In this article, we discuss whether you should take a DNA test, the reasons people need DNA tests, and the implications of taking a test.
Table of contents
What is DNA testing?
DNA testing provides a simple, accurate way of verifying biological relationships between individuals.
DNA relationship tests – the type of DNA tests we offer at AlphaBiolabs – work by analyzing and comparing DNA samples to identify matching DNA markers between individuals.xExplore our complete range of home DNA testing kits.
Why do people need DNA testing?
When we talk about DNA testing, many people will automatically think about paternity testing – one of our most popular DNA tests, used to verify the biological relationship between a potential father and a child.
However, there are many other reasons why you might need a DNA test, including:
For a sense of identity
If you have questions about your family tree, finding out the truth about your biological relationships can help to establish or reinforce a sense of identity.
This can include anything from confirming who your biological parents are, to establishing whether siblings are full or half-siblings, or whether siblings from multiple births are identical or non-identical.
An insight into health
If you are thinking about starting a family, or are curious about your own health, understanding your family tree can provide peace of mind, or enable you to seek testing, diagnoses and treatment for hereditary illnesses.
If you have questions about your parentage or biological relationships, you may be missing out on this valuable information. In these circumstances, DNA testing can be hugely helpful.
Twin DNA (zygosity) testing can also be useful for this purpose. Because identical siblings share the same DNA profile (barring some minor variations), it is possible for these siblings to be born with the same health conditions.
If one sibling from a multiple birth has been impacted by illness, it can be helpful to know whether siblings are genetically identical, especially for parents who might want to get multiple siblings tested for the same condition.
Settling inheritance disputes
Where a family member has passed away and a surviving relative wishes to make a claim to their estate, a DNA test can be used to confirm a biological relationship.
This is most commonly seen in cases where a child wishes to make a claim to their deceased father’s estate, and paternity is in dispute.
However, it is important to note that a peace of mind DNA test, such as those offered by AlphaBiolabs, would not be suitable for settling an inheritance dispute.
This is because the results of a peace of mind DNA test are for your information only and cannot be used for legal matters or in court proceedings. For inheritance disputes, you would need a legal DNA test.
DNA testing after fertility treatments
With increasing numbers of babies being born as a result of fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and sperm donation, DNA testing can provide peace of mind as to the biological identity of a child’s parents.
Because the fertilization process or implantation process takes place in a clinic or hospital, there is a small risk of mistakes happening, and the wrong sperm sample or embryo being used during the procedure.
For this reason, individuals or couples who conceive using fertility treatments may decide to perform a prenatal paternity test while the mother is still pregnant, or a paternity test or maternity test after the baby has been born for added reassurance that the procedure has been performed correctly.
Whatever your reasons for needing a DNA test, we would always recommend that you think carefully about your reasons for wanting a test before ordering.
It is also worth considering the potential impact of the results, both on your own personal wellbeing and on your interpersonal relationships.
How long does a DNA test take?
How long a DNA test takes depends on the type of DNA test you require.
Apart from our Prenatal Paternity Tests and Prenatal Gender Tests, both of which require blood samples to be drawn by a medical professional such as a nurse or phlebotomist, all of our peace of mind home DNA testing kits have been designed to enable you to collect your own samples quickly and easily at home without the need for a third party to assist you with the collection.
For most of our peace of mind DNA tests, the results are available in 3 business days after your samples have been received at our laboratory.
Is consent needed for a DNA test?
For a DNA test to be performed, consent must be given by or on behalf of each person providing their DNA sample for testing.
Anyone aged 16 or over must provide their own consent (a signature). For children under the age of 16, parental consent is required from an adult with parental responsibility for the child.
Without this consent, a DNA test cannot be performed.
Is there an age limit for DNA testing?
There is no age limit or minimum age at which a child can take a DNA test.
In most cases, a DNA test simply requires cheek swabs to be rubbed painlessly on the inside of the cheek to collect cheek cell DNA.
This pain-free method of sample collection means that DNA testing can be performed on a person of any age, from new-born babies to grown up children and adults.
Although there is no age limit for DNA testing, it is important to think about why you want or need a DNA test, and what the outcome of the test could mean for you and your family.
What are the different types of DNA test?
There are many types of DNA test available, to meet a range of needs. The types of DNA test that we offer at AlphaBiolabs include:
- Paternity DNA Testing – used to verify a biological relationship between a child and a potential father
- Maternity DNA Testing – used to verify a biological relationship between a child and a potential mother
- Prenatal Paternity Testing – used to verify a biological relationship between a potential father and a child, while the mother is still pregnant
- Prenatal Gender Testing – used to determine the gender of an unborn baby while the mother is still pregnant
- Twin DNA (Zygosity) Testing – used to determine whether children from multiple births are identical or non-identical (fraternal)
- Sibling DNA Testing – used to determine whether two or more individuals are full siblings or half siblings
- Grandparent DNA Testing – used to establish a biological relationship between a child and one or more of their biological grandparents, which in turn can help verify a biological relationship between a child and their father or mother
- Aunt and Uncle DNA Testing – also known as avuncular tests. These tests are used to establish a biological relationship between a child and their potential aunt or uncle, which in turn will help verify a biological relationship between a child and their father or mother
- Single Genetic Profile Testing – a type of DNA test that allows an individual to obtain a record of their DNA profile
- Y Chromosome (Y-DNA) Testing – used to verify a relationship between potential male relatives by identifying matching Y chromosomes
- Viability DNA Testing – a DNA viability test or viability study is often performed where discretion is required for the DNA test. This type of testing involves extracting a DNA sample from an alternative source (other than cheek swab samples) such as a used toothbrush or nail clippings
Should I take a DNA test?
Thanks to advances in medical science, and continued innovation from testing laboratories like AlphaBiolabs, it has never been easier to order a home DNA test for peace of mind.
We offer a wide range of DNA tests to suit your personal circumstances including paternity, non-invasive prenatal paternity (NIPP), maternity, sibling, twin, grandparent, and aunt/uncle tests.
Before ordering a DNA test, it is important to think about your reasons for ordering a test and the potential impact of the test results.
DNA testing can be an emotive subject, so we would always recommend discussing your thoughts and concerns with loved ones before ordering a test.
It’s easy to order your DNA test online now. However, if you still have questions, you can email our friendly and discreet Customer Services team at email@example.com.
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