We get this question all the time. A client asks, “Will my results be legal in court?” The honest answer is, it depends on the judge. The judge decides what will be accepted as evidence and what will be thrown out. There are are three things you can do to make fairly certain your DNA test results will be admissible as evidence in court. Here they are:
1) Unbiased Third Party Collection
Your samples need to be collected by someone who does not care how the results come out. You cannot do it yourself, because you might try to cheat the system. Your brother can’t do it, because he wants to get you off the hook. It needs to be done by someone who has no interest in you being the father or not the father. The keyword here is unbiased.
2) Chain of Custody
Paperwork needs to be filled out which shows every person who touches the samples between the time it is collected and the time the results are reported. Whoever collects the DNA sample needs to sign off on it. If they ship the package using FedEX, then they need to sign off on that. When the lab receives it….you guessed it…they sign off on it. We need to make sure that no party has entered the chain of custody and tampered with the samples.
3) Accredited Laboratory
The lab that performs your test should be accredited at the very least by the AABB. This is an organization that oversees DNA testing labs and makes sure they follow proper procedures. If you choose a lab that is not accredited you might get a cheaper price, but you might not get an accurate result, and the judge may throw the results out.
If you follow the three guidelines above you should get results which are court admissible. Legal DNA testing is becoming more and more important in cases of child support, custody, and even infidelity.
Best of luck!