Paternity Testing Reviews for DNA Diagnostics Center

Prices start at £98.00

At a Glance

Editor's Rating:
5 out of 5 stars
Customer Service:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Clarity of Results:
4.5 out of 5 stars
References Cited:
5 out of 5 stars
Value for Money:
5 out of 5 stars

Summary

I was pleased with DDC’s paternity testing service. In particular, I was impressed with the speed at which I received my results, as well as the numerous options provided when ordering, allowing me to cater the test to my particular situation. When the results arrived, they were clear and well explained. I’d definitely feel confident in using the service again, if I needed to.

Full Review

DNA Diagnostics Centre (DDC) is one of the largest consumer genetics companies in the world and offers a wide range of DNA tests. Founded over 20 years ago and now headed up by Connie Hallquist, the company specialises in testing various biological relationships, for both legal and ‘peace of mind’ purposes. In addition, DDC offers tests that analyse DNA to report on ancestry, health, skincare and several other categories. The company is based primarily in the UK and US, but offers its services to customers all across the globe.

Product Expectations

The paternity test was easy to find on the DDC website. I could choose between ‘Peace of Mind’, ‘Legal’ or ‘Prenatal’ options, with a page dedicated to each. I read that the test would have a 100% success rate, as long as the steps were followed correctly. It sounded like this would be easy to do, as the product description explained that all I’d have to do was submit cheek swab samples, taken via the kit provided. I was also pleased to see that the results would be returned three to four days after reaching the lab.

I noticed a number at the top of the page that could be called for a free and confidential consultation, which I thought was a great customer support feature. I was surprised to see that there was also an option to request a free kit. However, as I scrolled down the page and read more information, I realised that (less surprisingly) this was a bit too good to be true, as this option just allowed me to take the samples before paying. Payment instructions would be included in the kit and the full payment would have to be made before the samples were processed. Despite this slight disappointment, I thought this was a good option to include. Knowing that I could have the kit at home before choosing whether or not I wanted to go ahead with the test took the pressure off the decision a bit.

I was impressed with the measures DDC took to ensure the results were accurate and reliable, including testing each sample twice and being judged as ‘perfect’ in 18 lab inspections. Apparently, these inspections had been carried out by the ‘most rigorous accrediting organisations’. The names of these hadn’t been included, but I noticed an ‘Accreditations’ link which took me to a page containing a full list of them.

It was made clear that the test was intended to provide peace of mind only and could not be used for legal purposes.

Ordering Experience

When I clicked to order the test, I was taken to an intermediary page before proceeding to the checkout, which prompted me to choose between the home (‘Peace of Mind’) DNA kit and the legal version. I was a little confused by this, as not only did this provide the same information as the previous page, it advertised the price as £99 rather than the £98 I’d seen beforehand. Although this was only a £1 difference, I thought it was odd.

Regardless, I moved on to the checkout page, where I entered my name and shipping address, and saw that the price had changed back to £98. I was also given the option to add additional participants. It would cost £90 to add extra children or alleged fathers, but including the mother was free. I could also pay extra to receive my kit in two to three business days or expediate the results from four to three days. This wasn’t necessary in my case, but I appreciated the various ways in which I could customise the process, depending on my situation.

On the next page, it appeared that I could select how I wanted to receive my results, with the free online option already automatically selected. Additionally, I could pay to receive them via standard postage (£10) or next day special delivery (£22). This seemed like an expensive option, as I guessed I could just print them from the online format if I wanted a paper copy, so chose that option. However, I again appreciated being given the choice. I noticed that I could also sign up for free status updates via text, another helpful feature.

I entered the email address I wanted the results sent to and chose a password and security question. This reassured me that the results would remain confidential unless I chose to share them with anyone.

Before submitting the order I had to agree to the terms and conditions. These were specific to the test and didn’t include anything that struck me as unusual. There were also terms and conditions and a privacy policy that covered all of DDC’s services, which also seemed pretty straightforward. I was impressed to see that they wouldn’t use my testing information for anything other than to provide the service I’d ordered and to respond to any queries relating to it.

Finally, I was able to input my payment information and paid with my Visa credit card, but also had the option to use Mastercard. The kit arrived the next day, in an envelope that looked like any normal letter – I appreciated the discrete packaging. The swabs were easy to take, though four were provided for each participant, which I thought was a little excessive. I also found it strange that there was no instruction to leave the swabs to dry before putting them in the paper return envelope. I waited for a minute or so anyway, but even then, the envelope got a bit wet and I was worried this might affect the results.

The kit also included a checklist of things to do before sending off the samples, which was really helpful, as well as a ‘Client Information Form’ for me to sign, in order to authorise ‘DNA Bioscience’ to carry out the testing. I was a bit confused by this, as I thought I had bought the test from DNA Diagnostics Centre (DDC).

The Results

Return postage had been included, which, considering the shipping was free, was all the more impressive. I didn’t receive confirmation that the samples had reached the lab, but was pleasantly surprised when my results were emailed to me only one business day later! They were attached as a PDF document (shown below), in addition to a MS Word ‘Explanation of Results’ document.

Click to see larger
The results letter.

The results letter.

When I opened the PDF, I saw that there was a 0% probability that we were biologically father and son. I was happy that this was so clear and straightforward, with a short explanation included beneath it.

The table that made up most of the page looked a bit confusing, and I was particularly interested in finding out why there were some gaps in it. Reading through the Explanation of Results document gave me a much better understanding of the process of testing, and the basics of DNA. It explained that we inherit two copies of each gene (known as alleles) at specific points in our DNA sequences (known as loci), one inherited from our mother and one from our father. These were represented by the numbers in the table and the gaps I’d seen happened when the same allele had been inherited from both parents.

It also explained the way they worked out the probability of paternity. I have to admit a lot of this went over my head, partly because the page was mainly made up of large chunks of text. However, I appreciated that this explanatory document had been included, as it answered the worries and questions I had about the test, increasing my trust in the results.

Summary

I was pleased with DNA Diagnostics Centre’s paternity testing service. In particular, I was impressed with the speed at which I received my results and with the numerous options provided when ordering, allowing me to cater the test to my particular situation. When the results arrived, they were clear and well explained. I’d feel confident in using the service again if I needed to.

Click here to visit the DNA Diagnostics Centre website to learn more about the types of DNA test they offer.

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