Reasons for a paternity may include for peace of mind or for support in legal issues such as child support, social security benefits, or child custody. Whatever the reason, obtaining a reliable paternity test is imperative.
Can a personal test be “upgraded” to a legal one after samples are taken?
No. Once a personal at-home paternity test is completed (samples are taken and/or submitted) it cannot be used for legal purposes. People may decide afterwards they want to “upgrade” to a legal DNA test only to find out that the process requires them to start entirely over. So why aren’t the results of a personal test admissible in court?
The difference between a legal and a personal paternity test
It’s important to understand the main difference between legal and personal paternity testing, and it’s really quite simple. A personal paternity test is self-collected. This means you purchase the IDENTIGENE paternity test kit at your local retail store, take the kit home, collect the DNA samples for all participants, and send samples to the IDENTIGENE testing laboratory and pay a processing fee.
For the legal paternity test, the collection of the DNA samples must be collected by a non-interested third party (usually at one of our collection sites). An unbroken, unbiased chain of custody is established because the third party is in control at all times and the identity of all participants are verified. The collector sends the samples to the laboratory as well, which assures participants have not tampered with the samples for the paternity test in any way.
Why is the personal paternity testing not accepted in court?
The collection process for legal paternity testing was established to prevent fraud. With self collection the lab cannot verify whose samples were sent in for DNA testing, so legal entities most likely will not accept results of the test.
The paternity testing process for both the legal and the personal paternity tests are identical once the samples arrive at the laboratory. It’s the chain of custody and verification of participants that establish the paternity test as a legal DNA test.
Personal paternity test results can not be turned into legal paternity test results
We cannot turn personal paternity test results into legal paternity test results once samples are collected and results are released. The paternity testing process needs to start over (and thereby establish a chain of custody) in order to follow the legal paternity test collection process. It’s essential to verify which test you need before starting the paternity testing proceedings. Contacting one of our remarkable client support professionals (888-404-4363) may help you determine which test is right for your unique situation.