The decision to have a paternity
test should not be taken lightly and you may have lots of questions. We
urge you to consider all of the people involved and to decide whether this
is the best course of action, particularly for any children in question.
The following are the most frequent questions we get asked.
How can I pay for the test?
You can pay for
your paternity test with a credit or debit card via our online registration
service. The service uses secure server technology to ensure that
your data and all records of the transaction are protected.
If you would prefer not to pay online please contact our Customer
Services advisors on +44 1235 528000 to register and pay for your
How long will the test take?
standard reports within 3-5 working days from when we receive the
samples in our UK laboratory. If you are happy that it is in everyone's
best interest you can start the process now.
Completing our online
registration form will only take a few minutes, however you will need
to see a Doctor or Nurse to have your DNA sample taken. Once we've received
your sample it only takes a few days to get the results to you by first
How are the DNA samples taken?
You will need to attend an appointment to have your
samples taken by a Doctor or a Nurse. We can arrange that for you using our
new sampling service or you can choose to use your own GP, or a GP registered
to Cellmark. At that appointment a mouth swab will be rubbed gently and painlessly
on the inside of your mouth to collect a sample of cheek cells.
You will also need to complete a consent form (please remember to take 2 passport
style photographs of each person being tested to the appointment) and these
and the sample will then sent to Cellmark by the surgery.
How does DNA testing work?
It works by detecting certain parts, or “markers” in the
DNA molecule that are known to vary greatly between unrelated people.
Our tests compare the DNA at a number of these markers to determine if people are related.
The process is called Short Tandem Repeat (STR) profiling. STR profiling is a very sensitive DNA testing procedure that was originally developed for forensic analysis.
DNA is extracted from the sample and a special enzyme is used to copy the
genetic code at the relevant regions in the DNA. An STR profile is the result of several separate DNA tests.
Are the results conclusive?
When a mother, child and possible father are tested
Cellmark's results will either show he is not the father or normally provide
proof of paternity with a confidence level of 99.99% and usually greater than
We also carry out other types of relationship testing, for further
details please contact our Customer Service team on +44 1235 528000.
How are the results analysed?
When carrying out
a paternity test the DNA of the mother, the child and the possible
father are compared using the latest DNA analysis technology. A
child inherits half of his or her DNA from each parent, so every
genetic marker in the child’s pattern should be present in
either the mother’s or father’s DNA.
In this example the test has identified two markers in the child’s DNA.
One of the child's markers has been inherited from its mother; the other has
been inherited from its father.
In this example the alleged father does not share any markers with the child
and is therefore excluded from paternity (i.e. cannot be the father).
From what age can a child be tested?
The use of mouth swabs means that testing can be performed
on a child of any age after birth. Some companies may offer pre-natal DNA
testing but Cellmark agrees with the Human Genetics Commission's view that
knowing the identity of the genetic father of the foetus could significantly
influence the decision whether or not to proceed with a pregnancy and therefore
Cellmark does not offer pre-natal DNA testing.
How do I confirm who is being tested?
Two passport style photographs and the signatures of
each person being tested must be presented at the sampling appointment. These
can be used to confirm the identity of the person(s) being tested and are
sent with the samples to Cellmark.
In paternity cases all identification paperwork is held by Cellmark
for a period of one year after which time the paperwork is destroyed
in compliance with our registration with the Data Protection Act.
What is DNA paternity testing?
DNA paternity testing
is a complex scientific process, carried out on a simple mouth swab,
which can positively identify relationships between people. Most
commonly it is used to establish if a man is the true biological
father of a child.
DNA paternity testing is also often referred to simply as a DNA test, a paternity test or DNA testing. It was developed by Sir Alec Jeffreys at the University of Leicester in 1985. Cellmark became the UK's first private DNA paternity testing laboratory in 1987.
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) is the body’s genetic 'blueprint'. It is a long thread-like molecule which carries the "genetic code" that determines our individual characteristics. DNA is found in almost all of the billions of cells that make up our body. Every child inherits a unique mixture of DNA from its parents so, except for identical twins, no two people in the world have exactly the same genetic code.
Can other relationships be tested?
In certain circumstances it may be
possible to assess more complex relationships such as brothers and sisters or
grandparents and grandchildren. For more information please contact our Customer Service team on +44 1235 528000.
Will my DNA sample be safe?
The samples are
sent to our laboratories in specially designed tamper-evident packaging.
Once testing is complete and you have received the results, your
DNA sample is stored securely for 3 months after which time it is
In paternity cases all identification paperwork is held by Cellmark for a
period of one year after testing is complete after which time it is destroyed
in compliance with the UK's Data Protection Act 1998.
As directed by Data Protection laws your information will not be
passed onto anyone you have not given us authorisation to do so.
For further information please refer to our privacy
policy, you can learn more about the Act by clicking
on this link.
Is help available after I get my results?
We do not give out
or discuss results over the telephone, however we are pleased to
answer written enquiries about your specific results and to talk
through general issues relating to DNA paternity testing. Call our
customer services team on +44 1235 528000.
Is the service confidential?
Yes, under the requirements
of UK Data Protection laws, the service and results are confidential.
All adult parties who have submitted a sample for analysis will
receive a copy of the report. Results are not passed on to any third
parties unless you request us to do so. In order to further protect
confidentiality we do not discuss results of tests over the telephone.
What about Quality Control?
Our quality management
system has met ISO standards since 1990 and our laboratory procedures
are accredited to ISO9001:2000 and ISO17025 and are subject to external
monitoring. We also abide by the requirements of the Human Tissue Act, the Human Genetics Commission's Common Framework of Principles of Genetic Testing and are accredited by the Ministry of Justice to carry out parentage tests directed by the civil courts in England and Wales under section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969.
If you require further information, or your question isn't listed here,
then please call one of our friendly, professional and confidential Customer
Service advisors on +44 1235 528000, or send your question
via email to email@example.com,
or use our discrete SMS
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