What is DNA?

DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is the hereditary material that determines a persons physical characteristics such as height, eye colour, and hair colour. We inherit half of our DNA from our father, and the other half from our mother. The mothers mitochondrial DNA, together with 23 chromosomes from each parent combine to form the genome of a fertilized egg. As a result, with certain exceptions, such as red blood cells, most human cells contain 23 pairs of chromosomes, together with mitochondrial DNA inherited from the mother. Except for identical twins, each persons DNA is unique. Siblings inherit different combinations of DNA from the same parents and are therefore different from each other.

A persons DNA profile can be compared with that of another individual to deduce their relationship with each other.

What is DNA paternity testing?

A DNA paternity test compares a childs DNA pattern with that of the alleged father to prove or disprove their relationship with each other. We apply Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) V based analysis of Short Tandem Repeats (STR) of DNA fragments. By comparing the sizes of different STR loci, a unique genetic profile is produced for each tested individual. The childs profile is compared with the profile of the mother and alleged father to confirm that he or she has inherited DNA from the alleged father. We then perform statistical analysis to calculate the Paternity Index, which determines the probability of paternity. We routinely analyze 16 STR loci, which include, and exceed the 13 loci used by the FBI.

How accurate is DNA paternity testing?

HEAL guarantees at least 99.99% probability of paternity for inclusion (the alleged father is considered the biological father), and 100% certainty of exclusion (the alleged father is not the biological father).

Do I need a physicians order or a court order to have a paternity test done?

No, this is not required by the law in Hong Kong. Private individuals can take a DNA test without a physicians request or a court order.

Do you accept anonymous tests?

Yes. We understand and respect your need for confidentiality. However, anonymous test reports are only good for private use, and not legally valid.

What about confidentiality?

Information of any kind regarding a case will not be released to anyone other than the tested parties and their named representatives without written order.

What is the difference between the legal and the private test?

There is no difference in terms of accuracy and testing technique between the legal (chain-of-custody) test and the private test. The only difference is that with the legal test, you will need a neutral third party to witness the sample collection, and you have to provide government-issued IDs for all tested parties. Chain-of-custody paternity testing results can be used in a court-of-law while private testing results are not accepted by courts or other government agencies.

What samples are appropriate for testing DNA?

Buccal (cheek) swab and blood samples are routinely used.
Special samples such as hair (with root), cigarette ends, amniocentesis (14-24th week of pregnancy), chorionic villi sampling (10-13th week of pregnancy), cord blood, dried semen or blood stainsK etc. can also be used.

Are results from buccal swabbing less accurate than using blood?

All cells contain the same genetic material; hence results obtained by buccal swab samples are just as accurate as using blood.

How is buccal swabbing done?

Label two buccal swab tubes clearly with subjects name.

Open the first swab by twisting open the cap.

Scrape the inside of the cheek, using moderate pressure and rotating the swab ten times

Return the swab to its container as soon as swabbing has been completed.

Repeat using the second swab on the other cheek.

Can ABO and Rh blood grouping be used to determine the relationship between a child and the alleged father?

An exclusion (the alleged father is not the biological father) is possible, however the probability of inclusion (the alleged father is the biological father) is far less accurate than DNA testing, as many people can share the same blood group, whereas the probability of two people sharing the same DNA profile approaches zero.

What is the minimum age for a child to participate in DNA testing?

There is no minimum age requirement. Buccal swabbing is simple and painless, and can be performed even in newborn babies. Chorionic villus sampling (10-13th week of pregnancy), and amniocentesis (14-24th week of pregnancy) samples contain DNA from the fetus, and can also be analyzed.

Can a paternity test be performed without the mother?

Yes. If the mother is not available for testing, we can perform a motherless paternity test. A motherless test requires more extensive analysis to produce conclusive results, but the results are just as accurate as those of a standard paternity test.

How long does it take to get the results of a DNA test?

Our laboratory begins testing immediately after it receives all samples.
· Reports for a standard paternity test are released within 3 working days.
· We also provide an urgent service with results available within 24 hours.
·Siblingship, grandparentage, kinship analyses and other special relationship testing generally takes 10 working days.

How do I interpret the report for DNA tests?

Our test results are reported in both Chinese and English and are easy to understand. You are welcome to call us at any time for enquiries. Our expert consultants will provide you with detailed explanation.