Validity Genetics - Updates and News

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At Validity Genetics we like to keep our customers, and everyone in general, up to date on the latest DNA and paternity testing information.  We feel that an informed society helps everyone.  Providing the latest most up to date information about something that can be as confusing as DNA and Genetic testing helps you, our customers, and your families understand what is going on and what to expect when you participate in genetic or DNA testing. 

Here in our News section we will post news, updates and information on our laboratory, DNA, paternity testing, and general genetic testing info. We also update our Twitter and Facebook with all the latest DNA info and promotions.

Thank you for stopping by and feel free to contact us  or email us at Info@ValidityGenetics.com with any questions or topics we should discuss.

Paternity Testing - When the Father Isn't Available

There are many reasons for wishing or having to conduct a DNA paternity test and in many cases, the father might not be available to participate. At first it may seem impossible to do without their cooperation, but there are other ways to still receive conclusive DNA results about paternity.

Sibling DNA testing

A Sibling DNA Test can be used in place of a Paternity DNA Test to test two peoples relationship.

A Sibling DNA Test can be used in place of a Paternity DNA Test to test two peoples relationship.

This DNA test compares the genetic material shared between a child and their possible biological sibling. The easiest way to describe the connection between siblings is the higher the percentage, the more likely they are related. We always recommend including a known parent in testing because, this helps to improve the accuracy of the test and to avoid an inconclusive result.

Grand-parentage DNA testing

This DNA searches for the likelihood of a genetic connection between a child and one or both possible grandparents. Because a father holds 50% of a child’s DNA, testing potential grandparents can prove to be effective.  When possible it is recommended to test both biological paternal grandparents (on the suspected fathers side), as well as the mother, to determine the most accurate likelihood possible.

Aunt and Uncle DNA testing

In cases where grandparents are also available to complete DNA testing, uncle or aunt DNA testing can prove useful. Because a child shares around half of their genes with their father, and the father shares around half with their full sibling, the child will share approximately half of their genes with an aunt or uncle.  We always recommend including a known parent in testing because, this helps to improve the accuracy of the test and to avoid an inconclusive result.

Luckily, with Validity Genetics, you will never be left with looming paternity questions. In as little as 2-3 business days, we can give you 99.9999% accurate tests results through our stringent, certified, and validated testing procedures. With more questions about our paternity testing or various DNA testing services Contact Us or email us at Info@ValidityGenetics.com

How to Prepare for DNA Testing

The DNA testing process

Getting a quality paternity or DNA test is an intricate process that requires plenty of precision and care. The process involves planning and effort, and you should always be aware of the steps you need to make the process more efficient; both before, during, and after the test itself. So, before you place your order for DNA testing, make sure you take care of the following items in order to get the best results from your DNA testing experience.

Deal with a Reputable DNA Company/Laboratory

Reputation is everything, and your DNA tests – and its subsequent results – may have a significant impact on the course of your family and future. Whether you need to find out the paternity of a child or prepare for the future of your family, it’s crucial that your DNA test gets done right the first time.

Any agency/laboratory worthy of your patronage has quality equipment, extensive experience in a variety of DNA tests, the proper certifications, and all other necessary items to provide you the accurate DNA testing results. The main thing to look for when dealing with a DNA testing company is to make sure they are backed up by an AABB certified laboratory. This ensures that their results will be trustworthy and of the highest caliber.

Click for most information on AABB accreditation and the certifications a laboratory needs.

Most common types of DNA tests and cost

It’s crucial that you understand the costs involved in having a Paternity or Relationship DNA test done in addition to any further follow-up work that your situation may require. In the DNA testing world there are two main types of testing, Informational and Legal testing. These are very different from each other in terms of price, how the samples are collected, and what they can be used for.

Home DNA Testing

Home or Informational DNA testing is the most common type of DNA test done, it is also the least expensive of the two versions of DNA tests. A home DNA test, as its name implies, is usually done in your own home. This type of DNA test cannot be used in court or for legal purposes.

When ordered the test kit will be sent to your address. It will contain everything one would need to collect DNA samples and return them safely to the laboratory. The test kit usually contains: two sterile buccal swabs per person, labeled envelopes for the swabs, a consent form to be filled out and signed, and a prepaid return envelope.

Legal DNA Testing

The second type of DNA test is the Legal or Court Admissible DNA test. This type of test is the more expensive of the two main kinds of DNA test. It is also the test that can be used in court and for legal purposes, such as adoption, wills and estates, birth certificates, or changes to child support.

When ordered the test kit cannot be sent to anyone participating in the test. The test should be sent to the person who will help collect the samples, verify identities, complete the paperwork, and mail the whole testing package back to the laboratory. At all times a legal test must follow the Chain of Custody set forth by the AABB in order to be considered court admissible.

Be aware that when doing a legal DNA test you may incur extra fees if the sample collection is done by a professional scheduled by the DNA company. Some companies include this in the cost, and will have higher costs associated with the test, and some do not factor collection fess in until a client requests professional collection.

What are the Costs of a DNA Test?

Cost is a major difference between Home and Legal DNA testing. Depending on the test a legal version can be a hundred dollars to almost twice the price of a home test.

For example a reputable DNA company like Validity Genetics lists their Home Paternity DNA Test for $149 and their Legal Paternity DNA Test for $299. And this is on the low side for a well known reputable DNA company backed up by a fully AABB accredited and ISO certified laboratory.

After pricing your DNA test, you can make plans to budget enough money to spend on all of your bills, belongings, and more.  In special circumstances most companies can work with you to ease the cost of testing, or to break up the payments on more expensive testing.

It is highly suggested that if you do not need a DNA test for legal purposes, to only purchase a home DNA test.

IS a DNA test covered by Insurance?

Please note that relationship DNA testing and paternity testing is considered an elective and is not currently covered by most US insurance plans. 

Gather any necessary paperwork

Some DNA testing, like most things these days, requires paperwork! Some tests are in response to a court order (so be sure to get the correct DNA test), and others need visa-related papers from the US Government (such as United States Immigration). In addition all legal DNA tests will require some sort of official identification, such as a drivers license or government issued photo ID. Before you go to your appointment or fill out your consent forms, make sure that you have your pieces of identification, forms, and other relevant pieces you need to get the process started (Click Here to see more info on legal DNA testing).

Know Your Deadlines

Most DNA test results are quick with a two to three day results turnaround, while ones involving forensic or special samples may take a few more days to generate results. Even though a good DNA company will have rush services available, it is best if you don’t wait until the last minute! You may have to contend with tight time frames or rushed deadlines, which can make the process of waiting for results all the more nerve wracking and frustrating for you. Be sure to know the time it will take, factor this it into your schedule, and keep the timelines in mind while scheduling a DNA test.

DNA testing can at first seem daunting or downright scary, but if you take the time to prepare for it, it’s a very quick and simple thing.


For more information about Paternity, Relationship, and general DNA testing questions Contact Us or email the team at Info@ValidityGenetics.com.

Non Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test

Coming early 2019

We understand the Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity (NIPP) Test is a highly sought after choice when dealing with the issue of Paternity Testing as soon as possible.

See our expanded Prenatal Paternity Testing Page. Here we have updates and announcements on our progress and links to additional information.

this testing option will be available February 2019.

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In the meantime we are willing to offer information and answer questions on this DNA Paternity Testing option to help our customers in selecting a reputable laboratory and deciding on whether this is a viable option for you when seeking help on the issue of Paternity.


Common questions about Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Tests:

How much does this test cost? 

This is not a cheap test; it is one of the most expensive DNA tests on the market today.  You should expect to pay from $1600 to over $2000 for a fully accredited non-invasive prenatal paternity DNA test. Legal or court admissible versions will cost even more.

Is this a legal test?

This test can be offered as a legal paternity test. Having legal results in hand now will save you time in the future by not having to re-test.

Is this a walk in test? 

No.  Most laboratories need to schedule this in advance, preferably up to one week. This test requires a certified phlebotomist for blood collection and many DNA Laboratories do not have one on hand and will need to schedule them to do the collection.

Do you offer a re-test when the baby is born?

No. And any client should be wary of companies that do. If a company is offering a free post-birth test, this means they don’t stand behind the quality of their prenatal test.

Is there any danger to the fetus/baby? 

No.  This test is completely harmless to the mother and to the baby.  It tests for fetal DNA in the blood stream of the mother and not in the amniotic fluid as with more conventional prenatal Paternity Tests, such as CVS or Amniocentesis.

I have been pregnant before, will this affect the outcome?

No. A previous pregnancy will have no effect upon the outcome of a non-invasive prenatal paternity test. Once a pregnancy has run its course the fetal DNA is removed from the mothers blood by her own body.

Feel free to email us at Info@ValidityGenetics.com or Contact Us for more info!

Informational (Home) Vs. Legal DNA Testing

EasyHomeDNA Legal DNA Paternity Testing

Legal DNA Tests

Legal, or Court Admissible DNA test results are required for clients who need to provide proof of family relationship for legal issues including: trusts and estate planning, child custody, child support, parental rights, paternity, etc.

Legal relationship testing requires that all tested parties have their DNA samples collected by an unrelated third party with no interest in the outcome of the testing. Collectors can be attorneys, pastors, coworkers, medical professionals, etc.

Legal tests also require a strict chain of custody that must be maintained throughout the sample collection and testing process.

Home (Informational) DNA Testing

Home tests, also known as private, peace of mind DNA tests, or informational, do not require an impartial unrelated sample collector or adherence to a strict chain of custody.

Sample collections for informational tests can be performed anywhere, home, work, or a doctors office.  A home or private test is right for you if your needs are only for personal knowledge, as they cannot be used in court.

It is important to note that while our informational tests are labeled as Home DNA tests our Legal DNA tests can be administered in the privacy and comfort of your choosing, as long as the chain of custody guidelines are strictly followed.

For additional questions contact us or email us at Info@ValidityGenetics.com

Gathering Special Samples

Forensic Samples

Special Samples

What is a forensic or Special Sample?

The most common way to collect DNA samples is from an oral buccal swab, but when a client must test an object other than the standard swabs (be it a shirt, bed sheet, cigarette, prophylactic, band aid, or something else with DNA attached to it), especially in the case of Infidelity testing, we recommend following this guide to gather your "special sample". 

To avoid contamination it is extremely important that all tested evidence is handled as little as possible from the start. Sterile gloves are recommended to prevent any contamination while gathering DNA samples.

HOW TO COLLECT SPECIAL SAMPLES:

To gather special samples, please follow these instructions:

Step 1: Please label envelope with the following details (use one small envelope per sample):

  • Sample name or description

  • Collection Date

  • Approximate age of sample (date when it may have appeared or item last used)

Step 2: Prep the sample to be mailed:

  • If this is a clothing sample or fabric stain (for example a bed sheet) we recommend you send the entire item to our lab. Please indicate where the stain to be tested is*

    • If you decide the item is too large to send through the mail, the stained area may be cut out and mailed instead. Please leave one to two inches of space around the potential DNA

  • If this is a smaller item (toothbrush, hair follicles, condom, etc), make sure it dry (please allow to air dry. Do NOT use a hair dryer or any form of heating device to force it to dry) and can fit inside the labeled envelope

  • Do NOT place anything in plastic bags

Step 3: Seal samples inside labeled envelope:

  • Place the special samples into the envelope

  • Seal the envelope with tape

Step 4: Place samples together in a larger envelope and mail to our Laboratory:

  • Compile envelopes containing special samples, oral buccal swab samples, and the completed paperwork together into a larger mailing envelope

  • Mail to our laboratory using a traceable courier service (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc)

*clothing and fabric samples may be damaged or destroyed when tested

Additional info and ways to collect samples:

DNA, in a dry state, is very stable. Ultraviolet light, extreme temperature and moisture are the primary destructive agents of DNA molecules. There are a few basic rules that must be followed for the proper collection, packaging and storage of DNA evidence.

Wet Stains (Ex: blood, semen, saliva)

Biological evidence should always be allowed to air dry before being packaged in an envelope. Moisture allows bacterial growth to occur, rapidly destroying the material and greatly reducing the possibility of obtaining accurate DNA results. Blow dryers and other heating devices should not be used to force an item or stain to dry.

Pooled biological samples (Ex: blood, saliva, semen)

Sterile Swabs

When dealing with blood, saliva or semen in a pooled or liquid state that may become contaminated or must be cleaned, swab the sample onto sterile cotton swabs (in a pinch Q-tips, with one end cut off, will work) and allow the swabs to air dry before packaging in a clean paper envelope.  Please try to have at lest two swabs per sample.

Dry Stains (Ex: blood, semen, saliva)

For best results and highest accuracy an article with stains should be submitted in its entirety. Each article should be separated from another.  We recommend large envelopes, clean paper bags, or clean plastic bags (only if the article is completely dry). If the article is too large to be mailed and the stained area cannot be cut out, please follow these steps to help with a proper collection.

  • Place two or three drops of distilled water onto a sterile cotton swab (or a one sided Q-Tip)

  • Rub the swab over the stained area. Try to transfer as much of the stain as possible onto the swab.

  • Allow the swabs to air dry and package in clean paper envelopes.

Properly collecting, storing, and shipping DNA specimens for analysis helps to ensure accurate results. Most samples in a dry state will offer testable genetic evidence for decades.

For additional questions contact us or email us at Info@ValidityGenetics.com

New York and DNA testing

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Collecting and mailing DNA tests in New York

New York is the only state in the United States that does not allow DNA testing by mail.  Collecting and mailing your own DNA sample in the state of New York is prohibited under New York State Public Health Law (Article 5, Title V, Section 574) and regulations (Part 58-1.10 (g) of 10NYCRR).  

Simply put, under the New York health regulations a person wanting to have DNA or genetic testing done in New York should:

  • Obtain permission from a physician or lawyer for DNA testing

  • Have the DNA sample collected by a physician under chain of custody

  • Use a testing laboratory in the State of New York

  • Ensure the laboratory doing the DNA test holds a New York State Department of Health certification

  • Obtain permission to view their DNA results from a physician or lawyer

These extra hurdles are unique to New York residents in the United States.  Because of them we, and many other DNA testing companies, are dissuaded from offering our services to residents of New York State.

While we believe these regulations serve a purpose:

If a customer in New York does order a test kit from us we will send one to them under the implied understanding that the sample will not be collected in the state of New York (crossing into a neighboring state to swab the cheek) and will not be mailed from inside New York to our laboratory (again, in a neighboring state). 

As a general rule we do not, or in most cases cannot, determine from where a package is mailed.  Packages sent from New York to our laboratory run the risk of being discarded and destroyed, as to not run afoul of New York law.  Samples discarded in this manner may not be eligible for a refund.

For additional questions contact us or email us at Info@ValidityGenetics.com

Common Types of DNA samples

What can be tested for traces of DNA?

Foensic DNA Test samples

How is a normal DNA sample gathered?

For DNA testing the most popular and reliable way to collect samples is the oral buccal swab method. A buccal swab closely resembles a one ended Q-Tip in appearance. Using swabs as a collection method is quick and painless and is the recommended way to collect DNA samples for testing.

In cases where an oral swab sample cannot be obtained (the individual to be tested is missing, deceased, unwilling or unable to participate) a forensic sample can be submitted for testing. Most DNA companies will charge an additional fee for each forensic sample used in place of a swab.

Are there risks to sending a forensic sample?

Yes, one of the risks of sending a forensic sample for DNA testing is the quality of the DNA in a forensic sample cannot be guaranteed. There is a chance that the DNA in the sample submitted is degraded, contaminated, or insufficient. In these cases even the most advanced laboratories in the world may not be able to obtain any usable DNA information. In these cases DNA companies will still charge you the full cost even if the attempt is unsuccessful.

What types of samples can be tested for DNA?

A few examples of DNA forensic samples which are commonly submitted to a DNA laboratory for testing include:

  • Dried blood stains (dried blood on bandages, on tissue, cotton, or paper)

  • Dried saliva stains (cigarette butts, stamps, stains on clothing or napkins)

  • Hair, you will need 6-8 strands per test. (Hair works best if it is taken directly from the head. Hair which has fallen out of the head naturally may work as well. Cut hair will not work, the strands of hair must have roots, that is where the DNA is located)

  • Dried underwear stains (pads, tampons, diapers)

  • Dried semen stains (tissue, underwear, bed sheets)

  • Fingernail clippings can work, but are at a much lower chance of success (6+ or more clippings to ensure a higher success rate)

  • Teeth (Molar, premolar, and canine work best. Higher costs are usually involved, best to contact the lab you are looking at before you order a test)

When it comes down to it, any sample which contains biological material has a chance of working. It also has a higher chance of not being usable, or contain enough DNA to be usable in a DNA test.

If you have any questions in regards to your situation, please contact us or email us at Info@ValidityGenetics.com directly.