DNA FAQ

General

Can age or drug consumption affect the results?
No. Age and drug consumption do not affect the results. A person’s DNA used in paternity testing does not change over time.
What if there are two alleged fathers who are related?
If two related men are possible fathers of a child, it is highly recommended to test both possible fathers. If this is not possible, it is important to alert the laboratory that there are other possible fathers who are related to the tested alleged father
How is my personal information protected?
Your privacy and security are important to us. Once samples are taken at the collection site, they are packaged in a tamper-proof bag for shipment to our DNA testing laboratory. Entry into our DNA testing facility is by restricted access only. All samples are bar-coded and all computer systems are secured. Results and case information are shared only with authorized individuals. For the protection of the tested parties, results are not released over the phone. All samples and DNA profiles are retained for a period of time (as required by accreditation guidelines), but are destroyed after the requisite storage periods.
Can my DNA be used to test for a pre-existing condition that could prevent me from receiving health care insurance?
The DNA markers that are tested for relationship testing are not known to provide any information on any specific physical or medical condition that might affect your health care insurance.
Why use Occupational Health Solutions Ltd. ?
Occupational Health Solutions Ltd has been a leader in the genetic testing field in Trinidad and Tobago . Our results come with the guarantee of quality and are delivered with speed, convenience and most importantly, accuracy. Our results routinely provide a probability of paternity of either 99.99% or 0%. Whether you just need to know or will need results that can be used in a legal matter, Occupational Health Solutions Ltd should be your first step in this journey.
What is a DNA Paternity Test?
A paternity test is a scientific test that compares the DNA of a child, mother, and alleged father to determine the likelihood whether the man is or is not the biological father of a child. It is possible to test only the child and alleged father, but it is preferred to also test the mother when possible.
Do I have to have a doctor's order?
A doctor’s order is not required for Trinidad and Tobago. However, in compliance with New York state law, Occupational Health Solutions Ltd requires a prescription, court order, or ordering by other authorized persons for all DNA identity or relationship tests performed on a New York resident.
Do I need an attorney or court order?
If all parties involved in the testing agree to participate voluntarily, neither an attorney nor court order is required. However, in compliance with New York state law, Occupational Health Solutions Ltd requires a prescription, court order, or ordering by other authorized persons for all DNA identity or relationship tests performed on a New York resident.
Can testing take place without the mother?
It is possible to conduct a DNA paternity test without a sample from the child’s biological mother; however, it is preferred that the mother also provide a sample.

Results

How long does the test take?
In most cases, the results of a standard DNA paternity test take 5-7 business days once all samples are received in our DNA testing laboratory. However there might be cases where repeat testing or extended testing is required and delivery time could be extended by 3- 5 days.
What will the results indicate?
Our results usually provide a probability of paternity of either 0.00% or 99.99% or greater. Please note that from time to time the lab may not be able to conclude testing and may require additional swabs or additional parties be tested for example if the biological mother was not tested the laboratory may request a sample from the mother due to difficulties or anomalies they encounter during analysis of the samples.
Will results be accepted in court?
Our DNA laboratory is a fully accredited laboratory. Thus, results of our legal DNA paternity test may be used in any legal matter and may be accepted in a court of law, assuming the Chain of Custody form was completed in accordance with our strict chain of custody guidelines. The results of a non-legal test are not intended for use in legal matters.

Specimen Collection

Where are samples collected?
The samples for a legal DNA paternity test are collected at our facility in Chaguanas or at the Family Court of Trinidad and Tobago. Collections at the Family Court are for cases being handled at the Family Court.

The samples for a non-legal test can be done as a Home visit by one of our collectors or you can purchase a home collection kit. Home visits by a collector has an additional cost.

With the home collection kit the samples are collected by the parties themselves in a non-clinical setting (usually at home). Home collections are not court admissible.
Do all the parties have to submit a sample together?
No, parties can provide their samples at different times for non legal cases. For non legal cases we can even carry out collections in different countries or parties can come separately for testing. When making your appointment, let us know if certain parties should be scheduled together or separately.

For legal cases we require all the participants/parties to be present at the time of the sample collection.
Can testing be performed if one of the parties resides in another country?
Yes the samples can be taken at different times and places, even if the parties reside in different countries. These will be non legal cases.
How is the identity of each tested party assured?
In a legal test, each adult party is required to provide government-issued photo identification at the time of collection. The specimen collector examines the identification and records that information on the Chain of Custody form and makes a photocopy to attach to the Chain of Custody form.

In addition, 2 passport sized photographs are also required of each party. Minor children are identified through an official birth certificate. If a government-issued photo ID is available for the child, this will be used, as well. The biological mother named on the child’s birth certificate must be the party being tested as the biological mother for the case.
What do I need to bring to the appointment?
In a legal test, each adult tested party should bring a government-issued photo identification (usually a driver’s license or passport) and, if possible, government-issued identification for the child (such as a birth certificate or registration of birth notice). We also need 2 recent passport sized photos for all participants.
Can samples be collected at home?
In a non-legal test, standard cheek swab specimens may be collected in a non-clinical setting such as a home. However, the DNA test results conducted using such samples are not intended for use in a court of law. Results using samples collected at home will be for the knowledge of the tested parties only.
Can I eat before the test?
Food consumption does not affect your DNA but could contaminate the buccal swab used for DNA sample collection. Food residue left in the mouth may contaminate the swab and inhibit the extraction of DNA from the swab. If you have eaten recently, the collection technician will ask you to rinse out your mouth.
Who needs to be tested for a Paternity Test?
It is preferable to test a child, alleged father, and the mother of the child. However, testing is possible without the mother’s sample and in certain circumstances, such as when the alleged father is unavailable or deceased, it is also possible to conduct a test using stored DNA samples from the alleged father or DNA from his biological relatives.
What types of samples are tested?
The standard sample for a paternity test is a cheek swab (also called buccal swab), which is a long cotton swab that is rubbed inside the inner cheek lining of a person’s mouth. Typically, four swabs are collected from each tested party.
Are buccal swabs as accurate as blood samples?
Buccal swabs and blood samples tested by DNA method provide results with the same degree of accuracy. But, since buccal swabs are easy and painless to collect, they are used in the majority of DNA paternity tests. Blood grouping method for establishing relationship testing such as paternity is not very reliable and should not be used over DNA testing. DNA testing is the MOST ACCURATE method of testing to establish relationships such as paternity, maternity, siblingship etc
Is there a minimum age for obtaining a sample?
No, there is no minimum age. Collection of DNA samples for paternity or identity testing using buccal swabs or blood samples is safe for all ages. Minors must have appropriate consent from a legal guardian or a court order to collect the samples.

Fees

What does your fee include?
Our fee includes specimen collection at an Occupational Health Solutions Ltd. facility, shipment of the samples to our DNA laboratory, DNA analysis, the generation of written reports and the delivery of those reports to the tested parties and to the court in Trinidad, if applicable. Delivery to reports outside of Trinidad is possible but for an additional fee depending on location and method of delivery.
Do I have to pay an extra fee for specimen collection?
Our fees include the specimen collection(s) when samples are collected at our collection site. Collection fees may apply at non-Occupational Health Solutions Ltd. facilities. Home collection also attracts an additional fee.
Is DNA paternity testing covered by health insurance?
DNA paternity testing is considered a non-medical test and is not covered by health insurance plans.