Policies and Confidentiality
We are a private company. We are not the government.
Our office is accustomed to handling sensitive and confidential information, with many years of experience in doing so. We have taken the same professional protective measures for customers' personal privacy as we have for our own company and personal data, as standard operating procedures.
The Managing Director of our company, Mark Prado, has a history of working for the U.S. government in sensitive positions requiring official secrecy, and is very experienced in systems and procedures to protect information. He has trained our company's staff about the importance of confidentiality, as well as standard operating procedures on how to protect sensitive information.
You have different options about:
The two usually go together, so that there are two categories of DNA test:
It is your decision, and we follow your preferences.
Either way, your identity and information are still kept confidential. This is only between you and us, and anybody else you may specify. If you plan to use our report with a government office, then tell us, because they may contact us to confirm the report is authentic.
If you want to put full names onto the report, then:
Each participant who has been identified and photographed is considered as overtly identified. (A report can also have a mix, such as if one of the participants does not bring ID, in which case the report would have a mix of full name(s) and first name(s) of participants.)
Sometimes, a parent who is an alleged biological father brings his child to us without the mother present. That is OK. We do not try to find out who is the mother. We report to the customer, who in this case was the alleged biological father. However, if the mother contacts us and requests to get the results of the DNA test, then we must provide it to her, as the mother has a right to know. We do not proactively try to find nor reach out to the mother in situations like this, but if she somehow finds out about the DNA test and contacts us, then we must comply. Notably, this is very rare. However, the mother must show her government issued photo ID and identify herself as the mother.
Sometimes, for example, a mother will come to our office with a copy of a DNA report showing that the man is not the biological father, and just wanting to make sure it is a real report from us, not just a trick by the man, and that we are reliable. We must confirm the test to her.
In a situation of alleged father, child, and mother all coming to us to test, and if the father is our customer -- the person who contacts us, initiates the test, and pays for it -- then when the results are ready, we can report to the father first. However, again, if the mother also requests the results, then we respond by giving them to her, such as when she contacts us and asks.
Likewise, a child who has been tested has a right to the DNA result, of course. All parties tested have a right to the DNA result.
All of the above apply to situations where we have identified the people taking the test, so that we can put their full name(s) onto the report.
Anonymous or Mail In Specimens
For Do-It-Yourself mail-in or dropped-off samples, as discussed elsewhere on this website, we do not allow a full name on a report, only first names or nicknames, because we have not identified you and taken your samples ourselves. (This is to prevent potential fraud in the world.) This is discussed elsewhere on this website.
In these cases, if the mother was not tested, then an alleged mother cannot simply walk into our office with ID and ask for anything, unless the customer (usually the alleged father) contacts us and authorizes it in advance, unless she can somehow prove to us that she is the mother (such as by another DNA test). Otherwise, we deny the alleged mother. We normally contact the customer to find out whether or not his person is the mother. If the customer (alleged father) identifies her as the mother, then we must give her the results. Parents have a right to the DNA results of their children, but they must be able to clearly identify themselves as the parents.
Likewise, if you come to our office or call our staff out to your location to let us swab you and the child but you do not want to give your ID nor have any photo taken, then it is the same as a Do-It-Yourself or dropped-off samples as regards policy, unless the alleged mother can show us very, very convincing evidence that she is in fact the mother.
No alleged mother has successfully done this to date, but some ladies have come to us claiming to be the mother, who we have denied information to.
Sometimes a mother will want to submit an unusual DNA specimen from a possible father such as fingernails, swabbed semen, a cigarette butt, hair with roots, ear swabs, or blood. This is OK. We can swab the child and check to find out whether or not the man is the biological father. If the man ever finds out, then the same policies apply, if he ever finds out and ever comes to our office.
Lost DNA Test Report
Occasionally, somebody loses a DNA report and wants another copy. They must contact us by the same email address or other contact means they used before, or which they communicated to us before in person. We have a Customer Contact Form where they can list additional people and communications IDs (phone number, email, chat, etc.). If they have lost all their previous means of contacting us, then they must come to our office with government issued photo ID.
All participants of a DNA test, i.e., all who submitted a DNA specimen for the report, automatically have a right to receive the report or to specify an additional party to receive a report. All parents also have a right to receive the report. We normally do not seek out parents. However, if a parent comes to us requesting a copy, then they have a right.
A parent can be either a biological parent or a "social parent". Social parents include alleged fathers who come to us as a test participant together with the child and submit a DNA specimen for the test, husbands who have raised a child from birth as a guardian assuming it is their own whether or not they are sure, and men whose names are on a birth certificate of the child tested whether or not they are married to the mother or are the biological father. There can be more than one "father", similar to cases of stepfathers and adoption. It can sometimes be ambiguous, like a lot of things in the world, and open to varying interpretations and opinions.
If you want anybody else who is not a participant nor a parent to have access to the DNA report, such as a friend in town, then you must identify them to us in advance of their receiving the report.
If you have any questions about these or other situations, then please contact us.
This is a brief page. We have an additional page with more details about information security and anonymous DNA testing.
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