A DNA test kit can be used at home to determine the paternity of a child, the sex of an unborn baby, or the presence of certain genetic factors, which might predispose one for certain diseases. In the greatest number of cases, a DNA test kit is used to establish paternity.
Generally, DNA is obtained by collecting a tiny amount of skin tissue and saliva from the inside of the cheek. Envelopes are usually included which need to be labeled to indicate the owner of each sample. The test is quite simple, and when sent to a reputable lab, extremely accurate.
The lab then determines genetic factors, which either include or exclude relationship. In cases where paternity needs to be established, most US courts may allow DNA evidence from a DNA test kit if all parties participated willingly in the testing. If such testing does not exist, the court usually obtains information not from a home DNA test kit, but from a lab where results can be assured.
Another form of DNA test kit can be used to determine ancestry. In these cases, people usually need a DNA test kit that can test the hair of someone deceased. Since hair rings and locks of hair were once considered heirlooms, people often inherit them. Testing the hair of a deceased person, while evaluating cheek swabs of the living person, can establish relationship, and may be helpful in determining ancestors if one is an avid genealogist.
Relationship with ancestors is often difficult to determine because no remains of the person are available for testing. Testing might require exhumation, which is a significant consideration and may be disallowed by other family members or by one’s religious beliefs. In rare cases, exhumation may result in establishing inheritance to wealth by establishing a degree of relationship. Usually, because a court needs to verify documentation when awarding someone with an inheritance, a recognized lab and not a DNA test kit is used.
In recent trends, expectant mothers can use a DNA test kit to find out the sex of their child, or to determine if they are carrying multiple children. Usually, the expectant mother must provide a small blood sample, and must be at least a couple of months pregnant for DNA testing of this nature to be reliable.
A DNA test kit can be purchased on a number of Internet sites and possibly through local doctors or labs. On the Internet, most kits cost, with testing, about 250 US Dollars (USD). Some kits are available for half that price, but if one is trying to legally establish paternity, the expense may not be justifiable if a court will require one to repeat the testing. In all cases, samples can be corrupted by mislabeling, by deliberately including the wrong sample, or by simple mistakes. DNA lab tests are the more accurate methods, unless one is simply attempting to address idle curiosity.