Frequently Asked DNA Testing Questions (& Answers)

What is DNA?

DNA is the acronym for a molecule called deoxyribonucleic acid. Often described as “the basic building block of life”, or the “blueprint of the body”, it is the genetic material of all organisms, which is responsible for determining the inherited characteristics of an organism. Established at conception, when the father’s sperm cell fertilizes the mother’s egg cell, an individual inherits one-half of his/her DNA from each biological parent.

In humans, DNA is found in most cells of the body. A large percentage of DNA is the same from person to person because similar biological processes must occur in all people. However, a small percentage of each person’s DNA is highly variable between different people, and every individual, with the exception of identical twins, has a unique DNA make-up that defines that person’s genetic characteristics. It is the person’s unique DNA make-up that allows DNA testing to accurately and powerfully identify that individual.

How is a DNA sample collected?

A DNA sample is collected by rubbing a soft swab along the inside of the cheek – a process that is gentle enough for newborns.

For a Legal test, one of our authorized agents will verify your identity and collect the cheek swab. For a Curiosity test, you can collect the samples yourself, using kits that we ship to you.

How reliable is DNA testing?

DNA testing is the most conclusive method available to prove biological relationships, When done properly, DNA testing allows proof of parentage at levels of certainty that are beyond reasonable doubt.

To ensure you receive the most reliable results possible, you should select an experienced and accredited laboratory.

Why is accreditation important?

Accreditation is important because DNA testing services are not regulated in Canada. Voluntary accreditation through the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is one way for a laboratory to demonstrate that they have quality measures in place, and staff with the necessary education and training requirements, to perform DNA testing properly.

Is TheDNALAB a Canadian Company?

Yes – TheDNALAB is a division of Maxxam Analytics, the largest scientific testing company in Canada. Maxxam has 2500 employees across Canada. The customer service and laboratory operations for TheDNALAB are based in Ontario, Canada.

Where are the DNA samples analysed?

All DNA samples sent to TheDNALAB are analysed by our experienced scientists in our Guelph, Ontario DNA laboratory.

If another DNA company has a Canadian address, can I be assured that Canadian Privacy Laws will protect my information?

No! There are very few accredited DNA laboratories with full operations in Canada. The majority of DNA companies you will find online or be referred to are re-sellers who have an “office” in Canada, but will send your genetic material and documentation outside of Canada for testing and storage. If this occurs, your information will not be protected and can be released to Foreign Governments without your knowledge. To ensure that you are dealing with an SCC-accredited Canadian DNA testing company, one should check the SCC website as it will list the laboratory address for the particular DNA laboratory and their qualifications.

How do you protect my personal information?

As with other areas of clinical medicine or science, confidentiality is important in genetic testing. For that reason, we do not publish the DNA profile of the individuals being tested. Our reports include the conclusions of the analysis we have conducted and our analysis is certified by our scientific staff.

In addition, our work is conducted in a secure environment (as audited by Public Works and Government Services Canada) and all aspects of each project are treated in a private and confidential manner.

More DNA Testing Questions?

DNA Testing Questions
Find answers to frequently asked questions about Immigration DNA testing or Paternity and Relationship DNA testing or call our friendly and experienced customer service representatives (Monday to Friday 7:30am to 4:30pm ET).