DNA testing for legal proceedings
FTS DNA testing service provides your clients with clear, legally defensible results in the shortest possible timescale. The MOJ approved and accredited laboratories produce standard reports within 3-5 working days from receipt of all samples in the laboratory. We also offer a faster turnaround of 24-48 hours for an additional fee.
Our standard service is priced in accordance with the LAA Guidance on the Remuneration of Expert Witnesses (Please see page 14 for details).
FTS sample collectors are fully trained in accurate record-keeping to ensure a chain of custody is maintained. The actual DNA collection procedure takes around 5 minutes so you can expect an efficient and considerate sample collection service.
Contact us for expert advice and guidance. If you already know what you need, please complete a referral form and we’ll get back to you promptly.
Make an Enquiry
How do I arrange testing and sample collection?
Please follow the link below to get a quote, make an instruction or request testing.
Complete our simple online forms or download a PDF copy to complete digitally or by hand.
You can also call our customer services team to register your case over the phone.
A member of our team will be in touch to arrange sample collection.
Mobile Collection Service
FTS is one of the only testing providers with mobile collection vehicles. This means our collection team can meet your client at a convenient time and place without the pressure of a fixed location. Please let us know if you would like to use this service during your application.
DNA Testing Information & FAQs
What is DNA Paternity Testing?
DNA Paternity Testing is when specific sections of the genetic code of usually a mother, possible father and child are compared to determine whether the possible father is the biological father of the child. When carrying out a paternity test the DNA of the mother, the child and the possible father are compared using the latest DNA analysis technology. A child inherits half their DNA from each parent and therefore every genetic marker in the child’s DNA should be present in either the mother or the father. Our laboratory team compares the child’s DNA to the mother initially and then removes the DNA that she has passed onto the child. Therefore, what remains at this stage could only have come from the child’s biological father and if this matches the tested male, we can then calculate the probability of paternity. We can also test without using the mother’s DNA when necessary.
What DNA tests can FTS carry out?
Aside from Paternity testing FTS can conduct a range of DNA tests including:
- Maternity testing
- Grandparent testing
- Siblingship testing
- Avuncular testing
How does DNA testing work?
It works by detecting certain parts, or ‘markers’ in the DNA molecule that are known to vary greatly between random unrelated people. Our tests compare the DNA at a number of these markers to determine if people are related. This process is called Short Tandem Repeat (STR) profiling. STR profiling is a very sensitive DNA testing procedure which was originally developed for forensic analysis. DNA is extracted from the sample and a special enzyme is used to copy the genetic code at the relevant regions in the DNA. An STR profile is the result of several separate DNA tests.
How long will the test take?
Our accredited laboratories produce standard reports within 3-5 working days from when we receive all samples in our laboratory. Should you require a faster turnaround time please call to enquire. We may be able to offer 24 hour and 48 hour turnaround times at an extra cost, however please contact us to discuss this as it is dependent upon availability.
Are the tests acceptable evidence in a court of law?
Yes, FTS use only Ministry of Justice laboratories to carry out parentage tests directed by the civil courts in England and Wales under section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969.
The laboratories are committed to providing an exceptional high quality service throughout our testing portfolio and our ISO and Ministry of Justice accreditations are testament to this. A strict chain of custody is followed throughout the sample collection and testing process to ensure accurate results at all times.
How do I confirm who is being tested?
Photographs are taken and the signatures obtained from each person being tested at the sampling appointment. These can be used to confirm the identity of the person(s) being tested and are sent with the samples to our accredited laboratories. In paternity cases all identification paperwork is held for a period of 1 year for any section 20 court directed cases or 10 years for all other cases after which time the paperwork is destroyed in compliance with our registration with the Data Protection Act.
All samples sent to our accredited laboratories are in tamper-evident packaging, if any tampering is evident the samples will be rejected. Once testing is complete and you have received the test results, your DNA sample is stored securely for 6 months after which time it is destroyed. Please let us know if you require the sample to be destroyed immediately after use.
How long does the test procedure take?
The testing takes approximately 5 minutes per test subject via oral swabbing. Other procedures dependant on the subject could include blood or hair follicle sampling.
What quality control and standards do you work to?
FTS’ DNA Testing Laboratory is ISO 17025 accredited by the Ministry of Justice enabling us to carry out parentage tests (otherwise called DNA Testing or Paternity Testing). As directed by the civil courts in England and Wales under section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969, we also adhere to the Human Genetics Commissions “Common Framework of Principles on DNA testing”.
Testing carried out by unauthorised agencies are not acceptable in a court of law.