What’s the Difference Between a Legal & Non-Legal DNA Test?

If you’re looking into completing DNA testing for fun, you’ve probably considered purchasing an online DNA test kit. As we’ve said in the past, a home DNA test isn’t always the right way to go. There are key differences that separate home kits and lab tests, including the fact that lab-based DNA testing is court admissible while home-based testing is not.

Why is a court admissible DNA test preferable? Here are the main ways legal tests and non-legal tests differ.

Legal vs. Non-Legal DNA Tests

Chain of Custody

In legal DNA tests, the laboratory you work with will follow a strict chain of custody process to ensure accuracy. Throughout the DNA testing process, from specimen collection to transportation to the laboratory to the actual testing of the specimen, the collectors and lab workers will follow thorough documentation procedures. The collectors will also use special tamper-proof cases and a secure courier service to transport the specimen to the lab.

In a non-legal DNA test, no chain of custody exists because the parties being tested submit their samples themselves. This means their identities are not verified and the specimen are not transported in tamper-proof packaging. Thus, the results of the DNA test can’t stand up in a court of law.

Third Party CollectionsLee's Summit | Legal vs. Non-Legal DNA Testing

A legal DNA test will be administered by a third party, ensuring their neutrality. Since the third party collector will have no interest in the test outcomes, courts of law can trust that they would not alter or falsify results.

When a non-legal DNA test is conducted, collection is done by the individual rather than a third party. Since the individual does have a stake in the outcome of the test, the test results cannot be accepted in legal matters.

Use in Legal Matters

Obviously, a legal DNA test can be used in legal matters, including immigration DNA testing, child support claims, estate and inheritance issues, and more. A non-legal test conducted by an individual cannot, since it isn’t collected by a neutral third party following chain of custody requirements.

Although a legal DNA test may cost more up front than a non-legal home-based kit, it’s worth the investment for its accuracy and its potential use in legal matters. You never know if a home kit will reveal something you didn’t know and lead you to legal matters — in which case you’ll be wishing you had pursued a legal DNA test in the first place!

Test Smartly Labs of Lee’s Summit proudly offers legal DNA testing. We are seasoned with chain of custody collections  and we work accredited laboratories for all DNA analysis, so you can trust the accuracy of our results.

To learn more about DNA testing at Test Smartly Labs of Lee’s Summit, contact us or call (816) 875-9301 today!


Speak Your Mind