Journey Genetic Testing is a leader in direct to consumer paternity, sibling, grandparent, and identical twin DNA testing. 855-362-5224

DNA FAQ’s About Paternity and Relationship Testing

Please select the subject you have questions about from the options shown. The most often asked questions concerning specific tests may be found on the webpage for that test.

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You may order your test any time that is convenient for you right here on our website. Just go to Order A DNA Test in the menu and select the test you want to order. The order form will just ask a few basic questions and your order can be submitted. Orders are received 24 hours a day. All orders are reviewed by a live person prior to sending the DNA collection kit(s) in case there is a need for any additional information or clarification on your order.

Confirmation emails (digital receipts) are sent automatically when the order is placed. Since they are sent by email, they may arrive shortly after the order if placed. If you do not see the receipt in your inbox, please check your spam or junk folder in case it was sent there by mistake. If you do see the email in your junk or spam folder, please add us to your email address book so you don't miss any other email's that might be sent.

Please note that all items emailed are sent to the ordering party at the email address listed on the order form.

All DNA collection kits are sent to U.S.A. addresses by USPS Priority mail. Kits sent outside of the U.S.A. are sent either USPS International Priority, or USPS International First Class depending on the option you choose when ordering.

While our return address is on the mailing label (in case it needs to be returned by the USPS) nowhere on the label, or kit, does it say what type of test is being done. No one will know what is in the package and your privacy will be protected.

Domestic addresses usually see delivery of the kit in 2-3 business days. Depending on location, and weather or pandemic issues, there may at times be a small delay, however this is still uncommon. You can use the tracking number you were provided to go to usps.com to check the status of your shipment.

You will receive an email from either USPS.com or stamps.com providing you with a tracking number(s) for the kit(s) that were shipped. If you do not see the receipt in your inbox, please check your spam or junk folder in case it was sent there by mistake. If you do see the email in your junk or spam folder, please add us to your email address book so you don't miss any other email's that might be sent.

Kits are shipped Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, by 5 PM PST.

Due to changes within the USPS, and the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are times that the USPS may not scan the label on your envelope containing the kit. If an update is not available on the USPS website, that does not mean the kit is not on it's way to the destination you have provided.

Yes, however the tracking numbers will come in multiple emails from the USPS or Stamps.com, since there is more than one address listed.

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Yes. It doesn't matter if you use regular cotton swabs (Q-tip style) or buccal swabs for the DNA collection. Cotton swabs are generally 100% cotton topped where buccal swabs are a blended material, however both collect DNA just fine when our instructions are followed.

First, relax. We are sure you will do just fine. We have provided a short video here show to you how to do a  mouth swab collection.

 

Place them in a paper envelope and tape it closed after you have written the information needed on the front of the envelope. Never put a DNA sample in plastic wrap as bacteria can form and corrupt the integrity of the sample.

Private testing does not require verification of a person's identity. Whatever name or initials you put on the envelope is how the test results will be written.

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As long as the lab technicians are able to obtain a DNA profile from the sample, the results as just as accurate as a mouth swab. Using a higher number of genetic markers to test each person allows us to issue testing results that are 100% accurate based on the profiles generated.

Testing of alternative samples may take up to an additional 5 days, depending on the DNA sample. This is to ensure that a strong enough genetic profile can be obtained. Once a DNA sample is found to be viable, the testing ordered will be completed. Our goal is always to help you get the answers you need in the shortest period of time.

In most cases, no. A legal test requires written consent from all parties (or legal guardians), photo identification, and a third party who performs the DNA collection. Alternative samples are provided for discreet testing and therefore cannot be used in court.

Non standard samples do not always guarantee that a DNA Profile will be obtained as we have no way to determine the quality of the sample prior to receiving it.

However, it is not just the type of sample that is important but also other variables such as :

  • Poor storage conditions (e.g. damp environment, extreme heat or cold, etc).
  • Poor sample handling (possible contamination with other DNA or dirt).
  • Not enough DNA present (e.g. heavily used toothbrush vs used once only).

In all cases the laboratory technicians are trained to make every effort, and multiple attempts, at obtaining a usable genetic profile with every DNA sample that is tested.

 

Yes, you are protected by our strict privacy policy. No one may access your DNA test information without your written consent.

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The potential father and child swab the inside of their cheeks for buccal (cheek) cells. You mail the cotton swab applicators to our lab. Once all samples have arrived at the lab, DNA is extracted from the swabs and the testing begins. The genetic loci that are analyzed contain DNA sequences known as short tandem repeats (STRs)—short, repeating units of DNA. For each person, the number of repeats present at each genetic locus is variable and is inherited from their biological parents. For each genetic locus, each person has two genetic markers, or alleles (alternate forms of the DNA sequence): one allele is inherited from their biological mother and one allele is inherited from their biological father. The test result report lists the allele sizes (number of repeats) for the mother (if tested), child, and alleged father at each genetic locus. If only the child and alleged father are tested, and they do not share any alleles in common at three or more loci, then the alleged father is a excluded (ruled out). When the alleged father possesses the obligate or possible paternal alleles at all loci tested, then he is not excluded (not ruled out) as the biological father. Based on these genetic findings, a probability of paternity is calculated and reported.

Yes. There are a few options available to do DNA testing. We can perform a test using a parent of the alleged father (Grandparent DNA test), or sibling of the alleged father (Avuncular DNA test), if available. We can also test two or more possible siblings who suspect they share the same mother (Full Sibling test) or only believe they share the same biological father (Half Sibling test). Also, a paternity test can be performed using a non-standard, or alternative, sample containing the alleged father’s DNA, such as, blood, hair, finger nails, toe nails, toothbrush, etc.

You may be concerned that your DNA sample could be used to discover a whole range of things about you. Please be reassured that our DNA paternity testing will not lead to this. The DNA sample that is taken for our paternity test will only be used for paternity testing. You can be certain that information regarding your test results is only released to those individuals specifically listed as authorized on the order form.

Yes. Almost 98% of our paternity testing is done only with a father's DNA sample and a child's DNA sample. You may, however, wish to consider the following information: (1) Looking at it from a scientific point of view, testing the mother is helpful in some cases because it enables the lab to determine which half of the child’s genes came from her, and therefore which half came from the father. This can, in a small number of cases, increase the strength of the results of a paternity test. Although, in most routine paternity tests, conclusive results are  obtained when the mother is not tested, there are certain situations in which testing the mother is very important and strongly recommended. One example of this type of situation is when a newborn child is to be tested with an alleged father who has not seen the child previously, and who is concerned that the mother might try to test a different child in order to alter the test outcome. In such cases, testing the mother enables the lab to confirm that the child tested is indeed hers, because they would match each other genetically. This type of concern has also been raised by some adoption attorneys, in which an alleged father seeking parental rights to a newborn child he has never seen, and has a concern that the presumptive adoptive parent(s) may substitute another infant in the test, with the intention of obtaining a paternity test result that excludes the alleged father. Including the biological mother in the test eliminates this potential problem. Testing the mother is of tremendous value in increasing the conclusiveness of more complex relationship tests, such as sibling tests, grandparent tests, avuncular tests, and tests involving closely-related possible fathers (such as brothers). (2) From a legal standpoint, for legally-admissible paternity tests, if the mother will not be tested, then consent for testing any minor children (or legally-incapacitated adults) must be provided by the mother, by another adult having the legal authority to provide consent, or by court-order. Evidence of legal authority or legal guardianship must be provided. Journey Genetic Testing does not charge extra for the mother's DNA sample, for any of our tests, when it is submitted with the initial testing of DNA samples sent to the lab.

No. There is no difference in the accuracy of DNA tests performed using blood versus buccal swabs. This is because the cells of your cheek (and all other types of bodily tissue) contain the same DNA as the cells of your blood.

Yes. Home DNA paternity tests are extremely accurate. A test can show with 99.99+% accuracy if a man isn’t a person’s biological father.

If two possible fathers are related as full brothers, or father and son, they may share many of the DNA markers used in paternity testing. This means that if the laboratory is not aware of these relationships, both men could test positive as the child’s biological father. DNA testing is strong enough to determine paternity in a case involving closely-related fathers, but the laboratory must be made aware of these situations before the testing process begins. Journey Genetic Testing offers two options for cases involving possible fathers who are related: Option 1: Test both fathers, the child, and the mother at the same time. By comparing both fathers’ DNA profiles with the child’s DNA profile, the expert laboratory staff can achieve accurate and conclusive test results. There is an added fee for the additional father. Option 2: Test one father with extended analysis. This option is for when only one of the fathers is available for testing. To produce a conclusive result, we must perform extended testing and statistical analysis. There is an additional fee for the extended testing and analysis. If your testing scenario involves two possible fathers who are closely related, please contact us at 855-362-5224 prior to ordering your test..

No. An ancestry DNA can identify potential DNA matches, but only a DNA direct paternity test can prove a father-child DNA match.

Yes! Cheek-swab samples are the industry standard for this type of test. Cheek swabs make DNA extraction by our lab’s robots easy, which is one way to keep costs lower for our customers. If you want to submit an alternative sample such as toothbrush, ear wax on swabs, or fingernail clippings, please keep in mind there is a non-refundable fee of $100 required to test a sample’s viability prior to testing.

Yes, we can mail the paternity test kits to two different addresses. There is an option to list a second address on our online form.

Not usually. You should probably not do a home paternity test if you need results for child support, custody, or any other legal reason. Courts do not generally accept results unless they are from a legal DNA test that maintained a strict chain-of-custody process. At the same time, it is within a judge's right to accept into evidence anything they deem valid. We suggest that if you have specific questions concerning a legal matter that you contact an attorney prior to proceeding. We will work with an attorney of your choosing to move forward on any testing that is necessary.
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Yes!  It is possible to have a DNA "paternity test" without the father's direct involvement by using possible or known siblings.

When it is known that both siblings have the same biological mother, then a Full Siblings vs. Half Siblings test should be done. In these sibling tests, the DNA of two individuals with the same biological mother is compared to determine the likelihood that they have the same biological father.

If you know that both suspected siblings do not have the same mother, you would want to order a Half Siblings vs. Unrelated DNA test to show that the siblings either share the same father or are not half siblings.

A mother's DNA may help provide a stronger result in some cases, and there is no charge for the mother's DNA if you include it when the samples are sent in prior to testing.

Full siblings share 50% of the same DNA, and half siblings share 25% of the same DNA.

Because of how DNA is passed on, it is possible for two siblings to have some differences at the DNA level. It is even possible for two siblings to get different "ancestry" results from some DNA tests. If the differences are significant however, you may want to consider verifying the sibling relationship.

Yes. In the event of siblings needing confirmation of their biological relationship, researching your family history will only tell you so much. In the absence of the biological parents for testing, the only definitive way to prove a biological relationship is through a DNA sibling test

The standard for sibling testing in the DNA industry is 16 genetic markers. Every marker tested in addition to that increases the power of the results exponentially. Our testing delivers results almost 1,000 times more powerful in the findings that the industry standard.

Each parent (mother and father) contributes 50% of their DNA to their children. When one parent submits a sample for testing, it allows the lab to "subtract out" that parent's DNA profile and focus only on the remaining parent's contribution.

If you are seeking to determine if your share the same biological father, the mother's DNA may be helpful for a stronger result.  97-98% of our cases arrive at a conclusive result without the mother's DNA. There is no cost to add one mother's DNA at the time of the original order.

One of the questions we're sometimes asked is whether or not a sibling test can distinguish between brothers who are both possible fathers.

In this situation the best option is to perform a paternity test between the alleged father and the sibling(s) in question. However, since brothers may share many common DNA markers used in paternity testing,  the laboratory may need to perform extra testing.

Like you, your siblings inherited 23 chromosomes from each of your parents. But because of DNA swapping, their chromosomes have a different combination of genes than yours. Yet on average, half of the genes are still the same.

Each parent shares half their DNA to each of their children. Each egg has half of the mother's DNA and each sperm has half of the father's DNA. 50% of the DNA is shared by siblings who have the same mother and father, and 25% of the same DNA when they share only one parent.

You can be certain that just because we have lower prices, that the quality of our testing service is the highest available in consumer testing.

We often ask why other companies charge so much for sibling tests. We are able to offer a more accurate sibling test, using more markers, at a lower price for two reasons:

Part of our Mission Statement as a company is to provide the most accurate DNA testing, at the lowest cost, to as many people as possible because we believe we have a responsibility to help people learn the truth without "breaking the bank." We accomplish this by working with a much smaller margin of profit over thousands of tests each each. We would rather do more tests at a lower cost that take advantage of those needing to have these life changing answers.

Once the lab has all of the samples available for sibling testing, we will have the results for you in 1-2 business day in almost every single case. We do not charge any extra fees for this service.

No. The DNA sample must follow a strict chain-of-custody process to protect its integrity, as with any legal DNA test. This requires verifying and confirming the identity of the individuals whose DNA is submitted.

No. The USCIS requires that the testing laboratory is located in the United States, and is accredited by the AABB. As an AABB-accredited testing facility, our lab partner meets these stringent requirements and completes thousands of these important tests each year.

Typically, this type of legal DNA test costs between $499 - $699, depending on the test, and the situation surrounding the case.  You will be provided with an exact price in your free consultation with our lab's immigration specialist. There is no obligation to do the testing through our partner lab after this consultation.

Although this may vary by embassy, these are the items you should bring to the DNA collection appointment:

  • A photocopy of the U.S. citizen parent’s ID
  • The passport or Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) applicant’s birth certificate
  • A photo of the applicant
  • A receipt from the panel physician showing payment for the DNA collection

You should arrive at least 15 minutes early for your interview to allow for security checks and have all documents ready. Swabbing your cheek takes seconds, but other factors contribute to the duration of your appointment.

When you order a DNA immigration test , the results are usually ready as soon as two working days after samples arrive at our lab.

According to the USCIS, the length of time varies from case to case and therefore can’t be accurately predicted for individual cases. Some cases are delayed because applicants don’t follow instructions carefully. Some visa applications require further administrative processing after the visa applicant’s interview by the consular officer. Other sites state that an immigration visa can take 18 months to 3 years, depending on the circumstances.

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No, you do not need the mother's DNA, however it may be helpful in some cases to eliminate her DNA from the child. This occurs in about 2% of grandparent cases. We do not charge for the mother's DNA sample when it is submitted at the time of the testing. In the event her DNA is suggested, it can be added after the testing results if desired.

If both grandparents are available to test, you may also want to consider that option, as the testing results are no different than a paternity test using the suspected biological father.

When both grandparents, or the mother,is not available our testing laboratory will automatically adjust the testing to account for one grandparent and one child.

If you are seeking answers for personal information only, then the test can be done discreetly and privately between grandparent(s) and grandchild(ren) without any other person knowing.

If you are needing a legal DNA test then the custodial parent or legal guardian will need to give written consent.

Yes! Only the person who orders the test has access to the information. You have a private login name and password that only you know. We never discuss results with anyone else to ensure your privacy.

Yes! Alternate samples are very common to use when you want to have the testing run in a very discreet way. To learn more about Alternative Samples click HERE.

The testing is based on the genetic profiles we obtain from the DNA samples sent for examination. The results we deliver are based on the testing process and the probability we list 100% accurate as delivered. A probability of relationship greater that 90.9% is considered conclusive proof of the relationship.

The  Since the grandparents DNA profiles contain all the key components of which the alleged father and the grandchild's DNA is made up of, the strength of the probability may be increased if both Grandparents are available.  Our grandparent DNA test can be as strong of a result as a paternity test.

Many grandparents order this test because they are concerned that they might not be the actual biological grandparents of a child or children. They are rightfully concerned, and only want to know the truth. Being a grandparent requires both emotional and financial support for many years, and if there is a question about the paternity of a grandchild, the grandparents have a right to know with certainty that they are related. Aside from peace of mind, there may also be legal reasons for wanting to confirm a biological relationship if the suspected father of the children is not available.

Reasons to confirm paternity include:

  • Health concerns
  • Death of potential father
  • Custody issues
  • Heritage and inheritance concerns
  • Questionable paternity of child
  • Peace of mind

Yes. If you are needing a DNA test for death benefits, then it will need to be the legal DNA test. If the grandparents are still living and willing to do the DNA test, they would be great candidates if the father is deceased.

If the child at question is a male, and the grandfather is available, we suggest you test male to male. When testing 2 males for a relationship DNA test, they have the extra advantage of including Y chromosome testing, if it is necessary. Y chromosomes are an exact match down the male lineage.

If the grandfather is not available, the lab makes the necessary adjustments to test a grandmother and possible grandson.

If the child at question is a female, a DNA test can be done with the grandmother or a DNA test with the grandfather as either will be sufficient in almost all cases.

Unfortunately not.  The genetic tests that are performed for grandparent DNA tests are only screened for the sole purpose to find genetic matches in the other individual testing against.

No. The DNA sample must follow a strict chain-of-custody process to protect its integrity, as with any legal DNA test. This requires verifying and confirming the identity of the individuals whose DNA is submitted.

No. The USCIS requires that the testing laboratory is located in the United States, and is accredited by the AABB. As an AABB-accredited testing facility, our lab partner meets these stringent requirements and completes thousands of these important tests each year.

Typically, this type of legal DNA test costs between $499 - $699, depending on the test, and the situation surrounding the case.  You will be provided with an exact price in your free consultation with our lab's immigration specialist. There is no obligation to do the testing through our partner lab after this consultation.

Although this may vary by embassy, these are the items you should bring to the DNA collection appointment:

  • A photocopy of the U.S. citizen parent’s ID
  • The passport or Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) applicant’s birth certificate
  • A photo of the applicant
  • A receipt from the panel physician showing payment for the DNA collection

You should arrive at least 15 minutes early for your interview to allow for security checks and have all documents ready. Swabbing your cheek takes seconds, but other factors contribute to the duration of your appointment.

When you order a DNA immigration test , the results are usually ready as soon as two working days after samples arrive at our lab.

According to the USCIS, the length of time varies from case to case and therefore can’t be accurately predicted for individual cases. Some cases are delayed because applicants don’t follow instructions carefully. Some visa applications require further administrative processing after the visa applicant’s interview by the consular officer. Other sites state that an immigration visa can take 18 months to 3 years, depending on the circumstances.

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