Paternity For Life

Deceased DNA Testing

Paternity For Life can facilitate testing to establish parentage using forensic samples from deceased individuals, in cases where testing may be required post mortem for paternity disputes or estate claims.

Prior to commencing testing, you will need to establish whether a sample is available from the deceased party.

Under the Human Tissue Act 2004, DNA is considered a ‘designated material’ and as such, DNA can only be collected from the deceased by an authorised person in a Human Tissue Authority (HTA) licensed premises.

Please note that Chapels of Rest and Funeral Directors are not HTA licensed. Samples can only legally be obtained from HTA licensed establishments, such as mortuaries and hospitals. For a list of authorised establishments, please see the Human Tissue Authority website. We are unable to collect DNA samples from unlicensed premises, as this would constitute a punishable offence under the Human Tissue Act.

Who Collects the Sample from the Deceased?

We work with a group of authorised Forensic Samplers who are able to arrange the required authorisation from the Human Tissue Authority license holder and/or the Coroner, and also facilitate collection of the DNA sample from the deceased. The sample they collected from the deceased may be a hair follicle, fingernail or blood sample.

Testing of Other Parties

For the other parties being tested, a sealed DNA kit will be sent to their nominated sample collector. Their collection process will be a standard legal mouth swab. Please click here for more information outlining the collection process.


Results will be mailed to the parties tested, or their next of kin as requested. No results will be given over the phone or faxed. Copies may be emailed if consent is given on the Consent Authority form at time of testing. A copy may also be faxed or emailed to a nominated Lawyer if Paternity For Life has prior written consent from the tested parties.

How Do I Arrange Testing?

Due to the time sensitivities surrounding the collection of a DNA sample from a deceased party, we recommend you contact Paternity For Life as soon as possible to begin arranging testing.

Please note that written consent from the deceased party’s next of kin before testing can commence.

What if there isn’t a sample available from the deceased?

A relationship DNA test can be used in cases where an alleged parent is not available for the testing of a direct parent-child relationship. Extended relationship DNA testing can be carried out to determine whether there is a relation between the persons being DNA testing. Testing can be performed between individuals who may share common relatives, such as siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents, cousins, etc. Read more about Relationship testing here or contact us to discuss alternative testing options.



Paternity DNA Testing Lab

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