If you need a DNA test carried out, one of the most convenient ways to do this is with our DNA kit. However, people who live in a very remote location or who would prefer to take the test more quickly may prefer to create their own sample collection kit. This is not a complicated procedure and it means that you can collect the DNA samples you need at home and send them off to us for testing without waiting for a kit to be sent to you.
These brief instructions explain How to Make Your Own DNA Kit.
You can view the full, step-by-step sample collection instructions on our How to Collect DNA Samples page.
Before You Start
It is important to obtain written consent and forward this to us with your samples. Without written consent, we will be unable to test the samples you send. Next, you need to collect the materials you need for the DNA kit. This is quite straightforward and simply consists of sterile cotton tipped swabs, which are easily obtained from a pharmacy, and clean paper envelopes.
Ensure that anyone participating in the test does not have anything to eat for an hour before the samples are collected. They should not smoke during this time either.
How to Make Your Own DNA Kit
You need 4 sterile cotton-tipped swabs, sometimes called buccal swabs, for each person who is being tested. Some swabs have two cotton-tipped ends, so if this is the case with yours, cut one off before the samples are taken. This is a precaution to ensure that the ends are not mixed up and so the laboratory know which end has been used to collect DNA. It is important not to contaminate the cotton tip of the swab by touching it at any time.
We can only accept buccal swabs, cotton-tipped swabs or cotton buds (e.g. Q-tips). If you have a different type of swab, or other item, you wish to submit for testing you MUST contact us first to make sure it will be accepted by the laboratory.
Prepare the envelopes you are going to use by writing the details of the participant on the outside, along with the reference number we supply. Details should include the full name of the person, their date of birth and their relationship to the other person(s) being tested, for example “child” or “alleged father”. You need a separate envelope for each person.
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 legal parent or guardian. Failure to do so will result in delays in the test.
Alternatively, you can click here to download the complete AffinityDNA Sample Collection Form with Instructions. It is designed to be printed double-sided which is why some pages are left blank.
Collecting the DNA Samples
The person providing the samples must have a clean mouth, so in addition to refraining from eating or smoking for one hour before the collection, they should rinse their mouth with warm water three times. Adults and children can do this, but infants who are unable to rinse effectively should be given a drink of water from a bottle. This should be at room temperature. No toothpaste or mouthwash should be used by any of the participants prior to sample collection.
- Being careful not to touch the cotton tip of the swab at any time, rub the tip of the swab against the inside of the cheek, behind the lips and along the gums. This should be done for 30 seconds for each swab and with 4 swabs for each person. It is important to apply enough pressure to collect loose cells from inside the mouth, and not simply saliva.
- The swabs should be allowed to dry for a minimum of an hour. The tip of the swab should not come into contact with anything, so it should be stood upright, for example in a glass, so that the tip is open to the air.
- After a minimum of an hour, the swabs should be placed in the appropriate labelled envelope. It is important to avoid touching the tip, even to check whether it is dry. The envelope should then be sealed. The individual envelopes can be placed inside a larger envelope and returned to us for testing with the appropriate paperwork to:
60 Lansdowne Place
We recommend using a tracked mail service such as Recorded or Special Delivery.
If shipping from abroad, please declare as “documents and cotton swabs” with a value of GBP1. We are not responsible for any import taxes or duties if the value is over-declared.
- We will contact you by email to let you know when your samples have been received and to confirm your results due date.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to Contact Us.