At DNAQ, we are following all current advice provided by the Australian Government, local health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO), and taking extra precautionary steps to ensure the health and safety of our laboratory staff and customer service team to minimise any disruption to testing
Please be advised our laboratory is still operational, and we are currently not experiencing any delays with processing of samples.
For all non-legal testing, a testing kit can be sent directly to your home address. You can simply collect the sample yourself at home, and post it back to DNAQ in the supplied prepaid return envelope. Legal Collection appointments are also still available at our laboratory in Brisbane upon request. However, if you are experiencing any virus-like symptoms or have travelled overseas in the past 14 days, we recommend delaying your collection or rescheduling your appointment to a later date.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly staff on 1300 172 837.
We understand that for many clients this will be the first time they have undertaken DNA testing. Below are some of our most Frequently Asked Questions. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding testing, or wish to know more.
For the majority of our DNA tests, all that is required for testing is a sample collected using a mouth swab. The collection process is simple and painless, and our kits will contain everything you need to collect your sample. The swab is rubbed on the inside of the cheek, to collect cheek cells that contain DNA. The swab is then pressed into a special preservation card, known as an FTA card, that stores the sample for transport. The FTA card is then sent back to our laboratory for testing.
A paternity test is conducted to prove paternity, that is, whether a man is the biological father of a child. This may be relevant in view of rights and duties of the father.DNA testing is accepted worldwide as the most accurate method of determining paternity. In Australia it is believed that at least 1 in 5 men who are uncertain about the paternity of their children will have their uncertainty confirmed by paternity DNA testing.
Maternity testing can also be carried out to determine whether a woman is the biological mother of a child. This is less common, because at least during childbirth, except in the case of a pregnancy involving embryo transfer or egg donation, the mother’s identity is clearly evident. Some women who have used IVF wish to check that their own eggs or their partner’s sperm are contained in their child’s DNA and there has not been a laboratory mix up of gametes.
For paternity or maternity testing, a sample is required from the alleged father, mother and child or children. For Relationship DNA testing, we require a sample from all parties wishing to be tested.For peace of mind testing, the mother’s DNA is not usually required.
A DNA test determines whether or not a tested man could have passed on his DNA to the child. When the mother is included it is possible to identify which of the child’s DNA comes from her, leaving the paternal DNA to compare against the alleged father. DNA test reports usually include two values; the Combined Paternity Index (CPI) which provides an odds ratio of how much more likely it is that the tested man is the father rather than an untested man and the Probability of Paternity which reflects the probability that the tested hypothesis is correct. These values can be calculated with or without the inclusion of the mother’s sample but provides much greater certainty when the mother is tested.
For peace of mind (non-legal cases), DNAQ will post a collection kit to your home address. We can send kits Australia wide.
For Legal testing, DNAQ can help arrange sample collection from Australia wide and overseas. Brisbane based clients can use our collection services in our Brisbane office. Australia wide collection can be facilitated at your local doctor or pathology centre. Immigration case collections are facilitated through the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
Once ALL the samples have been received at the laboratory, the results will be available in 3 to 5 working days*. DNAQ aims to have your results back to you as soon as possible. For 95% of our clients, this is less than 5 days. Express options are available for an additional cost. Please call DNAQ to arrange.
*In some cases the turnaround-time may be delayed due to incorrect paperwork completed by the client, or the sample being collected incorrectly. If not enough DNA is collected, the sample will need to be re-processed and this can delay the results up to 10 working days. Power failure, equipment failure, or natural disaster may also delay testing. In such instances DNAQ will aim to notify you of the delay to your results.
DNA testing is done on specific areas on the DNA chain where there are repeated sequences that are individual to each person; these are called ‘short tandem repeats’. A child inherits half its DNA from each parent. Every repeat that is found in the child’s DNA must be found in the alleged mother’s and father’s sample – if not, then it can be determined which parent’s DNA matches or does not match. This is proof of parentage to a minimum certainty of 99.9999%, and proof of non-parentage as 100%. Short tandem repeat testing is highly accurate with the chance of mis-identification being one in several billion.
At the time of collection, there will be a consent form for each person being tested (or their legal guardian) to complete, which will allow us to release the results via email or post, depending on your preference.
Your results are confidential and no results or information will be given to anyone other than yourself.
Results may be sent to your lawyer upon request and to the Department of Immigration if your test is for Immigration purposes.
Results are printed on official DNAQ report forms. Our reporting scientists are accredited by the Family Law Court of Australia to sign these reports. Only original copies are accepted as official reports. Results will not be given over the phone. Fax results can only be sent if a written request via Fax has been sent by your legal representative. Email copies may be sent if authorized at the time of sample collection.
Yes, our DNA testing kits are sent out in unmarked mail satchels and do not contain any of our company logos or details.
There are many reasons why a paternity test is requested. Divorce, child custody,and child financial support are the most common reasons for testing.
In cases where a man denies that he is the biological father, DNA paternity testing can confirm or exclude a biological relationship and the Family Court determines whether or not a man is legally responsible for child support payments . Men who are seeking custody or visitation rights may avail themselves of the benefits of DNA testing. Again, a DNA paternity test provides crucial confirmation of the existence of a biological relationship between father and child. This confirmation is necessary before awarding custody or visitation rights.
Some men merely need to gain peace of mind regarding their relationship to a child. One of the benefits of DNA testing is being able to conclusively establish or exclude a relationship.
Adopted children may someday wish to find their biological parents. DNA testing will allow them to confirm the biological relationship between themselves and their possible biological heritage.
DNA is extracted from cells collected from the inside of the mouth. The mouth swab collection is simple and painless. DNA QLD will mail a collection kit which contains sterile swab, FTA DNA preservation card, collection information, and a prepaid postage return envelope. Read more about our non-legal collection process here.
The sample for legal testing is collected in the same way. However, with legal testing the collection is required to be undertaken by a doctor or an pathology collector. At the time of collection the identity of the individuals to be tested will need to be verified. Official identity documentation (such a driver’s license or passport) and 2 passport size photos of all the individuals will be required for the verification. Read more about our legal collection process here.
DNAQ always strongly recommends that when submitting a sample for testing, it is collected using our specialised mouth swab collection kit. However, we also understand that for all cases it may not be possible to collect samples via this method. Therefore, we are also able to provide our clients with the alternate option of submitting discreet or non-standard samples for testing, such as fingernail clippings or strands of plucked hair. Read more about non-standard sample testing and the types of sample we can accept here.
Paternity can also be tested on prenatal samples. Chorionic Villus (CVS) samples can be collected between 11 and 13 weeks of pregnancy. Amniocentesis samples can be collected between 16 and 18 weeks of pregnancy and later at some Maternal Fetal Ultrasound units. As with any invasive testing, there is always a risk of miscarrying a pregnancy. Please discuss this with your doctor.
DNAQ uses the latest DNA technology to provide results with >99.9999% accuracy and that are fully admissible under the Family Law Courts of Australia. Companies offering less expensive testing on internet sites may not have the same level of accreditation that DNAQ holds, they may be located overseas, or their testing may not be as accurate. For example, DNAQ proof of parentage is accurate to 99.9999%. If testing was advertised with 99.99% proof of parentage, this would be 100 times less accurate than DNAQ’s results.
DNA technology is expensive and it is a case of ‘buyer beware’ with cheap overseas companies. Many of these companies are not based or do not have their laboratories in Australia, and therefore the testing is not being done under the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) regulations for the Australian Family Law Courts.
To ensure you are using a legitimate and reliable DNA testing provider, DNAQ recommends you ask the following questions to companies advertising paternity testing before proceeding.
Unfortunately this is not possible as there is no Medicare rebate applicable to paternity testing. As DNAQ is a privately operated clinic, concessions are not available for Health Cards or Gold Card holders, or Pensioners as DNA QLD is a privately operated clinic.
Legal Aid offices in each State may be able to assist some clients with the payment. A link to Queensland Legal Aid is in the Useful Links section.
DNAQ reserves the right to reserve up to 25% percent of the purchase cost for any cancelled parentage test cancelled within three months of the purchase date. If the test is cancelled for ANY reason after 3 months no refunds will be processed.
Some clients have nominated a DNA test to record their genotype as part of their Will and Testament. This measure can prevent individuals not related to a deceased person making claims on an estate.
DNA QLD laboratory is accredited to the highest standard by NATA and ILAC. DNAQ’s ISO 17025 rating is an internationally recognized standard of quality. DNAQ also participates in proficiency testing through the College of American Pathologists. This ensures that DNAQ complies with testing standards standard with the top testing laboratories worldwide.
NATA ISO 17025 accreditation is a certification of the technical competence of a laboratory. It involves the application of specific procedures and criteria by trained specialist assessors to evaluate the performance and ability of the laboratory to provide accurate data from precise testing procedures using properly calibrated instrumentation.
Short tandem repeats (STRs), are short tandemly repeated DNA sequences that involve a repetitive unit of 1-6 base pairs. STRs are found throughout the human genome, accounting for about 3% of the entire genome . Most STRs are found in the noncoding regions, while only about 8% locate in the coding regions .
The short tandem repeats (STRs) used in our genetic analysis to determine parentage are in noncoding regions of the DNA. Noncoding DNA does not provide instructions for making proteins.
STRs are used for paternity testing as they are highly polymorphic (variable) amongst people and can be used to discriminate between unrelated individuals, however, have a higher mutation rate than other regions of DNA, such as the coding regions. In STRs, as with any genetic region, a change (or mutation) can occur in the DNA causing genetic variation. Changes (or mutations) in STRs in noncoding regions are not expected to cause disease.
When conducting parentage testing the child’s DNA is matched to the alleged parent as the child will inherit one allele from each biological parent. A direct match between the biological parent and child should be found at each locus tested. Where a direct match is not observed, the locus is assessed for a possible mutation. Inherited changes (mutations) from a true biological parent usually show an increase or decrease of one repeat unit. In this case an assumption of a probable mutation between the alleged father and child is made and used in the calculation of the probability of paternity. In such cases a comment will be made on the report regarding the assumption made of a probable mutation.
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