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Court admissible DNA testing

What is a witnessed sampling?

A paternity test requires a third party witness to oversee sample collection and handling

 

According to the German Gene Diagnostics Act (GenDG) DNA tests must be supported by a so-called "proof of identity" for each test participant.

In addition the sample collection must be performed in the presence of either your GP, an employee of the Youth Welfare center or a Public Medical Officer.

In our test kit you will find the appropriate documents and a flyer to guide you and your witness through this procedure, called "witnessed sampling".

 

Who performs the witnessed taking of samples?

 

According to the law, the scientist responsible for the DNA analysis should also attend the taking of the samples.

 

Still, it is obvious that this requirement is not feasible in reality as no laboratory can offer personal appointments regardless of location. Therefore, the law allows certain deputies to take over this role. These deputies are, according to the law, a GP, no matter what field he or she has specialised in, an employee of a Youth Welfare Center, a Medical Health Officer. Also a midwife or hospital employees are possible witnesses.

 

How to find a sampler

  • If you would like to have us taking your samples, please contact us beforehand. Appointments are possible on very short notice. 
  • Besides, we have collected useful links which simplify your search for a sampler if you cannot come to our lab.

 

The documentation and witnessed sampling are mandatory before we may start a DNA analysis. We, as an accredited lab are obliged to check all documentation and refuse an analysis when the sampling seems to have been dubious.

 

A witnessed sampling leads to a legally admissible DNA report

 

Together with the sampling documentation, you can use our DNA report in court (Please choose our recommended test for official purposes: Paternity Test Premium).

Still, please keep in mind, in Germany each judge is free in his choice of evidence. Accordingly, he/ she can rule to repeat the test with a laboratory of his choice. You should clarify beforehand if your judge will accept the DNA report done from a lab picked by you.

Is the DNA test legally admissible?

An independent third-party must be present during the DNA sampling for a test to be legally valid

 

All our DNA tests follow legal requirements. Our DNA test results can be perfectly used in court proceeding. Each DNA test, including paternity tests, must be based on a witnessed taking of samples and independently documented proof of identity.

Accordingly, the sampling must be performed by a neutral person. The German Gene Diagnostics Act strictly requires this to be either a GP, an employee of a Youth Welfare Center or a Medical Health Officer.

In our test kit you will find the appropriate documents and FAQs to guide you and your sampler through this procedure. No matter, if you want to establish a proof of paternity or if you like to find your relatives with a relationship test, your sampler needs to follow a procedure named "Chain of Custody".

 

  • he or she fills in the form "Sample Statement and Declaration"
  • he must identify every person taking part in the DNA test (proof of identity). Therefore, please be prepared to show a valid identification documents
  • Sample collection must be witnessed and testified by your sampler
  • All test documentation and the samples must be returned to us by your sampler to keep up the "Chain of Custody". Please do not take the documentation back home with you.

 

If you would like to find a sampler, please read our help page, where we listed useful links and explanations.

According to the German Gene Diagnostics Act all test participants need to consent to the analysis. For minors all persons having custody need to give their written consent.

All our DNA test reports  can be used in court

As all of our DNA tests follow a strict chain of custody our test reports are acceptable to the civil courts. Our reports have been proved to be at least 99.9% accurate and are therefore admissible in a court of law as proof of paternity or relationship.

Still, in Germany judges are free in their choice of evidence. Accordingly, they can rule to have the DNA test repeated in a laboratory of their own choice. You should clarify beforehand if your judge will accept the DNA report done from a lab picked by you.

Can I do a secret paternity DNA test?

Secret DNA testing is forbidden by law

 

Since February 2010, the Gene Diagnostics Act (Gendiagnostikgesetz, GenDG) has to be applied for all genetic testing.

 

We understand that people sometimes want to know DNA testing results before they alarm other persons, perhabs even unnecessarily. Still, the Gene Diagnostics Act stipulates very clearly under Threat of punishment that no secret paternity test or relationship test may be performed. The law not only addresses the customers but also the laboratories which risk their accreditation, their license to perfom DNA tests.

 

The law not only forbids secret DNA tests. Also, regular external inspection of laboratory procedures are mandatory and fully informed consent of all test participants is now required

 

How to get a paternity test when not all participants consent

While on the one hand secret DNA testing is no longer possible the law also fixed the right for everybody to know their origins.

 

Thus, should, for example, a mother block an estranged father from legally testing just by not giving her consent a father can now apply directly to the court. Here it may be decided that child will not significantly suffer obtain the permission to conduct a test and outrule the mother's refusal.

 

Previously, it was possible for everybody to have a lab test cigarette buds or baby's pacifier etc without the knowledge of the persons concerned. With this act the legislator now wants to prevent persons being robbed of their DNA material clandestinely.

 

A paternity test may still be conducted privately. You do not have to go to court for each DNA test. The written consent of all participants and a witnessed sampling is all you need.

How accurate is DNA paternity testing?

Positive proof of paternity is at least 99,9 %, with most being higher

 

The wording of a DNA paternity test result can be very technical and not easy to understand. We will explain here how a DNA report's formulation can be understood.

 

You will either be given a paternity inclusion (saying, yes: this DNA belongs to the biological father) or a paternity exclusion (saying: no, this DNA does not belong to the biological father).

 

A paternity inclusion will show genetic matches between the alleged father and the tested child. It is stated that the tested man is the biological father with a certainty up to  99,99999%.

 

A paternity exclusion is given when no genetic matches can be found between the test participants. This exclusion will be 100% certain.

 

The test results are reliable

 

The test results are absolutely trustworthy when given by a laboratory that can show you proof of their reliable testing methods. This proof consists of various elements:

 

  • the lab should be in Germany. German laboratories are liable to the German Gene Diagnostics Act which established strict rules for DNA testing
  • the lab's team should be approachable by phone and in person
  • the lab should exhibit a ISO 17025 accreditation, a ISO 9001 certification and openly communicate all DNA ring trial results
  • the scientists and lab team should be experienced. This is shown by the amount of samples the lab processes yearly (high throughput)
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