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What is DNA and how is it used in Paternity Testing?


Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) is found in nucleated cells of the human body where it forms the biological basis of inheritance. DNA determines a person’s biological characteristic and is acquired upon conception where a child will inherit half of his/her DNA from the father and half from the mother. Once samples are collected and analyzed, a unique combination of DNA (genetic profile) is reveled. The genetic profile of the child is then compared with that of the mother and alleged father. A statistical analysis is then performed to confirm if the alleged father is, in fact, the biological father, or not.

What can a DNA test be used for?


A DNA paternity test is useful in many situations:

       • For a man or woman needing biological proof of a child.  
       • To provide peace of mind for men wishing to confirm paternity.
       • To assist women seeking child support from a man who denies he is the child’s
          biological father.
       • For a parent going through divorce.
       • Help men attempting to win custody or visitation rights.
       • Establish conclave proof of heritage for an adopted child seeking their biological parents.
       • Determining grand-parentage, inheritance rights, insurance clams or Social Security  
       • Assist in immigration cases on the grounds an individual is a biological relative of a citizen.
       • Determining rightful heirs by DNA profiling for estate purposes.
       • Providing conclusive evidence of sisterhood or brotherhood for separated siblings.
       • For those who may want a second opinion.
       • For those who have received inconclusive results from other methods.

How accurate is DNA paternity testing?


DNA analysis is the most widely accepted method of testing biological relationships. Proper procedures of documentation, sample collection, transport, and analysis are followed to ensure the most accurate and conclusive results are obtained.
In cases where the alleged father is found to be the biological father, a probability of 99.99% or higher can be achieved on all legal testing. For exclusion reports, in which the DNA profiles of both the alleged father and child does not match, a 100 % certainty is achieved.    

How do I know that my DNA samples are being tested accurately?


Biohealth Medical Laboratory is pleased to be affiliated with a US based DNA testing facility which is accredited by a number of important organizations in the fields of family relationship and forensic DNA testing. These accrediting agencies 
regularly examine the qualification of laboratory staff members and inspect their testing processes and equipment to continually ensure:

       (a). Excellent quality
       (b). Accuracy and dependability,
       (c). Proper adherence to standards and guidelines


Getting Started

Where can I obtain a DNA Paternity Test?


DNA paternity testing is offered at Biohealth Medical Laboratory (BML). Our Medical Technologists can help you decide how DNA Paternity Testing is best for you. We will be glad to answer any of the questions you may have, and will make the whole process easier for you.
For more information please contact:


Biohealth Medical Laboratory
GiGi Plaza, Market & Nevis Streets
P.O. Box 1307
St. John’s Antigua, W.I.
Tel: (268)562-3738 / 4748   Fax: (268)462-2657
E-mail: or

What information do I need to bring to the lab?


Everyone needs to provide proper documentation, preferably a valid government-issued ID. Either one or more of the following forms of identification is/are acceptable:

      • Passport (Current)
      • Driver’s License
      • Electoral Card
      • Birth Certificate (for minors who have not obtained their passport)
In addition, the child’s legal custodian will have to sign a consent form allowing the minor to be tested.

Does the mother need to be tested?


It is not necessary for a mother to be tested. The final results would be just as accurate as that of a standard paternity test. However, BML encourages mothers to participate in paternity testing for the following reasons:

       • Mothers who participate will be entitled to a copy of the results
       • Participation provides important genetic information that facilitates quick and straightforward analysis
       • Where needed in certain court cases

What if the alleged father is missing or deceased, can a Paternity test still be performed?


Yes, it is possible to perform a DNA Paternity test if the alleged father is missing or deceased. Several options may be available:

       • In cases of immediate death, tissue samples can be taken from the deceased
       • A grandparentage test can be performed where samples collected from the alleged
          father’s parents are analyzed. This may be classified as an “indirect” test because the 
          results will only prove the relationship of the child to that of the grandparents.
       • Testing can also be performed on the alleged father’s siblings or other offspring. In this
          case, the evidence supporting the probability of paternity may not be as strong due to
          the “indirect” method of testing.     

Can DNA testing differentiate between two alleged fathers who are related?


A father and son or two full brothers may share similar DNA markers which may lead to a possible false positive result. For this reason, BML encourages all clients to provide as much information as possible surrounding the reasons for having a paternity test done. For cases such as these, two options are provided:

       • One: The mother, child, and both alleged fathers, all should be tested at the same time.
       • Two: Perform an “extended” analysis. This is mostly used when only one of the alleged fathers is available.

Can Paternity Testing be performed before the child is born?


Yes. DNA testing can be done using either a Chorionic Villi* sample collected between 10 – 13 weeks of pregnancy, or through amniocentesis* performed during 14 – 24 weeks of pregnancy. Samples for either method needs to be collected by an OB-GYN doctor.


Note: * Please consult with your doctor concerning the potential risk(s) of this type of collection method.


If the mother is more than 24 weeks pregnant, she must wait until the baby is born to do a paternity test. However, a newborn infant can be swabbed any time following birth, so a paternity test can be started soon after the delivery.

How confidential is my result?


As with all other laboratory tests, the results of a DNA Paternity Test is strictly confidential. Unless permission is given, we would not release information to anyone. 

Why should I choose BML?


BML is pleased to be affiliated with the US based DNA testing facility, the world’s most trusted DNA testing laboratory. Both organization’s advantages translate into accurate, reliable testing and top-quality customer service for you. Rest assured that Biohealth Medical Laboratory will offer the best possible service for your testing needs. Before offering our patients / clients any form of specialized test(s), we conduct a thorough research on all our affiliated reference test facilities. BML offers you:

       • Dual Processing, where every test is run twice, for 100% accuracy.
       • Quality, dependable, and timely reports through continued successful accreditation inspections.
       • Wide range of DNA testing needs



Cost & Payment Plans

How much does a Paternity Test cost?


The cost of a “Legal” DNA Paternity Test is $1100 ECD per case. This includes the mother, a child, and the alleged father


For each additional participant, please add $375 ECD This may include a second child or a second alleged father.


** Please call 268-562-3738 for pricing on other forms of DNA analysis.

Is there a payment plan?


BML offers a payment plan of $750 ECD deposit with the balance payable before the report is issued.   


What does the cost include / cover?


The cost will cover:

       • Documentation and Consent forms
       • Sample Collection
       • Client’s Photo
       • Packaging & Shipping
       • Result Return / Delivery 


Sample Collection & Results

What samples are collected?


Buccal (mouth, cheek) swab samples are used for DNA analysis. This is a quick and painless procedure that involves rubbing a cotton-like swab against the inside of the patient’s cheek to gather loose cells containing DNA.

Are buccal swab samples as accurate as blood samples?


Yes, this is because your DNA is the same in all parts of your body. Therefore, buccal swab samples contain the same DNA as blood samples and will therefore produce the same paternity test results. One disadvantage of actually using blood for DNA analysis is the possibility of contamination or interference from the donor’s blood in persons who have had recent blood transfusions.   

What should I be aware of when taking a blood sample?


For anyone who is interested in having a DNA paternity test by blood, the laboratory must be informed of any recent blood transfusions within the last 3 to 4 months. Multiple DNA profiles can be obtained which will lead to inconclusive results.
Approximately 5 mL of blood is needed for adults while 2 mL of blood is acceptable for infants and children.

How long does it take to receive the results?


Once all the samples have been collected and sent off, results turn-around-time may be between two to four weeks.


What precautions are used to ensure accurate results?


BML adheres to strict sample collection and preparation procedures. These include:

       • proper identification is always requested with photocopies attached
       • careful documentation of information
       • taking photographs and thumb prints of all individuals being tested
       • proper sample collection and packaging
       Furthermore, the DNA testing facility will ensure that:

       • packages received are completely intact
       • test runs are duplicated for consistency and accuracy
       • a continual accreditation program that regularly examine the qualification of  
         laboratory staff members and inspect their testing processes and equipment  




Other Forms of DNA Services


(1). DNA Banking

DNA banking is a service offered for clients who want to have a sample of their DNA stored in a secure, environmentally controlled facility.


(2). DNA Profiling

A DNA profile is a permanent record of your genetic identity. Every person inherits a unique combination of genetic markers from the biological parents; thus the DNA profile can serve as a permanent biological record of identity. (Note: Identical twins will have the same DNA profile.)


(3). Family Relationship DNA Testing Services. (Please call us for further information.