DNA & Immigration
Summary of DNA Tests
DNA Tests Determine Biological Relationships
DNA Testing samples saliva, hair, or blood to examine a person’s DNA. The genetic code that establishes every living organism’s unique and individual traits. Each parent provides half of their DNA profile to their child’s DNA code, while the other parent contributes the other half. Studying that DNA can determine whether people are related to each other and to what degree (parent, grandparent, aunt, cousin, etc.).
Anyone can request a DNA test for any purpose, without the need for insurance coverage or a doctor’s order. DNA testing resolves many questions in several scenarios:
- To confirm a parent’s identity for personal needs;
- To confirm biological relationships;
- To determine twinship;
- To establish or debunk child support claims;
- To create legally recognized identity evidence, such as birth certificates, and
- For immigration purposes, among many others.
DNA Test samples can come from a blood draw, a strand of hair, or saliva.
- Saliva is collected by way of an mtDNA (buccal) swab or smear, in which a cotton swab retrieves saliva from the cells on the inside of a person’s cheek. ‘Buccal’ means cheek or mouth. The buccal DNA sample is very common in clinical trials and law enforcement investigations because it is quick to collect, and can include or exclude individuals as suspects.
- Compared to blood samples, which require a medical professional to obtain, and hair samples, which may or may not contain a significant level of DNA, Buccal swabs are a non-invasive and speedy way to collect DNA samples for testing.
At SmarTest Labs, our secure, private, and rigorously controlled DNA testing procedures will help you get the information you need about yourself and your family. Our medical professionals are available today to provide you with the DNA testing counseling you need.
‘Court Admissible’ and ‘Informational’ DNA Testing
SmarTest Labs performs both Court Admissible Paternity Tests, which are admitted as evidence in Court, and Informational Paternity Tests, to provide peace of mind.
Court Admissible DNA Testing
While the science is the same, the procedures for handling Court Admissible DNA Tests are different from Informational DNA Tests.
- To be court permissible, SmartTest Labs must carefully document each step of the sampling and testing process, including the actions taken to collect the sample and the process of carrying the sample from the collection site to the lab. SmarTest Labs is the collection site.
- These documenting procedures are known as Chain of Custody procedures, and they ensure to the Court that the sample and the test result are the products of the person at issue.
- When legally proven, the DNA test can help resolve a variety of legal matters, including child support concerns, inheritance issues, finalizing adoption processes, and confirming custody agreements.
Because Court Admissible DNA Tests require additional attention and documentation, they cost slightly more than tests taken strictly for personal peace of mind.
Informational DNA Testing
Informational DNA Tests use the same science and lab protocols to determine the nature of the DNA sample. Although there is no requirement to conduct the sample under the governance of a chain of custody, SmarTest Labs will conduct the sample gathering and information dissemination as in court required DNA sample collection.
- In a non-legal setting, the test can answer lingering questions about family histories and relationships. In most cases, while the DNA test results provide critical information for the SmarTest Labs patient, there are no legal issues involved.
SmarTest Labs’ DNA Testing can help you identify your family tree members by comparing samples of your DNA with those of a potential family member and looking for markers that indicate varying levels of biological relationships.
LifeStyle DNA Test
Pre-Natal DNA Testing
DNA can also reveal other degrees of relationship in addition to that of parent and child, such as Aunt to niece, Uncle to nephew, and cousin relationships. These tests are also performed to legal or non-legal standards, depending on the purpose of the test.
Sibling DNA Test
Today, many families are ‘blended,’ a mix of biological and ‘step’ (non-biological) parents and children. In some cases, families are separated, and siblings are split from each other. In these circumstances, a Siblingship DNA Test can help identify ‘full’ (sharing both parents), ‘half’ (sharing one parent), or ‘step’ (no common biological parents) sibling relationships.