribal, or federal court, or for an adoption, surrogacy, or immigration case through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), US Department of State (US embassies around the world), or other organization, the results of our legal paternity tests may be viewed as valid and accurate when the chain of custody process has been followed.


If your legal paternity test or family relationship DNA test is for an immigration proceeding, CLICK HERE for more information.


If you need a "peace-of-mind" paternity test and don't need the paternity test for legal purposes, CLICK HERE for more information on our at-home paternity test.


What is the process for a legal paternity test?

After you call and set up your legal paternity test with one of our customer service representatives:

  •  You will be scheduled at one of more than 1,700 collection sites available nationwide or at a contracted site worldwide, providing a strict chain of custody DNA collection (cheek swab).  We schedule most DNA specimen collection appointments within 1-2 business days.  All of the tested parties can choose to have their sample collected at the same time and location, or at separate times and locations.  It is our goal to make this part of the process as convenient as possible for all parties involved. 
  • Following the DNA specimen collection, the authorized collector will package the samples for a quick and easy shipment back to our DNA testing laboratory. 
  • Legal paternity test results are generally available in 3-5 business days once we receive the samples of all parties tested in our laboratory.


Can I order a legal paternity test if I live in the state of New York?

Yes, the state of New York requires that you complete a paternity test that has been ordered either by a physician, an attorney, a court order, or an immigration agency. Any DNA paternity laboratory that is accredited by the New York State Department of Health will have this same requirement. The order for testing in the state of New York must include the names of the tested parties, as well as who should receive the results.


Do I have to pay an extra fee for my DNA specimen collection?

No, Genetica's fees include specimen collection(s) when the DNA samples are collected at one of more than 1,700 collection sites available around the United States.  Genetica also has access to collection sites worldwide, where collection fees may apply.


How are the DNA specimens for my legal paternity test collected?

Specimens are easily obtained from the inside of the cheek with a sterile cotton swab (buccal swab); it is the valuable cheek cells, not the saliva, which contain the DNA that is used for our paternity test, maternity test, or DNA family relationship tests.  Genetica DNA Laboratories has access to an extensive network of DNA specimen collection sites nationwide.  We make the process of DNA specimen collections convenient for all parties involved. 


Does the mother of the child need to be tested in the legal paternity test?

It is possible to conduct a legal paternity test without a DNA sample from the child's biological mother; however, it is preferred that the mother also provide a DNA specimen to make the paternity test more conclusive.


What if there are two alleged fathers and they are related?

For the most accurate and conclusive result, in cases where two related men are possible fathers of the same child, it is HIGHLY recommended to test both alleged fathers, as well as the biological mother of the child.  If this is not possible, it is important to alert the DNA laboratory that there are other possible fathers who are related to the tested alleged father.  


How reliable are the DNA paternity test results?

Our legal paternity test results routinely provide a probability of paternity of 99.99% or 0% (excluded).  Whether you just need to know or will need results that can be used in a legal matter, Genetica DNA Laboratories should be your first step in this journey.


How is my personal information protected when ordering a legal paternity test?

Your security and privacy are very important to our DNA paternity laboratory.  Once your DNA samples are collected at a DNA specimen collection site, they are packaged in a tamper-proof bag for shipment to our DNA paternity testing laboratory.  All access into our DNA paternity testing laboratory is by restricted entry only.  All samples are bar-coded and all computer systems are secured.  Your results and case information are shared only with authorized individuals.  For the protection of the tested parties, your DNA paternity test results are not released over the phone.  All DNA samples and DNA profiles are retained as long as required by our accreditation guidelines, but are destroyed after the requisite storage periods.


What do I need to start my legal paternity test?

You will need the following information:

  • Names of all tested parties
  • Current contact information for all parties involved
  • Return address or email for the results
  • Payment (credit or debit cards preferred; no cash or personal checks accepted)
  • Please note:  New York Residents also need to provide either an order of a physician, an attorney, or an immigration agency, or a court order. 

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Our Legal DNA Testing Services include:

  • Legal Paternity Test
  • Legal Maternity Test
  • ​Prenatal DNA Paternity Test (amniotic fluid or CVS samples collected by the mother's doctor only)
  • Legal Sibling DNA Test
  • Family Reconstruction cases (when the alleged parent is deceased or missing)
  • Legal Grandparentage DNA Test (both alleged grandparents tested)

Legal Paternity Test


AABB Accredited DNA Testing


All sample collections for our legal paternity test and other family relationship DNA tests are conducted using our strict chain of custody procedures that document the identity of the tested parties and provides for secure transportation of samples to our paternity testing laboratory.  Internal processes and procedures are used throughout the testing to maintain chain of custody.  Our DNA paternity testing laboratory is accredited by AABB.  Our DNA paternity laboratory also participates in numerous proficiency tests to ensure continual high performance.


All of our DNA tests, including the legal paternity test, include over 20 genetic markers and DNA samples are run in a duplicate manner to ensure you get high quality DNA paternity test results every time.