Nowadays, the majority of paternity tests are carried out using a home DNA sampling kit. Up until recent times many people were discouraged from carrying out a DNA paternity test due to the fact that this kind of test was not easily available, tended to be expensive and involved time consuming processes such as going to a laboratory or a clinic to give blood samples. Advances in modern genetic technology have now made it possible to extract DNA from a small sample of saliva and cheek cells, this discovery has revolutionised the world of DNA testing. The use of saliva samples has now made it possible for a person to collect samples in the privacy of their own home, additionally they are easy to send by post and therefore do not require complex handling procedures for them to be transported to the laboratory for analysis. The combination of these factors has made the process of DNA testing cheaper, and more available to the general public.
Contents of the Home DNA Sampling Kit
Upon ordering your test, the majority of testing companies will mail you what is often described as a home DNA sampling kit. In essence this consists of all the materials that you will need in order to collect the saliva samples required for your DNA test. Generally, you will receive an anonymous envelope containing oral swabs for saliva collection, consent forms that need to be filled in and signed by the appropriate persons, detailed instructions and a pre-addressed envelope in which to place the saliva samples to be mailed back to the lab for analysis.
How to Collect Your Samples
Although the sample collection procedure in itself is very simple and straightforward, there are certain precautions and procedures that will need to be followed in order to ensure that your samples are collected in a correct manner. Therefore it is very important to read the instructions carefully. One of the most important things to watch out for is to avoid contaminating your samples, therefore it is advisable to avoid eating or smoking for at least an hour before collecting your sample. In addition it is very important to never touch the cotton tip of the swab, again to insure that the sample is not contaminated. The sample is collected by rubbing the cotton tipped swab against the inside of the mouth and on the tongue in order to collect saliva and cheek cells. The swabs then need to be dried for an hour before mailing them back to the lab, again it is important that they be placed in a position where they do not touch any surface, in order to avoid contamination. It is important to note that contamination of the samples may render them invalid, and this may require that you repeat the whole testing process, involving additional time and expense.
Nowadays, most testing companies will be able to deliver your results in a relatively short span of time, usually in around 5-7 days. However in the case that you require your results to be available urgently, many companies offer an Express testing service which enables you to have your result within 1-2 working days. However it is important to note that these estimates are calculated from the date of the arrival of the samples at the laboratory, therefore, in very urgent cases it may be advisable to have them delivered by courier service.