But now you can settle the question of fatherhood from the privacy of your own home.
Created by Sorenson Genomics in Salt Lake City, Identigene is a do-it-yourself paternity test that utilizes the same 16 DNA marker process used by court-approved testing labs all over the country. The difference is that Identigene is relatively cheap and unlike other DNA tests, you don’t need a court order or guest appearance on a talk show to get one.
The Identigene kit provides swabs to collect cell samples from the child and assumed father. The samples are collected from the inside of the cheek, also known as a buccal swab. The mother’s cells aren’t required to get your results but they do help strengthen the outcome so consumers are encouraged to include samples from both parents as well as the child in question.
The swabs are then packaged and mailed to the Sorenson laboratory where the DNA analysis begins. You can have the results in as little as three business days and they can be obtained online, by mail or by phone.
The cost is amazingly cheap compared to traditional paternity tests – just $150 for both the test and the lab’s processing fee.
So what’s the catch? While do-it-yourself paternity testing offers a quick and affordable way to put paternity issues to rest, the tests are not typically considered to be validated and therefore, are not admissible in court.
The reason is that the testing laboratory has no control over the sample collection, meaning that there’s no way to prove that John Doe submitted the sample in question. No control means no chain-of-custody certification and that’s a requirement for any paternity test to be admissible in a court case.
The bottom line? If you’re just wanting to confirm your own suspicions, at-home paternity testing might well be the solution. If you suspect you’ll need those results in court, however, you may want to consider a validated test instead.