Frequently Asked Questions on DNA Paternity Tests

What is DNA?

DNA is the genetic code present in the majority of cells within our bodies, which gives us our physical characteristics and distinguishes us from each other. A person inherits half their DNA from their mother and half from their father. With the exception of identical twins, no two persons’ DNA is the same. By carefully comparing DNA profiles we are able to establish parentage.

Where are Key Forensic Services based?

We have laboratories in various parts of the UK and all tests are undertaken in the UK.

Are your laboratories accredited?

Our DNA Paternity Testing services are accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to the ISO17025 quality standard. Our laboratory testing number is 4064 and full information on the scope of our accreditation can be found at This accreditation provides you with assurance that our Legal DNA tests are of a standard acceptable to the courts.

We are also included on the MOJ website as one of the approved providers of Paternity Testing.

Can I make an appointment to have my DNA taken?

Unless you are ordered by a court of law to undertake a Legal DNA test, you do not need to make an appointment, as the test can be carried out by yourself in the privacy of your own home. If you are ordered by a court of law to undertake a Legal DNA test, you will need to have the sample taken and witnessed by a doctor, nurse or solicitor. If you require a legal test whether this is for the family courts or immigration purposes please feel free to contact us on 01953 668669 and one of our customer services team will be happy to discuss the process.

What is involved in having a DNA test done?

The testing process is simple, fast and completely pain-free. We do not require blood samples, all you are required to do is to wipe a mouth swab (very similar to a cotton-bud) around the inside of your cheeks. We recommend that when swabbing very small children, you should ensure that the swab is wiped around both cheeks AND the inside of the lower lip. A full DNA Paternity testing kit will be mailed out to you when you order and pay for the test. The cost of this kit is included in the testing fee and you do not have to pay for the posting back of your samples to us.

Is the test accurate?

DNA testing is widely accepted as being the most accurate relationship test available. Our strict quality processes that are accredited by UKAS mean that we can be 100% confident of the results.

What happens to my DNA once the test has been completed?

All DNA samples are destroyed once the test results have been provided to you.

How long will it take for me to get the results?

Once we have received the kits back with all of the swabs and signed documentation we will provide our results in 5, 3 or 2 working days depending upon which service you have requested.

Will the results be sent to all persons providing a DNA sample?

Results will only be submitted to the primary person whose details are provided at the point of ordering the test. The only exception to this is when a government department has asked for the report to be sent directly to them for immigration purposes.

I have been told that I need a court-directed test. Can you do this?

Yes we provide Legal DNA Tests. However, the DNA sample collection must be performed and witnessed by an unbiased third party who has no interest in the outcome of the test. This witnessing and collection is generally carried by a nurse, doctor or solicitor. If you wish to talk through the process please call us on 01953 668 669 and our paternity team will be happy to help.

I need an immigration test. Can you do this?

Yes – we can. The process for an Immigration DNA Test is very much the same as for a legal or court ordered DNA testing. The Home Office and Passport Office often state where the samples should be taken so we ask for a copy of the letter that they have sent to you. We can then make arrangements to follow these instructions and send the kits to the appropriate government department for you. Our customer services team are available to talk this through and can be contacted on 01953 668 669.

Consent forms have been translated into Bengali, Punjabi, Guajarati and Urdu
Please note: These are for information purposes only and the consent form included with your DNA sample collection kit must be completed in ENGLISH.

Do I have to submit proof of identity?

We do require a copy of one form of ID from the following options:

  1. Passport
  2. Driving Licence
  3. Birth Certificate
  4. Front and Reverse of credit/debit card

Where none of these documents are available for a child, we ask for a photograph signed on the reverse by the mother.

Do you undertake pre-natal paternity testing?

We do not currently undertake this type of testing. If you would like a test after the child is born we can undertake this for you.

Is the service confidential?

Yes. We only release the report to the person requesting the test unless we are asked to send this directly to a government body for immigration purposes. We also adhere to the Data Protection Act.

How can I pay for the test?

For your convenience you can pay for the test on-line through our website. Our pricing is also on the website but if you’re not sure exactly which test you need you can call our paternity team on 01953 668 669.

How quickly will you send my kit out to me?

Depending upon the time that you order the test we try to send the kit out the same day but if your order is placed late afternoon, or out of office hours it will be sent the next day.

How much does delivery of the kit cost?

Nothing. Our fees include the cost of postage by Royal Mail Signed for Delivery (Recorded Delivery). These generally arrive the day after posting. Somebody will need to be at home to sign for the kit.