We’re currently experiencing a DNA test boom in the United States and all around the world! As technology improves and demand increases, more and more DNA kits are showing up on store shelves: tests for ancestry, tests for health, traits, and even fitness. So how do you know which are the best ones? Do your research!
Sadly, they’re often made fun of on TV, but the truth is paternity test results are no laughing matter.
Probably the most potentially life-changing DNA test on the market is the Home Paternity Test. It wasn’t that long ago that you had to go to a doctor or clinic to do this type of testing-whether you needed results for court or just your own peace of mind- and it cost hundreds of dollars. Now you can get paternity info for less than $150. A paternity test is important and life-changing because results can affect relationships at a deep level, with long-lasting consequences for children and entire families. So it’s important to choose wisely – here are some things to look for.
Tips for Choosing a Home Paternity Test
Easy: The idea of taking a paternity test is stressful enough-you don’t need it to be compounded by complicated procedures. The kit (and the website for the lab) should have clear instructions on how to collect the DNA correctly the first time so that there won’t be delays in the testing process later on down the line.
Fast: Waiting a long time for the results of any type of test is the worst, isn’t it? A good paternity test lab provides options for you so you can get your report as quickly as possible. At the minimum, you should get results posted in 5 days or less after samples arrive at the lab. The best DNA test labs provide 1-day service.
Accurate: You have to be able to trust that your home paternity test results are accurate. You just do. The best indicator that you’re likely to get accurate results is to choose a highly-accredited DNA lab. This type of lab maintains strict standards for handling samples and testing, and is regularly audited by outside regulatory agencies to ensure it is in compliance with or exceed industry-accepted standards. Not all companies who sell paternity test services are accredited, so be sure to check for accreditation information on the box and/or website.
Confidential: For most people, getting a paternity test is an intensely private family experience and not something they want publicized. It’s important to find a home paternity test lab for which confidentiality and security are high priorities. Customers should have access to a secure online account where they can get updates on their test and where their results report is posted. And customer service representatives should require proof of identification before releasing any info over the phone or in print.
Affordable: For a simple paternity test (one possible father+ one child + the mother), the cost should be no more than about $150, including the lab fee and retail price of the kit. There are labs that charge hundreds of dollars for this type of paternity testing, yet the processes are identical to the ones for more affordable at-home tests.
Options: There are times when a possible father is not available for testing. A good DNA testing lab also offers family reconstruction testing to help determine paternity or family relationships testing other family members. This type of test costs more due to the more extensive analysis required, but it should definitely be an option.
Guaranteed Results: Make sure the home paternity test lab you choose stands behind its results. This says a lot about their own confidence in the services they provide, doesn’t it? Beware of empty promises. If a lab advertises a guarantee, make sure you see it in writing (usually on their website).
Great Reviews: Every lab is going to say they’re the greatest and the best, but don’t take their word for it. Read reviews by real customers and learn first-hand about their experiences. Not all reviews are going to be positive, but for a good lab, the positive reviews will far outweigh the number of negative ones and the lab will respond thoughtfully to customer concerns.
Do You Need Court-admissible Paternity Test Results?
A critical thing to remember is that-no matter which test you choose-results for a home paternity test are generally not court-admissible. So if you need a test for legal purposes (child support/custody/immigration/inheritance rights), it is critical that you contact the lab of your choice directly before doing the test so that they can make arrangements to have DNA collections witnessed.
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