How to Collect DNA Samples

As soon as we have received and processed your order, we will dispatch your DNA sample collection kit along with detailed step-by-step instructions explaining how to collect your samples correctly. Our kits are sent in discreet plain envelopes marked private & confidential, and the packaging makes no mention of either the contents or our company name. Your kit will be with you within 2-3 working days.

Please continue reading to find out How to Collect DNA Samples

Our Home DNA Sample Collection Kits Contain the Following:

  • A detailed set of instructions, with step by step guidance on How to Collect DNA Samples. Please take some time to read these instructions very carefully before you get started.
  • DNA samples are collected using mouth swabs, also referred to as ‘buccal swabs’ and we include four of these swabs per person taking part in the test. These are packed in envelopes, which are colour-coded for your convenience. Each swab has one cotton-ended tip. It is very important that you don’t touch this part of the swab with your fingers.
  • A set of consent forms. These are the forms that authorise our laboratory to test the samples you send us. If you fail to fill them out correctly, we will be unable to begin your test.
  • A return envelope. This is pre-addressed, but please make sure to affix the correct postage. We recommend using Recorded or Special Delivery so they can be tracked if necessary.
  • Please make sure that the basic precautions, as outlined below, are followed to the letter. If you fail to do so, the results could be delayed, or we may not be able to test at all.

How to Collect DNA Samples: Step-by-Step Instructions

Please refrain from drinking or eating for one hour before you take samples. The chemicals and particles from ingested drinks or foods may make it difficult for the DNA in the sample to be extracted, or they could degrade it, invalidating the result.

Please refrain from smoking for one hour before testing.

A home paternity test is not legally valid, and the results will not stand up in court, because it is the test participants who are responsible for collecting the samples, and there is therefore no legal proof that the samples have been taken from the individual stated on the form. Once you have received the results of your home test, you may wish to take things to the next step with a court-admissible DNA paternity test. Please contact us for further information or view our Legal DNA Testing page.

Step 1

The mouth (buccal) swabs are packaged in colour-coded envelopes, with each colour corresponding to a particular test participant. Take the swabs out of the envelope and set to one side.

Step 2

Before collecting samples, you will need to complete both the consent form and the identification details on each swab envelope.

Step 3

Open the paper packaging and remove the swabs. Be careful to handle the swabs at the non-cotton end only. DO NOT, at any time, touch the cotton end with your hands or fingers.

Step 4

With clean dry hands, collect cheek cells by rolling the tip of the sample collection swab firmly on the inside of the right cheek and under the tongue for about 30 seconds. Be certain to move the swab over the entire inner cheek surface. This action should be firm but not aggressive and should not be uncomfortable. Light pressure is adequate. This procedure is totally painless, even for young babies and children. Repeat this process for the same individual with the second swab.

Then repeat this process for the same individual with the second pair of swabs on the inside of the left cheek. You must submit four swabs per person.

Step 5

The mouth swabs need to dry for an hour before being repackaged. The best way of doing this without risking contamination is to place them in an upright position in a clean dry glass. Once they are dry, place them back into the correct envelopes. Please ensure that swabs from different individuals do not come into contact at any time.

Step 6

Repeat the process for every individual being tested using a different set of swabs and envelope for each person.

Step 7

Finally, please place all of the swab envelopes, plus the completed consent form, into the addressed return envelope. You will need to affix the correct postage before sending. We recommend using Recorded or Special Delivery so they can be tracked if necessary. Then simply return to us.

DNA Test Results

Your results will be sent to the e-mail address provided upon registration and/or on the Sample Collection form. You can order a hard copy of the result to be sent by post for an additional payment.

Click here for help with Understanding Your DNA Test Results

Consent for Testing DNA

It is important that each person submitting their own mouth swab for testing gives consent by filling in their personal details and signing on the Sample Collection form. Children under the age of consent need to have a signature of a parent or legal guardian. Failure to do so will result in delays in the test.

No Time to Wait for Your Kit to Arrive by Post?

We dispatch all kits within 1 working day of receiving your order and payment. Kits are sent by first class post unless you select a faster option during checkout. Kits sent by first class mail should arrive within 1-3 working days.

If you do not want to wait for a kit to arrive by post you can create your own kit by following our simple step-by-step instructions here: How to Make Your Own Kit