Technological advances in the field of DNA testing have made a variety of DNA tests available to the general public. DNA paternity testing is an area of great demand. Companies providing DNA testing have spread throughout the online world, and most offer home DNA collection kits. However, cutting-edge technology, wide availability and ease of use do not come without cost. Some people desire DNA testing simply to satisfy their own curiosity. Others may find themselves in a desperate situation where a legally admissible DNA test result is required. What is a DNA test going to cost, can you afford it, and will it be worth it?
Very recently, you could expect to pay around $500 for DNA paternity testing. But prices have lowered dramatically and DNA paternity tests for personal use can now found for around $100. Several factors are involved in the price drop of DNA paternity tests. The introduction of robotics to perform the repetitive tasks involved in DNA analysis has lowered personnel costs for DNA testing services. The continuing trend of cheaper computing power has also contributed to lower costs in this highly computer intensive operation.
DNA testing services that own their own labs tend to have lower fees than resellers or brokers. Although you may find hundreds of DNA testing services online, there are actually only about 40 DNA testing labs that are accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB).
If you need court-admissible results, you should expect to pay more. Several court-admissible (or “legal”) DNA paternity tests are available online for fees ranging from $230 to $300. Legal DNA paternity tests are more expensive for two reasons. The DNA test results must be backed up with proof of the identities of the parties involved and the chain of custody of the samples collected. Proof of identity and chain of custody is provided by the participation of an unrelated and disinterested witness. The extra procedures required for a legal DNA paternity test result in higher fees.
Beyond DNA paternity testing, costs for DNA testing tend to depend on what sort of test you need or desire. DNA maternity testing costs about the same as paternity testing. DNA tests to confirm grandparent, cousin, or sibling relationships are somewhat more expensive, generally in the $150-$200 range. DNA paternity testing where one parent’s DNA is not available tend to cost more, usually over $200.
DNA testing for immigration reasons can be obtained for around $250. Most DNA immigration testing is conducted according to court-admissible guidelines–there would be little reason to prove relationships outside of court in this situation. More exotic tests, like ancestry or origins (that is, whether your ancestors were European, Asian, African or Native American) are quite a bit more expensive, often ranging from around $300 to over $500.