DNA testing is the most scientific and accurate way to prove that two or more individuals are biologically related. AlphaBiolabs offers a wide range of legal DNA testing to determine family relationships, including paternity, maternity, sibling, twin (zygosity), grandparent, aunt and uncle, and Y chromosome.
The results of these tests can be used for immigration cases, applications and appeals. We also offer prenatal DNA testing, which can non-invasively determine paternity of a baby before birth.
How do the DNA tests work?
Our award-winning legal DNA testing follows strict procedures to maintain chain of custody, which means that our results are court-approved and are accepted by:
- Family law courts
- The Ministry of Justice
- The Child Support Agency
- The UK Visas and Immigration Service
- The Home Office
The tests work by examining up to 35 Short Tandem Repeats (STR) markers, which are specific locations on a chromosome made up of sequences of repeated DNA. These STR markers are highly variable in length between individuals. Each individual has two copies of each STR marker, known as alleles: one is inherited from the father and the other from the mother.
The two alleles observed at each STR marker are compared between the tested individuals. The correspondence of alleles between tested individuals provides evidence of a relationship between them. Statistical calculations are then performed to determine the probability of the tested individuals sharing a relationship.
How are the DNA samples collected?
The DNA sample needs to be collected by an approved sample collector, a nurse or another medical professional. No blood samples are needed for the DNA test. Swabs are used to painlessly collect cheek (buccal) cells from the inside of the mouth.
We collect DNA samples from any location in the UK: this could be at your client’s home, at your offices, or even from prisons if required. Your clients may even be able to visit one of our 11 Walk in Centres to have their sample collected for free. Our fully trained sample collectors follow strict procedures to maintain chain of custody, which is crucial for legal testing. Alternatively, a GP or medical practice could collect samples (may be a fee involved).
For immigration cases, DNA sample collection abroad can also be arranged directly by AlphaBiolabs. We have a large international collection network available to take DNA samples and regularly work with immigration centres, consulates and embassies worldwide. To date, we have collected samples from 90 countries.
Legal DNA testing turnaround time
DNA test results are provided next day as standard (from when the samples arrive at the laboratory). Same day results can also be made available. Our rapid DNA testing won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation 2016.