DNA testing is a complex scientific process which can positively identify relationships between people. Most commonly it is used to establish if a man is the true biological father of a child. DNA paternity testing is also often referred to simply as a DNA test, a paternity test or DNA testing. We have a large team of Customer Service Advisers on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Thanks to the advances in DNA testing technology Cellmark delivers Next Day results as standard using the most conclusive 24 marker genetic analysis system - across our range of DNA relationship testing services and that includes - DNA tests for Paternity, Maternity, Sibling, Avuncular (Aunt/Uncle), Grandparentage and Immigration. If your samples reach us by 10am we can get the test report to you by the end of the next working day!


Court approved DNA testing

  • Accredited
  • Consent
  • Sampling
  • Procedures
  • Fully Accredited Laboratory

    The Ministry of Justice maintains a short list of companies who are accredited by the Ministry of Justice to carry out parentage tests as directed by the civil courts in England and Wales under section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969.

    Being accredited by the Ministry of Justice means that Cellmark abides by the the standards originally set down by the Dept. of Health's voluntary code of Practice and the subsequent Human Genetics Commission's "Common Framework of Principles" and the Human Tissue Act. All reputable DNA testing services abide by the Codes of Practice set out in these. Cellmark is also certified to International Quality Standards ISO17025 and ISO27001.

  • Proof of Consent

    Under the Human Tissue Act 2004, consent is legally required for a biological sample to be DNA tested to determine paternity or any other relationship. Written, informed consent must be provided for each adult sample and for each sample taken from a child. Failure to ensure this can open yourself up to the offence of "DNA theft" which is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 3 years and/or a fine of £3000.

    Someone with Parental Responsibility for a child must provide written consent. An unmarried father who is not registered on the birth certificate does not have parental responsibility and therefore could not give consent for the child to be tested. Without the mother's consent to testing he would have to go to court to seek a Parental Responsibility Order to progress the issue further

  • Independent samplers

    Independent samplers must not be related to the sample giver, nor have any financial or personal interest in the outcome of the paternity test. Often people choose to ask a GP or nurse to take and verify samples on their behalf.

    Cellmark offers a nationwide sampling service and provides them with clear user instructions. These instructions should cover: the need to take into account the views of the child where appropriate, the wider welfare concerns of the child and the need to ensure that proper legal measures have been taken to obtain consent as well as details of how the sample is to be collected.

  • Chain of custody

    As a general guide, a court will seek assurances that a paternity test, the findings from which will be used as evidence, has been conducted properly with a clear audit trail, which will show that the correct people provided the samples, that those samples reached the testing laboratory, that the testing laboratory was competent to carry out the tests, and that the results relating to the samples then reached the court.

Please consider that choosing to have a 'peace of mind' or 'curiosity' DNA test may not be the cheapest option - if you subsequently end up having to go to court to resolve the issue you will need to undergo another test - this time a court approved test - so careful consideration of your options is sensible. We recommend that you talk to a third party such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, your GP or a family friend. Alternatively you can call Cellmark free on 0800 036 2522 for free, confidential advice.

May I say how very pleased and impressed I am with your firm’s efficiency and professionalism.

I have been using a variety of different firms for DNA and drug and alcohol testing for years as solicitor for the local authority, before I found you, none others have the approach with all the staff members that I was seeking, or the speed at which you respond to queries, issues etc.. before I came across Cellmark. Thank you.

Other DNA relationship tests

  • Immigration
  • Sibling
  • Grandparentage
  • Maternity
  • Twins
  • Personal
  • Wills & Probate
  • DNA testing for Immigration

    Cellmark has been providing DNA testing services for immigration for customers since 1987. Our results are accepted by the UK Borders Agency as well as immigration departments in countries around the globe.

    If you're looking to register a DNA test in support of your Visa application or as part of an appeal against a decision based upon a disputed relationship and English isn't your or your client¹s first language Cellmark now offers instant translation services over the telephone for the majority of languages.

    For full details of our service please visit our dedicated immigration testing page.

  • Siblings

    Full siblings: Individuals are full siblings when both biological parents are the same
    Half siblings: Half siblings share only one biological parent, either the mother or the father.

    Sibling analysis is not as conclusive as paternity testing. The results will provide a statistical likelihood of whether two individuals are true biological relatives, but sibling analysis cannot provide a conclusive result. If any of the parents of the siblings who are being assessed are available for testing, this will aid the analysis and may increase the certainty of the result.

    As in a paternity test a DNA profile is produced for each person made up of a number of DNA markers. The DNA profiles of the two people are then compared. On average full siblings will share more DNA markers than half siblings, and half siblings share more DNA markers than unrelated people. The statistical analysis performed will determine the most likely relationship given the DNA results.

    Why are sibling tests not conclusive?
    Although DNA testing is highly informative, this test involves assessing a relationship to another person (the alleged shared parent) without actually testing their DNA. This can never be as conclusive as actually testing that alleged parent's DNA. Comparing DNA profiles can provide a strong indication of a sibling relationship. However, it will not always reveal the true nature of the relationship because of the patterns of DNA inheritance. It is possible, for example, for two individuals to have the same parents and only share a small number of their DNA markers. A sibling test can therefore only conclude which is the most likely relationship given the DNA evidence.

    Alternative testing
    In some instances, where both siblings are male, testing using another type of DNA test called a Y-chromosome test may provide useful evidence of the relationship. This type of test can confirm conclusively that two males do not share the same father.

  • Grandparentage

    Paternity testing using paternal grandparents (because the alleged father is unavailable) should ideally include samples from the child's mother as well as from both paternal grandparents. This will provide the same degree of certainty as if a sample from the alleged father had been tested.

    If the mother and only one of the paternal grandparents are available, the test will provide a strong indication of whether the two individuals are related but it cannot provide a conclusive result. The statistical analysis will determine the most likely relationship given the DNA results.

    It is possible to just compare the DNA profile of a child and an alleged grandparent, although we prefer that the mother is tested. This can provide an indication of a relationship but, because of the patterns of DNA inheritance, it will not always reveal the true nature of the relationship. Such an analysis can only report the most likely relationship given the DNA evidence.

  • Maternity

    Maternity testing is sometimes requested when seeking to confirm the identity of a 'birth' mother following an adoption or an allegation that babies were switched at birth. In these situations we recommend that you seek advice from a third party such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, your GP, solicitor or a family friend.

  • Twins

    DNA testing can be used to confirm if two individuals are identical or non-identical twins. This type of DNA test may also be required to confirm suitability for organ or bone marrow donation.

    Identical: Identical or monozygotic twins develop from a single fertilised egg which then divides and develops as two separate embryos. Their DNA is therefore exactly the same, they will be the same sex and they are more likely to look like each other.

    Twins testing can be carried out on a simple mouth swab sample using the same type of DNA analysis that is used for paternity testing. We will provide details of the DNA profiles for each individual and confirm if the results are consistent with them being identical or non-identical twins.

  • Personal DNA Profiling

    Cellmark provides a DNA profiling service allowing individuals and corporate customers to have their DNA profile produced. This is a confidential service allowing our customers to store a DNA sample and a copy of their DNA profile themselves.

    Your DNA profile will be generated from a simple mouth swab taken by an independent sampler with supporting identification and consent paperwork, and a documented chain of custody, which means that it could be used for legal purposes if required.

    The DNA profile produced is the same type of STR DNA analysis used for relationship testing and forensic identification. The chances of two DNA profiles from unrelated people being the same are less than one in a billion. The DNA profile does not provide any medical or other information about the person but provides powerful individual identification from a set of internationally recognised DNA markers.

    Once a sample has been analysed and the DNA profile generated, the DNA sample and profile is returned to the customer. We do not store it - you do not need us to store it on your behalf. The process used by Cellmark allows the DNA sample to be stored, simply and easily, at normal room temperature - for example in a filing cabinet along with other important paperwork.

  • Wills & Probate

    DNA evidence is becoming an increasingly popular means of resolving probate disputes. With people leaving larger amounts of money in their wills and the levels of relationships breaking up, the number of complex probate disputes has risen sharply - DNA analysis provides an excellent way of identifying family relationships.

    Standard DNA Paternity or Maternity testing usually involves testing mouth swab samples from the individuals to be tested. These samples are collected at sampling apppointments at GP surgeries. However in cases where one of the parties whose DNA requires analysis is deceased collecting the samples may not be as simple - Cellmark has extensive experience of dealing with these matters and can provide the information you require.

    If you wish to discuss the issue of DNA testing and Wills & Probate disputes or any other issues concerning DNA testing in special circumstances, please contact our Customer Services team who will be able to advise you further.

Customer service

If you want to speak to us our friendly, professional, customer service advisors are here to take your calls on Mondays from 8.30am to 7.00pm and on Tuesdays to Fridays from 8.30am to 6.00pm. Or you can email us info@cellmark.co.uk or use our online chat or SMS services.

Register a new case

If you have already considered the implications of DNA relationship testing and are ready to register a new case then call us free on 0800 036 2522, and we can take your details and complete the registration over the phone.