DNA Testing FAQs

DNA testing is an increasingly common way of determining relationships between individuals, such as whether a man is the father of a child. Now available as home kits used for peace of mind DNA tests are also often used in court cases and to prove paternity in maintenance claims. But what exactly do they involve and how accurate are they? Here are some of the most common DNA Testing FAQs:

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Q. What is a DNA Test?

DNA – Deoxyribonucleic acid – is a chemical found in most of the cells in the human body and indeed all living organisms. DNA is responsible for storing information which is passed on from generation to generation. It is what determines what colour your eyes are, how tall you are – in fact, everything about your physical appearance and more.

As half of your DNA is passed on by your mother, and half by your father, it can be used to prove paternity and maternity, as well as other relationships.

Because DNA is found in almost every cell, it is present in a person’s saliva, blood, hair and fingernails and these are the samples most commonly used for DNA testing.

Q. What happens to my DNA samples after you have tested them?

DNA samples used for peace of mind tests are destroyed after results have been issued. Samples used for a court admissible test are retained for 6 months after issuing results before being destroyed.