Specimen Collection

Who needs to be tested?
It is preferable to test a child, alleged father and the mother of the child. However testing is possible without the mother’s sample and in certain circumstances, when the alleged father is unavailable or deceased, it is also possible to conduct a test using stored DNA samples from the alleged father or DNA from his biological relatives.

What types of samples are tested?
The standard sample for a paternity test is a cheek swab (also called buccal swab), which is a long Q-tip, which is rubbed inside the inner cheek lining of the tested parties’ mouths.

Are buccal swabs as accurate as blood samples?
Buccal swabs and blood samples provide results with the same degree of accuracy. But since buccal swabs are easy and painless to collect, they are used in the majority of DNA paternity tests.

Is there a minimum age for obtaining a sample?
No, there is no minimum age however if a child is under age, the appropriate written consent of the child's legal guardian will be required. DNA paternity or identity testing is safe and painless for all ages. Samples can even be collected from the fetus before the child is born.

Where are samples collected?
The samples for a Court Ready DNA paternity test are collected by one of our 5000 specimen collection sites throughout North America. The samples for a Curiosity DNA test are collected by the parties themselves in a non-clinical setting (usually home)

Is there a collection site close to me?
Orchid PRO-DNA has 5000 collection sites in North America. Please use our Collection Site Locator to find a site near your home or office.

Do all the parties have to submit a sample together?
No, parties can provide their samples at different times and in different cities or provinces. Orchid PRO-DNA has a large specimen collection network making it more convenient for all parties to submit samples.

Can testing be performed if one of the parties resides in another city or province?
Yes, whether you are doing a Court Ready or Curiosity test, the samples can be taken at different times and places, even if the parties reside in different cities or provinces.

How is the identity of each tested party assured?
In a Court Ready test, each adult party is required to provide government-issued photo identification at the time of collection. Children are also required to provide government-issued identification. The specimen collector examines the identification and either records that information on the Chain of Custody form or makes a photocopy to attach to the Chain of Custody form. In addition, a photograph is also taken of each adult party. Children are identified through their date of birth and a photo and if available, government-issued identification is examined and recorded. Please click here for information on our Chain of Custody procedures

What do I need to bring to the appointment?
In a Court Ready test, each adult tested party should bring government-issued photo identification (e.g. driver’s licence or passport) and government-issued identification for the child.

Can samples be collected at home?
In a Curiosity test, standard cheek swab specimens, as well as non-standard samples, may be collected in a non-clinical setting such as a home. However the DNA paternity test results conducted using such samples will not be accepted in a court of law. Results using samples collected at home will be for the knowledge of the tested parties only.

Can I eat before the test?
Food consumption will not affect the test except possibly the buccal swab collection. Since food residue left in the mouth may contaminate the swab with mold, the collection technician will ask you to rinse out your mouth if it is not clean enough.


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