What is a legal DNA test?

What is a legal DNA test?

When we refer to a “legal DNA test,” we mean one that is court admissible. These are typically ordered as part of a custody battle in order to determine the paternity of a child, but the results may also be included in legal proceedings for obtaining Social Security Death Benefits, insurance, tax and other purposes. In order for the court system to admit those results as part of the proceedings, the DNA test must be court admissible — or a legal DNA test. So, what does that mean?

What Makes a DNA Paternity Test Legally Admissible?

The key to making a DNA test legally admissible is what we call the “chain of custody.” What that means is that we are able to account for the DNA sample, lab test, and results from the beginning to the end, with no potential for any step to fall outside of observation and custody. Additionally, the testing needs to be done by a lab (like TestSource!) that is accredited by the AABB. Otherwise, you risk the results not being included in your court case.

A DNA test at TestSource Lab is fast and non-intrusive. We take samples from cheek swabs and get you on your way. The samples are tested in our certified labs, and you’ll have your court admissible results ready when you need them.

Who Can Order a Court Admissible DNA Test

This will depend on the location of your court, but typically the following people can request a legal DNA test. Be sure to consult your attorney.

  • Either parent, including alleged parents
  • An adult child or a child’s legal representative, including their legal guardian
  • A Judge or Magistrate
  • A prosecuting attorney

Are Home DNA tests admissible in court?

This comes down to the chain of custody issue. An at-home test does not maintain the integrity of the sample-test-results. Therefore, those at-home tests won’t be court admissible. You should also know that you cannot get an at-home test and then “upgrade” it to a legally admissible test. You’ll have to start over. So, if you believe you may need to take your test to court, you’re better off starting with the court admissible test here at TestSource Lab


There are many reasons to get a DNA paternity test, including child custody court cases, insurance claims, social security, and more. If you suspect you’ll end up in court or are already engaged with an attorney, get the court admissible DNA test at TestSource Lab. Still not sure? Give our office a call or come visit. We’ll explain everything so that you feel comfortable and know your rights.  Call today at (269) 216-3668 or email us at:  [email protected]