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DNA and paternity testing: What is DNA paternity testing?

cellmark dna testing - swab

What is DNA paternity testing?

DNA paternity testing is a complex scientific process, carried out on a simple mouth swab, which can positively identify relationships between people. Most commonly it is used to establish if a man is the true biological father of a child.

DNA paternity testing is also often referred to simply as a DNA test, a paternity test or DNA testing.

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the body’s genetic 'blueprint'. It is a long thread-like molecule which carries the "genetic code" that determines our individual characteristics. DNA is found in almost all of the billions of cells that make up our body. Every child inherits a unique mixture of DNA from its parents so, except for identical twins, no two people in the world have exactly the same genetic code.

How does DNA testing work?

It works by detecting certain parts, or “markers” in the DNA molecule that are known to vary greatly between unrelated people. Tests compare the DNA at a number of these markers to determine if people are related.

The process is called Short Tandem Repeat (STR) profiling. STR profiling is a very sensitive DNA testing procedure that was originally developed for forensic analysis. DNA is extracted from the sample and a special enzyme is used to copy the genetic code at the relevant regions in the DNA. An STR profile is the result of several separate DNA tests.


How long will the test take?

A reputable testing company produces standard reports within 3-5 working days from when they receive the samples. Initial registration takes a few minutes online, you then need to see a nurse or GP to take the actual sample. 


Get a quote

Get a quote for DNA testing/paternity test

If you would like a quote for DNA testing/a paternity test, or further information on DNA tests, from up to three providers of DNA paternity testing services in the UK

Complete the DNA testing enquiry form....