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Frequently asked Questions

Frequently asked Questions

What is DNA?

DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic acid and is a chemical substance found in most cells of the human body and living organisms. DNA stores information that is passed down from one generation to the next (half from the mother and half from the father), providing a map of genetic characteristics.


This information is used to develop an individual in a particular way, for example their physical appearance and attributes.

As DNA is in almost all living cells it can be found in saliva, hair and blood for example. These are some of the most common sources that DNA testing samples are analysed from.


What sorts of DNA tests are there?

There are all sorts of DNA testing available, the most common of which is paternity testing. Paternity testing is used to determine whether an alleged father of a child is the true biological father of the child. These tests produce the most accurate results when the child, the alleged father AND mother are all tested. But there are other ways that the probability of the paternity of the child can be deduced without the need to test all three of these individuals. These include Y chromosome testing and aunt and uncle testing (AKA avuncular testing) to name a few.


DNA testing usually refers to relationship testing, in which an individual’s likelihood of a relationship with another individual can be determined. This could be conducted for many reasons, including establishing that a person is related to a UK citizen for immigration purposes or to determine a person’s ancestry.


DNA testing is commonly involved with solving crime. We are primarily a DNA testing laboratory and we do not claim to be a forensics laboratory but we can use workplace testing to help reduce crime or eliminate criminal activity within your business if required. DNA testing is also associated with determining the likelihood for someone to inherit genetic diseases or to help develop the treatment of genetic diseases. Brashan DNA Services do not currently test for such purposes.


What is the difference between a peace of mind test and a court approved test?

A ‘peace of mind’ test means that the test can be self-administered at home using one of our kits that we will send to an address of your choice. It can be used for your own knowledge and peace of mind, but as the samples will have been collected by you (self-administered) it cannot be used in legal proceedings. It will not be admissible in court, as proof of relationship for the Child Support Agency or for immigration purposes for example. It is still an extremely accurate form of testing and if you only need it for your own knowledge then it can be a more cost-effective form of DNA testing.


A ‘court approved test’ is a test that can be used as proof of relationship in legal cases. The difference here is that the sample will have been collected by a third party, who can certify that the person who is required to be tested is definitely the person who is actually being tested. This is done in a way so that all the required procedures of a legal DNA test are followed during the sample collection process. The analysis process and results are not necessarily any more accurate than those of a peace of mind test, but it does reduce the possibility of foul-play – such as tampering and bogus sample donations (the wrong person’s sample being used due to a fraudulent submission).


Legal testing usually costs more due to the sample collection process involved, but you can reduce this cost by visiting one of our Walk-in Centres, where one of our fully qualified members of staff will collect the sample for free without the need to make an appointment. If you require a DNA test for your own knowledge order a peace of mind test kit to use at your own convenience, any time. If you require a court approved test then order a legal DNA test and we can arrange for one of our sample collectors to visit you at an address of your choice at a time that’s convenient to you. Alternatively, you can visit one of our Collection Centres.


What does a DNA test involve?

Most DNA testing involves a buccal swab being rubbed on the inside of the cheek of the individuals that need testing. The swab collects cells, which contains the DNA required for analysis. In cases of paternity testing, it is usually the child, the alleged father and the mother that are to give samples  – two swabs each. These swabs will be placed in individual envelopes and sealed before being sent to the lab for analysis. Some DNA tests do require taking blood, such as prenatal DNA testing. However, this is done non-invasively and will not disturb or harm the baby in any way as the DNA is analysed from the mother’s blood rather than directly from the baby’s. Please see (Prenatal DNA Testing) for more information on the subject.


DNA tests can also be undertaken with samples from the deceased (for example during autopsy). When this is the case all the relevant ‘qualified’ consents are required before any DNA testing can take place.


Why is discreet DNA testing called infidelity testing?

DNA testing is often called infidelity testing as it commonly exposes paternity fraud. This is a sensitive topic that is often required by a suspicious partner, who wants to confirm that their partner has been involved in an infidelity relationship without their partner’s knowledge. The suspicious partner may still be interested in the relationship and may want to continue with it if the DNA result proves them wrong.


For the above reason, Brashan DNA Services provides completely confidential services for Peace of mind in DNA Testing. The DNA Testing kit is sent to the client in a white A4 envelope that draws no attention to it. We also arrange to have the delivery done at the time when the client is at home to receive it. Alternatively, we can also send it to the client’s workplace if they prefer or they may collect it from us in a suitable arranged venue. To ensure confidential service, clients’ personal details and results are stored effectively and destroyed three months after the results have been received by the client.


It is worth noting here that consent is always required before a DNA Test can be carried out. Therefore, the adults involved must sign the consent form and sign for the children that they have parental rights over. The names, dates of birth, and relationships of all people to be tested must be disclosed on the consent form. Samples are only accepted for testing after consent has been provided. Therefore, DNA testing which is often viewed as infidelity testing or paternity fraud is not totally discrete as the adult who buys and consents to the test knows all about the test.


While Peace of mind DNA Testing is discrete and confidential, legal DNA testing is not. DNA Testing is required to solve a crime, e.g., murder, rape, or risk of national risk. Suspects do not have to give their consent to have their DNA tested, but they must provide their samples if needed.


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