DNA Paternity Testing - Chain of Custody

 

In order for the DNA test outcomes to be recognized for usage in US courtrooms, not only are test results required to exceed CPI 100 for inclusions and 0 or exclusions (Genex results are at least 1000x more accurate than what is required by cour), but the strict chain of custody maintained throughout sample collections and analysis at the laboratory is also of consideration. Chain of custody procedures are important for ensuring that the proper individual is submitting his/her sample at the appointment, and is especially an issue when contending parties involved in a DNA test are attending separate specimen collection appointments, or even in different cities or provinces. Genex's network of qualified doctors, nurses, and phlebotomists in over 3,000 specimen collection sites across the US have been specially trained to perform blood or buccal swab collections from our clients, and have been instructed with the specified protocols in accordance with Genex's quality policy to ensure maintenance of strict chain of custody during every sample collection.

During a chain of custody specimen collection appointment at one of Genex's specified collection sites, each patient must provide valid identification for proof of identity, except under special circumstances. All adults (18 years of age and above) must provide government-issued photo identification (e.g., driver's license, status card and/or passport), as well as other legal identification (e.g., health card, social's insurance number card, and/or birth certificate). It is permissible for minors under 18 years old to be identified with a birth certificate and/or a health card, but their legal guardian must be present at the appointment. Collection staff will make a photocopy of all presented identification, or will record the information directly onto the patient consent form. In addition, an instant (Polaroid) photograph will be taken of the actual person attending the appointment. The photo will be signed by the patient, dated, and attached to the paperwork which accompanies the collected sample. If the collection site is not equipped with a camera, the patient will be notified in advance to bring a recent photograph to the appointment for verification. For further verification of identity, a right thumbprint from the person (or a right footprint from young infants) will also be obtained at the appointment. Immediately following specimen collection, the samples are sealed with signed security seals in the presence of the patient, and shipped via courier with the chain of custody documentation directly to Genex's main laboratory for processing.

Upon receipt of collection specimens at Genex, qualified staff will certify that all chain of custody paperwork is properly completed. The courier package is also inspected to ensure that there are no signs of tampering. All specimens will then be properly identified with a unique case number corresponding to that particular DNA test. As soon as all samples belonging to a specific case are received at the laboratory, DNA analysis will immediately begin.

Next: What is Unique about DNA? »