Can the results of paternity test be wrong?
Unfortunately, yes. If the DNA test is performed by an unqualified laboratory, the results can be wrong. Always make sure to check the reliability of a DNA testing lab.
There is currently a large number of DNA analysis laboratories, with the arrival of the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) technology to perform DNA analysis faster and more economically. The laboratories use the same new technology, bio-similar equipment and reagents, so are all labs equally reliable? Can I just pick the cheapest?
It is true that the prices are different from one laboratory to another. But this is not the only difference. Some are competent laboratories, others are not and there are hundreds of websites of re-sellers to avoid.
Based on the complaints received from our users and anonymous tests we conducted with websites and their customer service, we began to prepare our black list of laboratories and web sites to avoid.
These labs and web sites may have made the mistake or their customer service just is not up to par. Your alarm bells should start ringing when you encounter saturated telephone lines, lack of response to telephone or questions sent by e-mail, staff hanging up on you after a disturbing issue or refuses to talk to customers that bear a claim. We’ve also heard stories of test results that are sent many days (or even weeks …) later than the stated time delay, and even those who never send the results (obvious scam). Then we’ve seen examples of those who do not send the right results sheets, or more serious, those that test less DNA regions than announced on their website, those who lost samples, or who have not made the proper test as they do not have much copied the relationship between participants test.
Laboratories / websites to avoid:
|Web Site||Location||Laboratory||Reported Problem(s)|
|dnacenter.com||US||DDC||Free kits not received. Missed deadlines. Some tests are performed on 16 DNA regions instead of the 20 announced on their website. % Of lower advertised probabilities. Customer Service sometimes difficult to reach. False positive results on brotherhood test.|
|CA||Health Genetics||false results (false positives). The sites name change regularly, but the address remains the same. See full investigation by the New Scientist|
|CA||Accu-Metrics||The laboratory is not accredited for all the tests it provides. false positives reported with prenatal test: positive prenatal paternity test and a negative result after birth from test results by another laboratory. Customer service does not deal elegantly with claims. Refuse to send test results by post/email|
|CA||?||No response from customer service, if there is one, because the laboratory does not display address.|
Please not that a lot of web sites where you can order a DAN test are re-sellers. The actual laboratories where tests are conducted are located in North America (USA, Canada) but the web site taking your order might be in another country with other laws. Often these web sites act as an agent for these laboratories (a dealer) and you do not deal directly with the laboratory.
This in itself is not a problem, as long as the customer services are well organized for the processing of orders and samples. When you place an order, always make sure that payment is done over a secured connection and if you have doubts, don’t hesitate to contact the customer service, just to check how they respond to your questions. Also note that re-sellers usually do not have access to your complete file. They can only get the information on the status of a test from the laboratory.
Mistakes are often made at this stage, causing delays ranging from a week to a month to receive the results. The problem, beyond the expectation is that the samples are sometimes lost or degraded by waiting and they tell you “There was not enough DNA in the sample provided.” In other cases, it may be even more severe, the input error will generate an error result: we were informed the case of a bond of brotherhood that was copied as a half-brotherhood (children of different mothers ). The laboratory has found 50% of DNA in common and confirmed paternity, whereas if the lab had realized that the children were brothers instead of half-brothers, they would have concluded that the public had DNA of the mother and that they therefore do not share the same father.
Finally, the following examples of bad practices have been reported to us by our visitors:
- Aggressive marketing methods to get a credit card payment from unqualified personnel to give genetics advice.
- Customer service guaranteeing results with kinship probabilities record of 99.999% irrespective of the participants available for testing (for example a sibling test, where these results are not achieved) and 99% success on extraction of DNA from all discrete samples (even the hair, handkerchiefs, clothes etc).
- A promise of results within 48 hours without extra charge (you believe it?) that can not be met.
- Different pricing for customers based on their location (apart from different shipping costs, this makes no sense).
- Finally there are some cases of laboratories hardly give positive results, their exclusion thresholds are too low (paternity exclusion from 4 differences instead of 2 or tests on less than 16 DNA regions that are not discriminating enough).
- We have seen customer testimonials wondering if the lab had actually done the test or just sent a standard report.
Do not hesitate to share your good or bad experiences with DNA sites or laboratories using our contact form. Your experience can help others make a better decision about where to order a DNA test.