The Truth Behind Home DNA Test Kits
09 Jun 2017

The Truth Behind Home DNA Test Kits

  • Posted byBrian Kershaw
  • Categories GUIDES

DNA Test Kits at the pharmacy: Who would have thought you could save time and money with a DNA testing for legal reasons?

The truth is, you don’t end up saving time.  It actually takes longer to get results from a DNA Test Box.  On top of that, not every court will accept the results.

Avoid this Common Mistake

Buying the kit yourself might give the court suspicion that your DNA sample had been manipulated.  Even though there are safeguards within the box to prevent tampering with the buccal swabs (sampling equipment) there’s no definite way to guarantee a sample wasn’t manipulated.

This infographic will show what we mean through a narrative with Sally and her son Billy:

Legal vs. Home DNA Tests

Chain of Custody Requirement

All DNA tests used for legal purposes, be it social security or child support cases, have what is called a Chain of Custody (often abbreviated as COS) requirement.

It may sound inconvenient, but it’s actually for everyone’s protection.

Here’s how it works:

When a DNA test for a paternity case is needed, the samples need to be collected by someone who has no interest in the outcome of the results.  In other words, not a friend or relative.  But why?

It’s reasonable to assume that friends and relatives will act in favor of the person they are acting on the behalf of.  The law believes this to be too big of a risk.

Example: Here’s Why Chain of Custody is Very Important

Let’s say that this guy John was accused of being the father of a child, and he knows he’s the father, but denies it.  If he is proven to be the father, he will most likely pay child support every month.

John had an argument with Cindy, the mother of the child, who during her pregnancy refused to get an abortion.  John never wanted the baby to begin with and has no feelings for Cindy’s situation.

John’s bought a DNA Test kit from the pharmacy because he’s broke too and thinks he’ll be saving money if he has his brother Mark do the collection.  Mark already knows all of the details of the conflict between John and Cindy so he decides not to press the buccal swab against John’s  cheeks.

Most laboratories will pick up on sample manipulation, and there’s a technical explanation as to why.

A laboratory that suspects sample manipulation will deny testing of that sample.  They do not process refunds for this type of event either.

But there’s even more wrong with John having Mark take his sample.  On the collection envelopes, there are two fields for identification.  One for the collector’s name and the other for the patient’s name.  If a lab discovers the patient is related or has connections to the collector, they will invalidate the results.

Laboratories will find out.  So will the courts.  Do the right thing, get a certified collector to handle the ENTIRE DNA Testing Process.

What is Needed for a Proper DNA Collection?

In order for a proper chain of custody to be established, the collector cannot have any connections with the patients.

The patients will also need their current, Government Issued ID’s, for the time of collection.


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