Laboratories have developed simpler ways of testing DNA. This way, a person can provide their samples without even leaving home. But why is this test cheaper than a legal paternity test? First of all, it should be made clear that both tests are carried out in the same way. That is, the machines and procedures used to analyse the DNA of each person are the same in both tests. The only thing that changes is the way the samples are obtained. Because legal paternity testing is required by a judge, it has a specific procedure that must be followed, or the test results may be inadmissible. This procedure is defined by the laws of each country, but usually has specific characteristics. You can find more information on the laboratory’s website.
Admissible test results in a trial
For the results of a legal paternity test to be admissible in court, a well-defined sequence of actions must be followed. It begins when the judge requests the parties to take a DNA test. The court contacts the laboratory, and the laboratory handles the entire process. The laboratory will ask the parties to attend a certain place, defining a date and time. As this is a legally valid test, the samples are required to be taken by an allowed person. Then the samples are kept in custody until they reach the laboratory, which will analyse them and send the results directly to the judge. This whole chain of custody is carried out with the intention that there are no leaks or alterations of the samples or the results. This whole procedure is necessary for the results to be admissible in court and is the main reason this type of testing is expensive.
Not all laboratories can do it
Laboratories use sophisticated machines to analyse the DNA of their clients. These machines can carry out a paternity test or can define that two people are siblings. Even if a laboratory has these machines, it may not be authorised to carry out legal paternity testing. Only laboratories that have met certain guidelines can register with a country’s judiciary so that their tests can be used in court. To achieve this, the laboratory must have the capacity to collect samples and secure them until they reach the laboratory, as well as ensuring that the results are delivered directly to the judge. If a laboratory cannot meet some of these guidelines, it will perform any test, but its results cannot be used in a legal proceeding.