Ordering Made Easy

Order Now
Order Online
Call 1-800-DNA-TEST Give us a Call
Find a Collection Center

Orchid utilizes a network of over 5000 collection sites worldwide.

Orchid Cellmark holds multiple accreditations from various organizations and adheres to the standards of each accrediting organization. Compliance by our laboratories to these accreditation requirements provides assurance to our clients that test results provided by Orchid Cellmark are of the highest quality. Clink on the links above to learn more about our accreditations.
Paternity Testing

Testing Procedure

A DNA paternity test is a scientific test performed to determine whether a man can be the biological father of a child. A standard test is completed using cheek swabs from the mother, child and alleged father however testing may occur even without a sample from the child’s mother (i.e. motherless paternity test).

While a routine test uses a non-invasive cheek swab from all three parties, there are a variety of other non-standard samples which may be collected from one or more of the parties. Clients can choose from either a legal or at-home test. A legal test requires specimen collection by an unbiased third party specimen collector under strictly controlled Chain of Custody procedures, while a sample for an at-home test can be taken in a non-clinical setting.


Paternity testing is used to determine the father of a child (or children) for a variety of reasons including:

  • To assist a mother in getting child support from the biological father of a child
  • To assist a biological father in gaining access to his child
  • To resolve a child custody matter
  • To prove a relationship between a Beneficiary and Petitioner to support an immigration Petition
  • To prove a relationship between a deceased individual and alleged biological relatives in an estate dispute
  • To prove a biological relationship between an applicant and a member of a Native American tribe using the Orchid Cellmark tribal DNA test
  • To prove a paternal biological link between two adoptees using an Orchid Cellmark DNA adoption test
  • To obtain death benefits for a child as part of an insurance claim

Back to top

Testing Steps

A DNA test involves essentially 3 steps:


Legal - Once we have received your order, our Scheduling Department will contact all tested parties to arrange for a specimen collection appointment at one of 5000 convenient specimen collection sites that we utilize. We will also try to find an alternative site if our current collection sites are not convenient for you.

Tested parties will need to bring the following to their appointment:

  • Government issued photo identification for all adult parties (e.g. driver’s license, passport, state identification)
  • Government issued identification for the child (e.g. birth certificate) if available

The cheek swab samples are obtained by rubbing cotton-tipped applicators along the inside cheek wall of the mouth of each party to be tested. The procedure is painless and takes less than 2 minutes per person.

At-Home* – Once we have received your order, we will send specimen collection kits to each party indicated on the application form. Specimen Collection Instructions will be provided with the kits. The test is conducted for the client’s own knowledge and does not need to be accepted in court. The cheek swab samples are obtained by rubbing cotton-tipped applicators along the inside cheek wall of the mouth of each party to be tested. The procedure is painless and takes less than 2 minutes per person. Once the samples have been collected, the clients send the kits back to Orchid Cellmark in the packaging provided with the kits.

*The AABB does not accredit for non-chain of custody testing at this laboratory or any other laboratory.

Once the samples are received by our laboratory and payment is made in full, the following steps occur:

  • Samples are assigned a unique bar code and are logged into our laboratory database
  • Samples and paperwork are examined for completeness
  • Samples are analyzed
  • DNA profiles are triple checked
  • Reports are generated
  • Final report is verified and signed by a doctoral Laboratory Director

Upon completion of the test, results will be distributed to the tested parties by mail and to their attorneys by courier.

Back to top


Court ready results will be notarized. We routinely report testing results with a probability of paternity of 99.99% or higher on inclusions and 0.00% on exclusions. The reports will include:

  • Names of Tested Parties
  • Date of Specimen Collection for each Tested Party
  • A listing of the individual DNA profiles for each Tested Party
  • A Combined Paternity Index
  • A Probability of Paternity
  • A statement of conclusion

The above information will be contained on the reports, regardless if it is a Legal or At-Home Report. A Court Ready report will be accepted in any legal matter.

An At-Home Report will not be accepted in a legal matter and will contain an additional statement as follows:

“Orchid Cellmark expressly disclaims any and all responsibility regarding the identity of the above named individuals. The specimens were not collected in accordance with standard chain-of-custody procedures and therefore the above names are denoted with asterisks. This DNA result is not admissible in a court of law or any other judicial, administrative or quasi-legal hearing and is intended for informational purposes only."

Back to top