There has been a major increase in sales of at home DNA testing kits, mainly for ancestry and heritage information. AncestryDNA sold 1.5 million genetic testing kits over Black Friday weekend alone. But, have you ever considered what these large corporations are doing with your genetic information once you send it back by mail?

The Federal Trade Commission stated, “A major concern for consumers should be who else could have access to information about your heritage and your health.”  It’s definitely a valid concern a consumer should consider especially with a lot of genetic testing that occurs with the “masses.” The knowledge about or purpose of testing is never shared and we will never know how it is being used (does the word cloning ring a bell?).

Knowing your ancestry is interesting and provides peace for a lot of people. Even at-home paternity DNA testing kits are convenient and confidential, not to mention affordable giving the ability for just about anyone to quickly get a DNA test for informational purposes. However, there are other factors like how accurate are the results and just how private is “private?” With that said, it’s important to do your research before deciding on an at-home DNA test.

 

Here are a few key characteristics you should look for in a laboratory:

 

What is the quality of the laboratory?

Is the laboratory certified and accredited? Where are they located and what is the laboratory’s history? The most common accreditations are AABB, ACLASS, and CLIA. Our DNA testing laboratory goes through extensive inspections and has all required accreditations.

How many genetic markers are being tested?

An industry standard panel includes 15 genetic markers. If the at-home DNA testing kit laboratory does not state at least 15 genetic markers, consider another option. Our laboratory, for example, tests the industry standard; however, if additional markers need to be tested in order to strengthen the accuracy of the results, they are tested and listed on the results.

How accurate and reliable are the results?

How many times are samples tested? What is their preferred sample type? For example, our laboratory tests every sample twice to ensure 99.99% accuracy.

Are you or may you be involved in a legal matter?

If you are going through any type of legal matter that involves or may involve the court in the future, it is a requirement to utilize an accredited laboratory and obtain a court-admissible DNA test. By obtaining a court-admissible DNA test from the start, you avoid wasting time and money by not having the required testing. A court-admissible DNA test requires a chain of custody document which ensures accuracy and quality as well as a notarized result report.

These are just some of the questions you should ask before considering at home DNA test. If you want true privacy, consider going to an accredited laboratory and collection site like 99DNA Testing.