Forensic Testing – Casework Services – Forensic Paternity
As both an accredited paternity and forensic laboratory, we have the unique opportunity to handle cases that cross boundaries between the fields of forensics and paternity. Utilizing standards from both the AABB and ASCLD-LAB International, we were able to build a program that effectively establishes chain of custody for these unique cases.
A forensic paternity, as defined by the DNA Reference Lab, is a paternity case where one of the tested individuals are either deceased and can not submit the sample for themselves, or are not consenting to test, so an individual such as a private investigator or a medical examiner will collect samples known to contain DNA from that individual. This results in a non-standard sample, a type of sample whose chain of custody is defined by ASCLD-LAB International standard, but the calculation methods for ultimately performing the paternity or relationship test are defined by the AABB.
Since most clients will ultimately bring in the samples themselves to compare, without proper chain of custody we can not authenticate the collection of the samples, and must therefore state that although the test can be performed, it can not be used in court. However, if one is to follow the proper guidelines listed below when collecting the non standard samples, the test can be used in legal court. If the individual is deceased, we will need a letter from an individual authorized to consent for the deceased stating that the DNA Reference Lab is authorized to test these samples.
When submitting a legal non-standard sample:
- Photograph the evidence before handling the item. Place a ruler or a coin next to the item before photographing so there is a frame for size referencing.
- Use gloves to pick up the item. Otherwise your DNA can easily be transferred to the item.
- Package the item in a paper bag or envelope. Plastic bags induce mold, especially in the heat.
- Seal the bag or envelope with packaging tape, signing across the tape with your initials and the date.
- Note the time, date and location where the collection was made.
- Package each item individually.
- Bring the sample to the lab and fill out our chain of custody forms for legal delivery.
Forensic Paternity Services Offered
- Non-legal Forensic Paternity (price based on number of non-standard samples)
- Legal Forensic Paternity (price based on number of non-standard samples)