Click on a frequently asked question below to learn more information
Why do I need a DNA test?
DNA testing is used for many reasons, including:
- Questions about parentage
- Completion of the Acknowledgement or Affidavit of Paternity
- Child support or child custody issues
- Social Security or Military child survivor benefits if the alleged father is deceased
- Estate and Inheritance claims
- Immigration paperwork
- Adoption process or surrogate parent biological confirmation
- Protecting Native American tribal enrollment
- Providing Infidelity confirmation
Who is tested in a paternity test?
We offer a standard “Trio Test” in which the mother, child and alleged father would all be tested. Because the mother has contributed one-half of her DNA to the child, the remaining DNA must then match that of the alleged father. It is possible to obtain accurate results without mother's sample if she is not available for testing, however, the price for the test is still the same.
How accurate are DNA tests?
We routinely release test results with a probability of paternity of 99.9999% or higher.
When will I receive my paternity test results?
After your DNA samples are collected it typically takes 7-10 business days to report the DNA test results back to you. Please note that test results will not be released until the test fee has been paid in full.
What is used for a DNA test sample?
We use a cotton-tipped swab, called a "buccal cheek swab". The DNA sample is collected by swabbing the inside cheek of the mouth. It is painless and non-invasive, and the results are just as accurate as blood samples.
How can I pay for my DNA test?
You may pay for your DNA test with cash, a personal check, cashier's check, or credit card. DNA test results are not issued until the test fee has been paid in full.
How do I schedule my DNA sample collection appointment?
Please contact us at (205) 823-9648 to speak with a case manager who will schedule and coordinate your DNA sample collection appointment or you may correspond by e-mail
What should I bring to my DNA sample collection appointment?
When you come to the DNA sample collection appointment you will need to be prepared for the following:
- Adults being tested must present a form of government-issued identification such as a driver’s license, passport, or military ID
- Minors being tested must present identification in the form of driver’s license, a birth certificate or social security card
- All parties being tested will be photographed and fingerprinted
- All parties must complete a Client Identification and Consent Form (a minor's consent form should be completed and signed by the child's legal guardian)
Can I use Alabama MedScreen's test results in court?
Yes, you can. The report we provide from our DNA Test is evidence that proves or disproves paternity if sample collections are performed using the chain-of-custody process.
What does "chain of custody process" mean?
The chain of custody process is what makes the paternity test results legally admissible in courts and in cases regarding other government agencies. When the chain of custody process is satisfied and documented, the DNA test results are legally allowed to be entered into evidence for purposes of child custody, child support, immigration, Social Security benefit claims, inheritance claims, and for other situations such as Native American tribal enrollment.
How do you satisfy all of the “chain of custody” requirements?
We are responsible for ensuring that all chain of custody requirements are met. They include the following:
- The tested parties are properly identified when their samples are collected. (Their government-issued IDs are verified and photocopied, and the individuals are photographed, and thumb printed)
- The samples are collected by a neutral third party-someone who has no personal interest in the outcome of the test
- The samples are tamper-taped, securely packaged at the collection site, and carefully inspected upon receipt for any evidence of tampering.
Can I do a paternity test before the baby is born?
While DNA tests can be performed on an unborn baby if the mother is between 10 and 24 weeks pregnant, we do not offer that test in-house. An OB-GYN would be required to collect a DNA sample from the developing child through either chorionic villi sampling (10-13 weeks) or amniocentesis (14-24 weeks).
Who is entitled to receive the DNA paternity test results?
The adult tested parties that participated in the test and or any legal guardian that signed on behalf of a minor is entitled to receive DNA paternity test results. Anyone outside of the tested parties or legal guardian can ONLY get results or information with a signed consent from the tested parties or legal guardian.