An independent review of tests, companies, and prices

Frequently Asked Questions's about DNA testing prices?

Is a DNA test the only way I can establish a biological relationship?

DNA swab testing is definitely the most reliable means of establishing whether an alleged father is the biological father of a child. This can be done through paternity testing, or if the father is not available, through siblings, grandparents, or aunt and uncles. Other methods, such as comparing blood groups, are not considered to be reliable; in fact blood groups are only useful at excluding fathers, not at including them.

Why is it so expensive?

DNA testing companies of course incur costs which they need to cover. They have administrative expenses, the costs of DNA testing kits, laboratory analysis costs, all the people who make your test possible also need to be paid. Of course, the DNA testing company must make some profit somewhere and each is free to set their own prices.

Is the most expensive test always the best?

The DNA test you choose very much depends on your personal notion of the connotations you give to words like cheap and expensive. But fully justifying the costs for a DNA test that is very expensive when compared to all other competitors within a given country may also questionable. The fact that demands for such tests are so high means that many companies market globally, meet the demands of many markets and thus, carry out many DNA tests in their laboratories. They can save costs because of what are referred to as economies of scale; costs become less as sales become more.
Let’s not however, take things to the extreme and assume that costs can be reduced to certain levels, perhaps even less that $100.00. This would naturally and rightfully lead to a legitimate questioning of the quality of your cheap paternity DNA test. In fact, in such a case “cheap” really does being to suggest low-quality and even inaccurate and perhaps one should steer clear of such tests.

How do I know if the cheapest DNA test is reliable?

Be wary of companies that give a low initial cost and then begin adding postage fees, kit fees, etc. It may ultimately end up not that cheap after all. Check how many DNA “markers” are tested. The higher the number of markers, the more accurate the test.

How important is AABB accreditation?

To establish with certainty whether your DNA test is going to reliable and provide you with scientifically validated results you definitely need to look for an accredited laboratory. There are a number of accreditation agencies around but you need to look out for accreditations that are specifically designated for DNA testing laboratories. The two most important ones are AABB (American Associations of Blood Banks) and ISO 17025.
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