The Difference Between a Legal and a Non-Legal DNA Test

If you’re wanting to complete a DNA test for fun, you’ve probably considered purchasing a test kit online. In certain situations, a DNA test isn’t always the way to go. There are vital 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 preferred over a home test? Here are some ways in which legal tests and non-legal tests differ.

Legal vs. Non-Legal DNA Tests

Chain of Custody

When you get a “legal” DNA test, the laboratory you work with will follow a strict chain of custody process to ensure accuracy. 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 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. There is no identification verification and the specimen is not transported in tamper-proof packaging. Thus, the results of the DNA test will not be admissible in court.

Third Party Collections

A legal DNA test is administered by a third party, ensuring that they are neutral. Since the third party collector will have no interest in the outcome of the test, courts of law can trust that the third party will not alter or falsify results.

When a non-legal DNA test is conducted, collection is done by the individual rather than a third party. The test results cannot be accepted in legal matters because the court cannot verify that the individual is not falsifying the results.

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 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.

Test Smartly Labs provides confidential and accurate DNA tests. To learn more about our DNA Testing Services, contact Test Smartly Labs today at (816) 800-9699. We have five lab locations in the greater Kansas City area!


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