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Collecting samples for a paternity test

Updated on November 13, 2013

How do I collect DNA samples for a paternity test?

The lens offers a relatively brief description about the necessary steps required when collecting DNA. Since many people are aware of how useful DNA testing can be to solve any queries about the existence of biological relationships between people, it is only natural that they should information regarding the topic at hand: how do I collect the DNA samples required for a paternity test?

Oral Swabs
Oral Swabs

Collecting the required DNA samples for a paternity DNA test

DNA samples and DNA paternity Testing

DNA paternity testing in terms of the method of sample collection is generally pretty simple. This is, of course, if all the test participant are willing to be tested and available for testing. Should, for example, the alleged father be dead or not willing to be tested then things get a bit more complicated. But let's take the common place scenario where everyone is willing and ready to be tested.

Most DNA testing companies will send you a home DNA testing kit to enable you to collect your samples. The cost of the kit and its postage to your chosen address is usually included in the price you pay. When you open the kit you will find the following:

-Oral mouth swabs; 2 swabs for every person

-instructions on who to collect the samples

-consent forms (these forms require you to fill in some basic details about the people taking part in the test and signatures for all those submitting their DNA samples- children below the age of consent will not need to sign and in such cases, parents can sign instead of them.

Oral swabs are used as follows:

oral swabs are simply rubbed for around ten second inside the mouth. Normally, the cheeks and under the tongue are the recommended areas. Many people think they are collecting saliva in this way, which is true! But saliva does not really contain any DNA. The friction caused by the swab being rubbed inside your mouth cause cheek cells to detatch themselves and stick to the swab. These exfoliated cheek cells contain DNA in them which will be extracted from the cell by scientists.

The DNA testing company should also provide the following guidlines which are pivotal to successful sample collection:

It is first and foremost essential that the test participants do not eat or drink for 1 hours before testing. Food or drink traces inside the mouth can results in contaminated DNA and might render your swabs useless to scientists.

You can of course, drink water but that is about it. For smokers, you will need to avoid smoking for again around an hour before you take you DNA samples.

Here is how to collect your DNA samples with oral swabs

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      It's good to know that DNA home testing kits are available. I had my mouth swabbed once when I registered to be an organ donor. I'm not sure what they used that for, but apparently they collected some sort of data with it.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I never realized it was so simple to get the samples for a DNA paternity test. Great lens.

    • starfish26666 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @dana_macintosh: hey thanks a lot, hope you check out my other lenses

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, thanks for the tips

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Awesome lens.


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