Paternity For Life

Legal Paternity DNA Test

A Legal Paternity DNA Test provides court approved and legally admissible results that can be used for a range of legal disputes, including child maintenance and custody, changing the name on a birth certification, inheritance disputes and immigration purposes.

Government departments and courts require that any DNA testing done follows a legally compliant process before they will accept the DNA results as proof of a biological relationship. Therefore, it is important that if you are directed by the court under section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969 to undertake DNA testing, that you select a company that is listed on the Ministry of Justice for the DNA test results to be accepted.

At Paternity For Life, all legal DNA testing and Immigration DNA testing is completed by our laboratory that has been accredited by the Ministry of Justice as a body that may carry out parentage tests directed by the civil courts in England and Wales, under section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969. Because our laboratory has Ministry of Justice Accreditation, our legal DNA test results are accepted as evidence in British Courts, by the Child Maintenance Service and Her Majesty’s Passport Office.

How are the samples collected?

For DNA test to be legally admissible, samples must be collected following a strict chain of custody. Samples need to be collected by an independent third party, typically a medically registered professional such as your local doctor or practice nurse. This person is known as a sampler, and they are responsible for verifying the identity of each party being tested. You will need to make an appointment with a registered sampler, who we will then send your collection kit to.

Please note, your sampler may charge a fee for taking the sample and this should be negotiated when making an appointment. The fee is not included in our charge and needs to be paid directly to the collector.

If you are having trouble locating a sampler, please contact us and we will be able to assist you in finding a doctor or sample collecting service in your area.

What will I need for my collection appointment?

Paternity For Life will send a sample collection kit directly to your sample collector, which will contain all the necessary paperwork and mouth swabs needed to complete the collection. You will need to bring:

  • 2 passport sized photos for each person being tested, which the sampler will endorse at your collection appointment to confirm they are a true likeness of the person providing a sample. The photos should be passport style – clear, in colour and show the entire face, unobstructed by any hair, hats or anything else that can make identification difficult.
  • Each person must provide a form of photo identification that is recognised under UK law, such as a Passport, Full Driver’s License, National Identity Card, Military Identification card, etc. For children without photo ID, please provide a certified copy of their birth certificate.

How do I arrange DNA testing?

  1. Head to our simple, easy to use order page to submit an application. You will need the name, DOB and address of all parties being tested.
  2. If you have already arranged a sample collection appointment, please provide the details of your sampler with your application. You don’t need to have an appointment arranged at the time of application – Paternity For Life will simply contact you for details once your application is received.
  3. Paternity For Life will send your Legal DNA testing kit directly to your nominated sampler.

What if the people being tested are outside the UK?

If DNA test participants live outside of the UK, we will send a testing kit to their nominated sampler in their country. Depending on the location of individuals we may have to send kits out using a courier service. In these cases, additional postage fees will apply. Please contact us for a quote before proceeding with DNA testing.

If a DNA test is required for Immigration, Visa or Passport purposes, then DNA sample collection will usually take place at the nearest embassy or consulate. Please see our Immigration DNA Testing page for more information.


Results will be available within 5 working days, from when we receive your samples at our laboratory. Results will only be sent to the parties being tested (or their legal guardian), to the email addresses provided at time of sample collection. A hard copy of your results can also be arranged (additional fees apply). Results can also be emailed to third parties, such as lawyers, where written consent is given by the parties being tested.



Paternity DNA Testing Lab

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