What is DNA?
DNA makes us who we are. It is like a recipe that provides the instructions for telling our bodies how to develop and function. We inherit half our DNA from our mum and half from our dad. By knowing how DNA is passed from generation to generation, we can compare the DNA profiles of two or more people and determine if a genetic relationship is likely.
What is parentage testing?
Parentage testing determines the true biological parent of a child. When you want to know who the biological father is, the test is called a paternity test. When you want to know who the biological mother is, the test is called a maternity test. By comparing a child’s DNA profile to an alleged father or alleged mother we can determine how likely it is that they inherited their DNA from them.
What’s the difference between at home testing and legally admissible testing?
Both tests are carried out in the laboratory according to the same procedures, ensuring the same level of accuracy. The only difference is in the way the samples are collected.
Samples for at home testing are easily collected by you in your own home. As the identities of the people involved in testing have not been confirmed by an independent person, the results cannot be used for legal purposes. They are simply for your own information and peace of mind.
Samples for legally admissible testing must be collected by an appropriate medical professional and the identities of the people involved in testing must be confirmed. When samples have been collected in this way they meet the requirements of the Family Law Regulations and the results can be used for legal purposes, such as in Family Law disputes, and for changing birth certificates.
What samples are used in testing?
Samples are taken from inside the mouth using a soft, round swab. The collection process is easy and painless. By rubbing the swab along the inside of the cheek, loose cells are transferred to the swab. We do not test “covert” samples e.g. tissues, sanitary pads, etc.
Are you an accredited laboratory?
Yes, we undergo a continual accreditation process through the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) and are assessed against an internationally recognised standard called ISO 17025. This certifies that we adhere to strict testing standards meaning you can be assured that you are receiving accurate and reliable results. NATA accreditation is a requirement for DNA results that are to be used for legal purposes, such as for the Family Court or for submission to a Government department such as Births, Deaths and Marriages.
I need results for child support and/or a custody issue. Which test do I need?
For a DNA test to be used for child support or a custody issue, the process needs to be performed according to the Family Law Regulations. By following the instructions provided in our legally admissible parentage test, your samples will satisfy these requirements.
Why does the mother get tested when I’m trying to find out who my father is?
Testing both parents provides a more accurate result. By removing the mother’s DNA contribution from the child’s DNA profile, the remaining contribution must have come from the father. Testing without the mother is still possible however, and won’t change the outcome of the test.
The fee you pay to Identilab for testing includes the analysis of both parents. We do not charge any additional fees for the mother to be included in testing.
Who can give consent for samples to be collected from minors or people with intellectual disabilities?
All persons submitting a sample for testing must provide their written consent. Consent for children under the age of 18 or for people with intellectual disabilities must be given by a person who is responsible for the long term care, welfare and development of the child.
My father is deceased. Can we still get tested?
Maybe. It is sometimes possible to obtain a sample for a deceased person from a hospital or mortuary. If an autopsy was performed after death there may be a sample on file that we can test. Release of this sample requires permission from the relevant State Coroner. If an autopsy was not performed there may be other samples taken during medical procedures that we can use. Please call us on 1300 114 294 to discuss your specific situation.
Do you perform testing for international surrogacy?
Yes, we do. The Department of Home Affairs requires babies born in certain countries, such as Ukraine and Georgia, to undertake a DNA test between them and their Australian citizen parent to prove a genetic link. Identilab has a special interest in surrogacy DNA testing and offers special pricing for our surrogacy families. Processing can be expedited if you’re in a hurry to get home, with results released within 2 business days (Express Testing) or 12 hours (Ultra Express Testing) of receiving all the samples back in the lab.
How soon after my baby is born can we do a DNA test?
What is kinship testing?
Kinship testing compares the DNA profiles of two or more people to determine the likelihood of a genetic family relationship. There is more uncertainty with this type of testing compared to parentage testing because of the way in which we inherit our DNA. It is important to note that even if our testing doesn’t support a particular relationship, it doesn’t mean that you are not actually related. It just means you don’t share any of the DNA that we have looked at.
I’d like to know where my family is from. Do you offer ancestry/heritage testing?
Unfortunately we do not currently offer this service.
I think my partner is cheating on me. Do you test for that?
No, we do not.
I am a Child Safety Officer. Do you have a specific application form for my use?
Yes. Please download this form and email, fax, or mail through to the Identilab address noted on the form.
Can I get a refund if I change my mind?
You can cancel your order if testing has not yet commenced in the laboratory, but an administration fee applies ($75 for at-home DNA tests or $150 for legally admissible DNA tests). If sample collection kits have been sent overseas via courier, a $400 administration fee applies. No refund will be issued if processing has been performed in the lab.
What are my payment options?
We offer various payment options to suit your needs, including credit/debit card, Zip Pay, PayPal, and PayPal Pay in 4.
Can I claim the cost on Medicare? Are there discounts for concession card holders?
Unfortunately this testing is not covered by Medicare and no concessions are available.
How long does it take to get my report and how will I get it?
Reports will be issued via email within 5 business days from the date the laboratory receives ALL samples for a case (providing the samples are of good quality and additional testing is not required).
What does ‘not excluded’ mean on my paternity report?
Your DNA parentage report will state that the alleged parent is either ‘excluded’ or ‘not excluded’ as being the true biological parent. If the alleged parent is ‘excluded’ from identification as the father or mother, they are not the biological parent. If the alleged parent is ‘not excluded’ from identification as the father or mother, their DNA matches the information in the child’s DNA profile and therefore supports the relationship.
What do the numbers mean on my report?
If the alleged parent is not excluded from identification as the true biological parent of the child, two numbers will be included in your report. These assess the strength of the genetic evidence.
The first number is called the Combined Parentage Index and tells you how many times more likely it would be to see the results if the alleged parent is the true parent versus if an untested random person was the true parent.
The second number is called the Relative Probability of Paternity and tests the hypothesis that the alleged parent is indeed the true biological parent of the child.
If the alleged parent is excluded from identification as the true biological parent no statistics will be provided with your report.
Are testing kits sent discreetly?
Yes. All of our testing kits are sent in Australia Post trackable envelopes or satchels which do not show any Identilab logos or give any indication of what’s inside.
Who will you share my information with?
Your confidentiality is our top priority. At no stage will we share your information with anyone (unless required by law). For this reason, results will not be disclosed over the phone under any circumstances. Results will only be sent to the addresses supplied when you applied for testing.
We comply with our privacy obligations as set out under the Privacy Act (1988) and the Australian Privacy Principles (APP).
What will you do with my sample after testing?
Your DNA sample is destroyed two weeks after the report is issued to you. The data generated from your sample, as well as the report we prepare, are kept indefinitely.