specialists in
DNA testing
Accredited Test Laboratory
01603 358161
Anglia  DNA Services
Accredited by the UK Accreditation Service to the ISO 17025 international Standard for paternity, maternity, family relationship and sibling testing.
Accredited by the Ministry of Justice to carry out parentage tests directed by the civil courts in England and Wales under Section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969.
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Accredited to:
ISO/IEC 17025:2005

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is DNA?

    Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a chemical substance found in most cells of the human body (and in most cells of all living organisms). The DNA in an individual's blood is the same as the DNA found in their hair roots and skin cells.

    DNA stores information that is needed for passing down our genetic characteristics from one generation to the next – for example, what we look like and how we develop – hence it is also known as our genetic blueprint. Half of each person's DNA comes from their mother and the other half from their father.

  • Does taking a sample hurt?

    No, the sample is taken by a non-invasive method. The cotton swab provided is rubbed over the inside of the cheek in the mouth, to remove cells containing DNA.
  • What does a DNA test involve?

    The process is very simple. It will involve collecting cheek cells from the mouth (of each individual to be tested) using the cotton swabs provided and returning the samples to our laboratory for processing. After testing, the results will be analysed and a test report issued.

    Samples are taken by the individuals themselves for the Peace of Mind DNA Test, and by a Sampler for the Legal DNA Test Service

  • How accurate is the test?

    A DNA test is the most accurate genetic identification test available. However care must be taken not to contaminate the samples.
  • Who carries out the tests?

     Our team of highly qualified scientists carry out the DNA testing in our UK laboratory, based in Norwich, Norfolk. Is Anglia DNA an “accredited laboratory”?

    Yes, Anglia DNA is accredited by the UK Accreditation Service* to the ISO 17025 International Standard for its paternity testing.

    We are also accredited by the Ministry of Justice to carry out parentage tests directed by the civil courts in England and Wales under Section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969.

    * For a full schedule of Anglia DNA's UKAS accreditation please see this pdf.
  • How does a paternity DNA test work?

    A DNA test looks for similarities within specific regions of DNA to see whether two individuals are related.

    Samples taken from child, mother and father are processed in our laboratory. DNA from each individual's sample is extracted. To identify similarities in the DNA, we target fifteen specific areas of the DNA which are known to vary widely between individuals. These fifteen areas of DNA, plus an area of DNA which indicates the sex of an individual, are targeted and copied many times.

    The DNA is then separated and sorted by size to produce a ‘DNA profile'. A DNA profile is similar to a barcode and is unique to each individual (except identical twins). By comparing the DNA profiles of the child and the mother, it is possible to establish the common factors between them. The child's factors not found in the mother's profile must therefore come from the biological father. An alleged father is excluded as the biological father if factors found on his DNA profile are not shared with the child's. However if the alleged father's profile shares common factors with the child's then he is not excluded as the true biological father. A statistical analysis is then carried out to calculate the probability of paternity.

  • What can you tell from the test?

    For a paternity test, the test will either exclude someone as the biological father or it will include them as the true biological father and a statistical analysis will be provided to support this claim if the alleged father is included.

    For a sibling test, the test will indicate whether or not the siblings are half or full siblings and a statistical analysis will be provided to show the probability of the relationship. For other family relationship testing, the biological relationship will be indicated in a similar way.

  • Why do you need to know the ethnic group?

    In order to calculate the probability of paternity or family relationship accurately, it is important that the appropriate database of allele frequencies (derived from the ethnic origin of the individuals being tested) is used. We therefore need to know the ethnic origin of each individual being tested.
  • How long will the results take?

    Once we receive your samples in our laboratory, we will process them as quickly as possible. For a standard paternity test you should expect to receive your results within approximately five working days. Our express paternity tests range from 12 to 72 hours from receipt of the samples.

    A standard sibling test takes approximately one week. Other tests, such as those involving forensic samples may take longer.

  • What happens to the DNA after the test is carried out?

    The extracted DNA is usually destroyed by incineration three months after the report has been sent out.
  • Who will receive the results?

    The results will be given to the person nominated on the Consent Form (or Sampler Statement), for whom everyone tested has given consent and other authorised persons where appropriate. Please see paragraphs 6 and 10 of our Code of Practice for more details.
  • What if I want to take my results to court?

    If you need the results of the test for court or for other legal purposes, such as changing a birth certificate, you will require our Legal Test Service.

    * For a full schedule of Anglia DNA's UKAS accreditation please see this pdf.
Anglia DNA Scientists

Anglia DNA