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How To Make Your Own DNA Kit (MYOK)

We allow you the option to make your own DNA collection kit when collecting specimens from at home DNA testing. This is a great option if you are doing discreet DNA testing and do not want anything arriving at your home. If any person testing resides outside of the United States, this can save you a fair amount of money on shipping a DNA kit to you by USPS First Class International mail. In a hurry?  Save time as you can ship directly to us the same day you order (in most cases),  without waiting for the testing kit to arrive. Choose this option on your order form when you select your DNA collection kit test choice. Due to AABB requirements this option is not available for legally admissible testing.

After reviewing your order, during regular business hours, you will be e-mailed specific instructions with your unique Journey Genetic Testing case number. If you are within the U.S.A. you will also receive a prepaid FedEx overnight label to print and return your DNA samples to the lab at our expense. You will notified by email as soon as the lab has received all of the DNA samples. The processing of the samples is conducted in the same time frame as if you used one of our kits – in as little as 1-2 business days for paternity, maternity, sibling, grandparent, avuncular, and twin zygosity tests!

Alternative DNA samples being sent to us for testing must fit into a standard envelope. If necessary, please trim the item to fit (for example a hat band, a piece of clothing with a blood spot, etc.) into a regular envelope while making certain the specific area to be tested is included. If the article is clothing, do not put the entire item in the envelope. You can cut the portion that you believe has the DNA of the person you want tested.

How To Collect DNA Using A Cotton Swab

Using a cotton swab to swab the inside of the mouth is convenient because it doesn’t require a medically trained professional. By following these simple steps, anyone can collect a cotton swab swab sample for DNA relationship analysis. Here’s how:

using a cotton swab for a DNA collection
Using A Cotton Swab To Collect DNA
  1. Verify that the subject’s mouth is empty.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water, or you can put on rubber or latex gloves.
  3. Choose FOUR (4) sterile cotton swabs (any brand is fine).
  4. Cut off one end of each cotton swab, leaving only the one tip for collecting the DNA
  5. Avoid touching the swab tip with your fingers, gloves or against any surface.
  6. Have the subject open his or her mouth and immediately bring the swab tip to inside of cheek.
  7. Gently rub and rotate swab along the inside of the cheek for 20-30 seconds, making sure that the entire swab tip has made contact with the cheek. We are not looking to obtain saliva to test, but the cells lining the cheek and gum. Please see the picture.
  8. Immediately remove the swab, being careful not to touch the swab tip against anything.
Make your own DNA kit instructions: let the swabs dry completely
Let The Swab Dry For Up To One Hour

9.Let the swabs air dry for up to one hour. It is recommended to use a short glass and place the oral swab cotton side up inside of the glass to allow it to dry. To make sure that swabs from different test participants do not at any point come into contact, we suggest using a different glass for each set of samples for each participant.

10. Repeat until you have used two (2) swabs per cheek for a total of four (4) swabs collected per person.

How To Collect DNA Using An Alternative Specimen

If you have ordered testing for non-standard samples (anything other than a mouth swab) please make certain that the sample is dry, and fits into a standard paper envelope. Do not combine multiple samples in the same envelope unless they are the same. For example, do not put both hair and a toothbrush in the same envelope. If you need to trim the sample (such as a hat band or piece of clothing) please do not touch the area where the DNA would be located, and cut out only the section to be tested. Non-standard samples that are not ready to test will be discarded, and a new sample requested. At no time should you ever place a DNA sample into a plastic bag, only a paper envelope to avoid bacteria forming on the sample.


It is strongly suggested that if you reside outside of the United States and wish to order DNA testing that you use this option as the most cost effective and time efficient method to get the answers you need and deserve.

After You Have Collected The DNA Specimen

Place the dry swabs directly into a paper envelope. Each person testing MUST have their own envelope. DO NOT combine samples into the same envelope. DO NOT PUT SAMPLES IN A PLASTIC BAG.

Label the envelope with ALL of the follow information:

  • Your Journey Genetic Testing Case Number – must be on EACH envelope
  • Name Of The Person Whose DNA Sample Is In The Envelope
  • Type Of Test Being Performed
  • Suspected Relationship Of Those Testing

ONLY list the specific relationship as listed on your order form (for example: paternity, sibling, grandparent, child, etc). DO NOT list other possible relationships or information. If multiple possible relationships are listed (for example: possible sibling or cousin; possible sister or aunt; possible father or grandfather, etc.) the samples will be discarded by the lab and you will need to recollect.

Finally, place all paper envelopes containing the information above into a larger envelope for shipping to the lab. Please record any tracking information you may have to verify delivery of your samples to the lab. Journey Genetic Testing does not record tracking numbers on prepaid labels if they were included in your order. We leave that responsibility to you.

Send the samples to the lab for processing.

You will be notified by email once ALL samples being tested have arrived at the lab. All updates on cases, samples, and results are emailed ONCE per day, no later than 8:00 PM PST, on regular business days.

Important: Please note that we are unable to process any DNA samples without a Journey Genetic Testing case number. Samples that arrive without a case number will be discarded.

Make Your Own Kit FAQs

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First, relax. We are sure you will do just fine. We have provided step by step instruction on you how to do a  mouth swab collection. To view this instructions just click on DNA 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.

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.

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