People are often overwhelmed when it comes to purchasing a DNA testing kit, because the results are often life-changing. A common reason that individuals purchase this test is to determine paternity. Other reasons include determining whether you or your partner carries a defective gene if you are considering getting pregnant and detecting if you have a predisposition to a certain disease due to your family history. Knowing what factors to consider before buying a test can help you decide on the best testing kit for your purposes.
Consider the price
A higher price on a DNA test generally indicates that more comprehensive results are provided. Choosing which test to use should be based on what type of results you require. If you are only interested in determining paternity, you can certainly choose the least expensive test. But if you are trying to find out if you have a predisposition for any of an assortment of diseases, it may be best to choose a higher-priced test. Read the fine print to determine if shipping costs are included or if you must pay for shipping separately. Some kits offer faster shipping options than others.
Review the features
Typically, a DNA test kit is relatively simple to use. First you will answer a few questions online and then order the testing kit. Once it arrives, collect the sample, register the kit online, and then return it to the address provided. Registering the kit ensures that you will be able to privately access the test results, since your name will not be included on the results due to privacy regulations. You can also track the test to determine exactly when you can access the results.
The thing that differs most in the DNA testing kits is the collection process. Some tests provide a cotton swab and instruct you to rub it along the inside of your cheek in your mouth. Then you enclose the cotton swabs in the envelope that the company provides and return it. Other kits provide you with a scraper and instruct you to scrape the inside of your cheek for about 45 seconds. Then you place the scraper in a vial of stabilizing solution. Another type of kit asks you to collect spit in a vial and then send it back to the company in the stabilizing liquid that is included.
Service: Accessing the results
With most DNA testing kits, it takes anywhere from three to eight weeks before you can access the results. Therefore, if a more expensive test will provide you with the results sooner, and this is a priority for you, it may be the best option.
For more info on specific DNA testing kits, read our reviews here.