What is Chain of Custody in a DNA Test?

In our last post, we explored why lab-based paternity testing is a better option than over-the-counter paternity test kits. One of the reasons we highlighted? Thanks to the chain of custody process followed during collections, results of lab-based paternity tests are court-admissible. Whether you’re pursuing a paternity test for a custody dispute or immigration DNA testing to help a relative come to America, you need to ensure your DNA test results are legally-admissible.
But what exactly does chain of custody entail? Read below to find out more about what this process involves and why it matters.

Chain of Custody for a DNA Test

In order for DNA test results to be admissible in court, a clear and accurate chain of custody must be maintained. DNA tests without this cannot be used in paternity, custody, benefits or immigration proceedings.
Exactly what is meant by chain of custody? In layman’s terms, it is a record of every person, office or organization that has physical control of the sample or records throughout the entire proceedings. It is essential to know the exact chain of custody for a DNA test to be sure the samples and results have not been tampered with.

The Chain of Custody ProcessDNA Test

The chain of custody record begins with clear identification of the people whom the samples are being collected from. An impartial third party from the lab must be on hand to oversee DNA test collection. Time, date and consent of all parties must be recorded. Legal identification must be verified for the chain of custody to be accurate and complete.

Sample Transportation

Whoever oversees the DNA test becomes responsible for shipping the samples and paperwork securely to the lab. Tamper-proof containers and envelopes must be used to ensure absolute security. Chain of custody relies on the unadulterated transport of genetic samples from one person or location to the next.

DNA Test Facility Accreditation

The laboratory the material is sent to should be accredited by the American Academy of Blood Banks (AABB). Barcode technology is used to maintain the chain of command as the sample is examined and used in various tests. The unique numbers and code must be used on every document, test tube and other container used during the DNA test.

When the lab results of the DNA test are submitted to the court or official agency that requires them, signed and sealed chain of command verification documents must be included. Following these precise procedures not only makes the DNA collecting and testing legally binding, but safe for all involved as well.

Ensure Chain of Custody With a DNA Test at Test Smartly Labs of Lee’s Summit

Because we are well-versed in chain of custody collections and understand the importance of your DNA test results, Test Smartly Labs of Lee’s Summit is the ideal facility for all your DNA testing needs. Call (816) 875-9301 today for an accurate, confidential DNA test.

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