FAQs

Paternity and Relationship Testing FAQ

Q: What is a DNA Paternity Test?

Ans:  A DNA paternity test is a test that is carried out to determine if a man is the biological father of a child.

Q: Is a DNA test 100% accurate?

Ans: DNA testing is generally considered to be the most accurate testing method currently available to establish a relationship between two individuals or between a suspect and DNA evidence recovered from a crime scene. DNA paternity testing can show that a man is highly likely to be the father with about 99.9% accuracy, or that he is excluded as being the father with 100% accuracy.

Q: What is a legal relationship test?

Ans: A relationship test that can be presented in court or for immigration purposes. This may require more proof of identification for validity.

Q: What is a peace of mind relationship test?

Ans: This is a DNA test done to find out if a man and woman are the true biological parents of a child.

Q: How long does it take to obtain a result after a DNA test?

Ans: Although the standard turnaround time is 4 weeks for routine cases, depending on the method of choice and urgency, DNA test results can be ready in 90 min.

Q: Do I need an appointment to come for a DNA test?

Ans: Although you do not need an appointment, we recommend you make an appointment to avoid a long wait. Samples for DNA paternity test are collected at the center on Tuesdays-Fridays, 10am – 3pm. The center is closed on all government holidays.

Q: Is LSD&FC an ISO accredited laboratory?

Ans: Yes, the laboratory received its ISO/IEC 17025: 2017 accreditation in February 2019 and follows all sampling and testing guidelines stipulated by the International Standards Organization for Forensic DNA analysis.

Q: Will my DNA test result be kept confidential?

Ans: Yes, the results of each test are only given to the authorized individuals listed on the Biological Relationship Submission Form which is completed prior to testing. Then results will not be disclosed to anyone. All results are protected to the full extent permitted by law.

Q : How old does a child need to be before testing?

Ans:  DNA testing can be performed on individuals at any age. However, all minors (under the age of 18) must have the consent of the parent or a legal guardian before testing can be carried out at LSD&FC.

Q: Does the mother need to be tested during a DNA paternity test?

Ans:  No. A conclusive answer regarding paternity can be obtained without testing the mother. However, in the case of a maternity test, the mother must be tested.

Q: Can paternity be determined if the alleged father is not available for testing?

Ans:  Yes. If the alleged father is deceased, forensic DNA testing can be considered using items which may contain the alleged father’s DNA. Forensic DNA testing can be performed on anything that has biological material from the alleged father such as an old toothbrush, electric razor, blood stains, saliva stains, and bone or teeth from an exhumation. If it is not possible to obtain a forensic sample for the alleged father, testing his direct relatives can be considered.

Q: How much is a DNA paternity test?

Ans:  The current cost is N90,000 for a test involving an Alleged father, Mother and a child. This price may be adjusted from time to time. Please call the center to find out the current price before coming to the center for a test. 

Forensic Testing FAQ

Q: Who can submit a forensic case?

Ans: Both civilians and law enforcement agencies can submit items for analysis.

Q: Are there fees associated with forensic cases?

Ans: Yes, the specific costs and fees are dependent on the specific case and type of testing being requested. Unlike DNA paternity test, it is often not possible to determine the cost forensic DNA test prior to examination of all the evidentiary items submitted.  

Q: How do I submit a case?

Ans: A forensic case submission form and chain of custody form must be completed, evidence must be appropriately packaged and delivered to the center from Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm. In certain circumstances, properly packaged evidence may be submitted to the security staff after hours.

Q: How should samples be collected and packaged?

Ans: Samples should be collected in a manner that preserves the integrity of the item and prevents damage to the evidence. Packages should be sealed and labelled with collector name, date of collection, description of item, etc. The use of paper packaging is required because plastic/nylon causes damage to the DNA.  Items should be stored in a dry and cool environment to preserve DNA until submitted to the center.

Q: What is a known reference sample?

Ans: A sample that is of known origin, i.e. the identity of the source is confirmed. This is used for comparison purposes; references are often compared to evidentiary items to determine their source. A common type of reference sample is a buccal swab containing DNA from a known individual.

Q: What is a buccal swab?

Ans: A buccal swab is a sterile cotton swab that is rubbed on the inside of the cheek to collect skin cells from the mouth. These cells have a nucleus and contain DNA which can be extracted.

Q: What type of DNA testing is performed at the Center?

Ans: We conduct Short Tandem Repeat (STR) DNA analysis. We use a protocol that allows us to test 27 locations on each person’s DNA. 

Q: What items can be tested?

Ans: Any item that may contain biological material with a cell and nucleus