There are many types of samples that can be used for a paternity test.
The preferred method of specimen collection is a buccal swab. Collections using a buccal swab are done using a sterile cotton swab (Q-tip) and rubbing it on the inside of the cheek for approximately fifteen seconds. Blood or semen collected on a cotton swab is also a good source of DNA, but it is important that a semen sample is not mixed with the DNA of a second individual. If a semen sample is mixed with another person’s sample, a different type of testing must be performed and there are additional charges for processing the sample. If you have a mixed sample, please contact PTC Laboratories to discuss available options.
The following unusual samples can be processed at a $200 additional charge per sample. In most instances, it is not possible to provide a test that may be used for legal purposes when using an unusual sample because the source of the DNA cannot be verified.
The following samples may have adequate DNA for processing. If there is a mixture of two or more people on the item then the sample may not be used for testing.
- Tooth brush
- Cigarette butt
- Fingernail or toenail clippings
- Drinking straw
- Electric razor
- Used Q-tip
- Used tissue
- Umbilical cord sample
- Chewing gum
It is not always possible to obtain a good DNA profile from unusual samples. The unusual sample fee will still be charged to the customer in the event that sample was unable to provide an adequate DNA profile for the test. Other samples are also possible; please contact PTC Laboratories to speak with one of our representatives to discuss your particular case.
One of the more common calls that we receive is asking about using hair as a sample. The hair shaft has no genomic DNA and cannot be used for a paternity test. If the hair has a root bulb, the root can possibly be used for testing. If you are using hair roots as a sample, please contact PTC Laboratories so we can discuss the best sample for your test.