FAQs — Getting Started

Our DNA testing FAQs are conveniently broken into sections to help you find the answers you need regarding the DNA testing that you are considering. If you have any questions that you can’t find the answer to here, feel free to contact us over live chat or call us.

Why should I choose AlphaBiolabs?

AlphaBiolabs have invested substantially in the very latest DNA technology – including sequencing machines, analytical reporting software and highly-trained analysts – to provide the most accurate DNA results today. We are accredited for DNA testing utilizing up to 42 markers to ensure the reliability of our genetic testing. We also re-test every exclusion DNA result twice to be 100% sure of our results. Our testing laboratory is accredited to the quality technical standard of ISO 17025, and we are certified to ISO 9001. All of our DNA testing is performed in-house. As such, we are confident of providing the fastest DNA testing results in the industry. In addition, with some of our DNA tests we offer a money-back guarantee if we cannot provide you with a conclusive result.

Questions About AlphaBiolabs DNA Tests

Where can I buy a Home DNA collection paternity test?

You can buy our home DNA paternity testing kit for $119 here. Full instructions are included on how to collect your DNA samples using mouth swabs. After we’ve processed your samples at our laboratory you will receive your test results by email within 3–5 working days from receipt of samples.

What’s involved in taking a Home DNA paternity test?

After you purchase the test, we send you a paternity testing kit with full – and simple – instructions on how to use it to obtain your results.

From purchase, to completing your sample collection and test request form, to mailing the application to AlphaBiolabs, the steps are simple and painless. Once we receive your samples and application, our highly trained experts will start the process of testing the DNA.

What’s included in the Home DNA paternity testing kit?

The AlphaBiolabs Peace of Mind DNA paternity test kit contains the following:

  • The testing request form
  • A form asking for personal details as well as written consent for the DNA test. We cannot start the paternity testing process until ALL parties involved have signed the consent forms
  • Complete instructions on how to take the DNA samples and return them to AlphaBiolabs
  • An already-addressed mailing envelope for sending the DNA samples back to AlphaBiolabs
  • Three DNA sample collection swab packages, each holding two swabs. Note: Be careful when opening the package so that you don’t damage the DNA testing swabs
  • Individual DNA sample envelopes for the child, possible father (and mother if available)
Is parental consent needed for DNA testing?

AlphaBiolabs cannot perform a Peace of Mind DNA paternity test until all parties involved sign the forms in the testing kit. Someone with parental responsibility must provide the child’s consent if the child is under the age of 16.

Can two potential fathers be tested?

The standard paternity test includes enough swabs to test one father. However, we can test as many potential fathers as necessary using the same testing kit. You just need to add the extra fathers on the online form. If there is a chance that two potential fathers are related, the laboratory must be made aware of this on the DNA Test Request Form.

Will a twin test show if twins are identical or fraternal?

Yes, our twin test analyzes tiny amounts of DNA from inside each twin’s mouth. Specific markers present in repeat sections of DNA are then examined and compared. Identical twins will share the same DNA profile whereas non-identical siblings will have different DNA profiles.

Do you need a parent’s DNA sample for a twin test?

No, we can perform twin DNA testing without a parent’s sample.

Do you need a parent’s DNA sample for an aunt, uncle or sibling test?

It is recommended that a parent be included in an aunt, uncle or sibling test but it is not essential. We can still perform the testing without a parent’s sample.

Can I get a paternity test while pregnant?

Yes, our non-invasive prenatal testing can be carried out as early as 5 weeks after conception (or 7 weeks after the last period). A blood sample is needed from the mother and a mouth swab from the potential father. You can find out more here.

How soon can you DNA test a baby after birth?

DNA samples can be taken immediately after birth. Mouth swabs just need to be rubbed on the inside of the baby’s cheek to collect cells.

Do you need the mother’s DNA sample for a paternity test?

We do not need the mother’s DNA sample to perform a paternity test. Our paternity tests look at up to 42 DNA markers and examine the child’s DNA and identify which half is inherited from the mother and which half is from the father.

However, since half of a child’s DNA comes from its mother, the results can sometimes be inconclusive if we perform a DNA test without the mother’s sample. For example, if the DNA results show a mutated gene (allele), we would need to compare results with the mother’s sample; if we haven’t received her sample already, it would further delay the process.

Is home paternity testing legal?

Paternity testing is legal in the USA, and fathers may test their children without the consent or knowledge of the mother. The results of home paternity testing kits are for personal knowledge only and are not admissible in court. Only a court-ordered paternity test may be used as evidence in court proceedings.

Different rules apply in New York state compared with the rest of the country. As dictated by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), home paternity testing is not an option. The NYSDOH only allows paternity collection for DNA testing to be performed by an approved DNA collector. This means individuals are not able to swab their own cheeks using home test kits. A kit can still be bought online or at a drugstore in New York, but you must contact the testing lab first to set up a legal paternity test before collecting your DNA.

Is there a minimum age for collecting a DNA sample?

A DNA test can be performed on a person of any age, including an unborn child using our prenatal DNA test. In the case of a donor under the age of consent, an adult with parental responsibility will need to sign a consent form on their behalf.

Do I need a medical professional to supervise or take the DNA test?

No medical professional is needed for our Peace of Mind DNA tests. You can easily take the samples yourself by following our instruction leaflet.

The blood sample required for our non-invasive prenatal paternity test would need to be taken by a trained phlebotomist.

Questions About AlphaBiolabs DNA Collection, Testing, and Samples

What is a Peace Of Mind DNA Test?

A Peace of Mind DNA test is one that you administer yourself, using the kit that AlphaBiolabs sends to the address of your choice. This is for your own knowledge and peace of mind, but it is inadmissible in legal proceedings.

How do I collect my DNA sample?

Our DNA testing kit includes mouth swabs that you rub gently and painlessly on the inside of the cheek. There is no need for needles or other invasive techniques.

The blood sample required for our non-invasive prenatal paternity test would need to be taken by a trained phlebotomist.

How long does the testing kit last?

As long as you don’t open the swab packages, there is no expiration date, so you can take the DNA samples whenever – and wherever – is convenient for you.

What happens if test participants live in different cities or states?

AlphaBiolabs can mail the DNA test kits to two different addresses. There is an option to list a 2nd address on our online forms.

Can I have DNA testing kits sent to two addresses?

Yes, AlphaBiolabs can mail the DNA test kits to two different addresses. There is an option to list a 2nd address during checkout.

Is signed consent required?

All home DNA relationship tests, which are mailed out from our website, require signed consent forms. These forms are included in all the testing kits. It is against the law to obtain a DNA sample from an individual without his or her knowledge. Written authority is needed from all adults whose samples are provided for testing.

Are the tests confidential?

You never need to be concerned about confidentiality when you deal with AlphaBiolabs. From the moment we receive your sample, we follow strict procedures to ensure your security. In addition, we do not share results or personal information with any third parties, and all of the data are password-protected. Your test results are discussed only with those who are entitled to know, and even then, we require the correct password and/or response to security questions.

Will you protect my privacy?

AlphaBiolabs can reassure you that our DNA testing is 100% confidential and that data security is paramount. We adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation. This means that DNA samples are destroyed after 3 months and all identification documents – paper copies and electronic files – are destroyed after 12–18 months. In addition, we password-protect all data and keep correspondence confidential.

What happens to my sample after testing?

All DNA samples received at our laboratory are stored securely onsite. After testing, the samples are kept for 3 months and then destroyed by incineration..

How long does AlphaBiolabs hold onto the DNA samples?

We keep the DNA sample for 3 months and the testing results for a year. This is to allow for any retesting, if needed.

Is a DNA profile unique?

The chance of two people having the same DNA profile is extremely rare. However, identical twins – who have developed from the same fertilized egg share the same genetic material – and will therefore have the same DNA profile. Although, identical twins do not have identical fingerprints!

Do I need to see a medical professional for my sample collection?

No medical professional is needed for our Peace of Mind DNA tests. You can easily take the samples yourself by following our instruction leaflet.

The blood sample required for our non-invasive prenatal paternity test would need to be taken by a trained phlebotomist.

Questions About AlphaBiolabs DNA Test Results

What are the chances of getting a conclusive result?

The more complex DNA relationship tests (such as sibling, aunt, uncle and grandparent) have inconclusive rates ranging from 23–28%. This means that around one in four people will not get a decisive answer.

Every client who orders one of these tests and doesn’t get a result will have the price of their test refunded. That’s a guarantee.

How accurate are the paternity testing results?

AlphaBiolabs is an ISO 17025-accredited laboratory, meeting the very highest international quality standards. AlphaBiolabs DNA paternity test results are highly accurate, even when you consider that no paternity test currently available can predict paternity with 100% probability. Our results can determine a probability of paternity of over 99.99%.

It’s important to recognize the different meanings among the words ‘probability of paternity’, ‘conclusive results’ and ‘accuracy’. It is misleading for any laboratory to claim 100% probability of paternity. What you should look for is the percentage of probability. All companies will claim to be accurate.

How are paternity test results analyzed?

AlphaBiolabs uses the most advanced, cutting-edge technology in performing its DNA paternity test.

The genetic footprint of a child is half from its mother and half from its father. When AlphaBiolabs analyzes this footprint, we look for markers, or individual points in the sequence of genes. In fact, we look for up to 35 genetic markers, a process that uses the very latest DNA technology to ensure accuracy in the procedure.

Here are two hypothetical DNA test examples:

DNA results exmaple

In A, it is obvious that the child’s genetic footprint consists of half from its mother and half from the possible father.

In B, it is apparent that the child doesn’t share any markers with the possible father. This means he cannot be the father.

How do I interpret the paternity test results?

When you receive your DNA paternity profiling test report, a conclusion will provide one of two statements: 1) This result provides (extremely/moderately) strong support in favor of paternity, or 2) This result excludes the possible father as the biological father.

These conclusions are reached by AlphaBiolabs examining up to 35 short tandem repeat (STR) markers in the DNA profiles of the tested individuals. Each individual has two copies of each STR marker, known as alleles: one is inherited from the father and the other from the mother. These alleles at each STR marker are compared between the tested individuals. There will need to be a match with all STR markers tested for an inclusion of paternity.

What is the paternity index?

The paternity index (PI) is a way of measuring the strength of a particular match based on the relative uniqueness of the allele observed. It is a statistical calculation that compares the DNA profiles obtained to an untested random individual within the general population.

For example, if most people have the same allele at a particular location, the PI might be lower. If two tested individuals match at an allele, it could indeed be because of a parent–child relationship, but it could also be because most people match with this allele at this location. Conversely, if very few people have an allele at this location it’s rarer and the PI value would thus increase.

What is the combined paternity index?

The combined paternity index (CPI) is a calculation (the product of all paternity indices) that helps formulate the probability of paternity. If the CPI is greater than 1000, there is a match between the possible father and child (support in favor of paternity).

A CPI value greater than 1000 means that the probability of paternity is over 99%. If the CPI is zero, it is a non-match between the possible father and child and means that the possible father is excluded as being the biological father of the child.

What is the probability of paternity?

The probability of paternity is calculated from the combined paternity index (CPI) and indicates the chance of paternity. In other words, it is the statistical probability of the possible father being the child’s biological father and not any other man from the same ethnic group who may share a similar DNA profile by random chance.

When the probability of paternity is 99.99% for example, this means that the possible father is 99.99% more likely to be the biological father of the child than another man chosen at random from the same ethnic group.

When will I get my results?

As soon as AlphaBiolabs receives your DNA samples in our laboratory we begin the testing process. We will then email your results in 3–5 working days from receipt of samples.

Prenatal paternity testing is a more complex procedure and therefore results are emailed out in 7–8 working days.

Is it difficult to understand the results?

Interpreting the test is pretty straightforward. In the case of paternity testing, for example, if the probability of paternity is 0% or above 99%: those results are conclusive. Should you have any questions about a test you’ve ordered, contact our team of friendly experts. They will explain the results in an easy-to-understand manner.

Can you send me the results by mail?

Our normal procedure is to send the results by email, but for an additional fee ($15) we can send you a paper copy too.

Can I have the results sent to two people?

Once you have asked us to perform the DNA test, you are in control of who receives the results. To ensure confidentiality we password-protect all our cases. Only you can access the information at any time.

However, anyone who participates in the testing is entitled to get a copy of the results. If that participant asks for a copy of the results, AlphaBiolabs has to send them, without asking your consent ahead of time.

Will you provide my paternity results to Government Agencies?

We never disclose any information to any person or body unless specifically told to release this information by the individuals taking the test. This has never happened in our 15 years of performing DNA paternity testing.

What else can be discovered from a paternity test?

Some people may be worried that their sample could be used to discover a whole range of things about them. Please be reassured that our DNA paternity testing will not lead to this.

In theory, DNA testing can be used to learn a number of things including susceptibility to a range of diseases; however, the DNA sample that is taken for our paternity test will only be used for paternity testing. Clients can be reassured that information regarding their test results is only released to those individuals that the client nominates.

Questions About Payment and Pricing

How much does a paternity test cost?

Our paternity tests can be bought online for just $119.

How much does a DNA test cost?

The prices vary depending on which test you order.

  • Our paternity, maternity, twin and single genetic profile DNA tests cost $119
  • Sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, and Y chromosome DNA tests cost $249
  • Prenatal DNA testing costs $975
Is paternity testing covered by health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid?

No, paternity testing is not covered by health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid because it is not a medically necessary procedure. Medicare only helps pay for what is absolutely needed to help treat an injury, illness, or other medical condition.

What forms of payment do you accept?

You can pay online when ordering your test using a credit or debit card. We do not accept American Express®.