Please note that the same applies to the father for maternity tests: we do not charge extra to process the additional parent (i.e. mother for paternity tests, father for maternity tests) if you include both parents’ specimens with your original submission. This is because the total laboratory cost of a duo test and a trio test is about the same (for the same level of precision). It’s simply that the costs are in different places.

DNA relationship testing is a combination of chemical reactions and statistical analysis. The chemical reactions isolate and breakdown the DNA to provide the markers (“genes”) for comparison. These markers are then analyzed statistically to determine the degree of relatedness.  The rarer the markers, the more precise the results. The less markers shared in common between the parents, the more precise the results. The more known about the parents, the more precise the results.

A duo test uses less chemicals and equipment time. However, analyzing the results of a duo test requires far more computer and people time in order to obtain the same level of precision in the absence of the mother’s DNA. Forensic scientists are expensive!

While you cannot control your genetic makeup, you can be 100% certain about the mother’s markers when she provides her specimen for a paternity test. This means that all the other markers the child possesses must have been provided by the father. These are referred to as obligate alleles. In rare instances, it is not possible to conclusively determine the relationship between the parties without having both parents’ specimens. So it is in your best interest to provide these specimens as we must charge to re-run tests and add the additional parent’s specimen after-the-fact.

Some labs report duo tests at lower precision in order to advertise a low priced “loss-leader.” These labs often attempt to up-sell clients to a more expensive “high loci” test. Whereas we re-run the specimens using additional markers at no additional charge in order to best-assure a minimum of 99.99% probability of paternity at no additional charge. Obviously that too is expensive for us so it is more cost-effective for us to run both parents’ specimens from the get-go. To be clear, however, even with both parents’ specimen, we cannot guarantee a particular result in the absence of knowing the genetic makeup of the test participants ahead of time.

Do know that the AABB only requires 99.1% probability of paternity for non-exclusions. This means that there is nearly a 1 in 100 men will match and would not be excluded. Whereas our protocols are designed to assure you that no more than 1 in 10,000 will match. That is a worst case scenario — we are usually in the 1 in million and higher range. Once again, however, we cannot guarantee a particular outcome in the absence of knowing the genetic makeup of the test participants ahead of time

A trio test is clearly superior. Better for you. Better for us. So kindly provide both parents’ specimen if at all possible.