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Personal vs. Legal Paternity DNA Test

There are two kinds of DNA paternity test:

  1. A "Personal" test is the lower price test, at 9800 baht.

  2. A "Legal" or "Legal Chain of Custody" test is usually for official purposes -- immigration, courts, registration of a newborn at an embassy, insurance, inheritance, and occasionally other applications, at 16,400 baht.

The "Personal" test is by far the most commonly requested because it is cheaper, and personal tests have been accepted by governments in many cases. However, a Legal Chain of Custody report is more likely to be accepted by many officials, and should be recommended. It is ultimately up to the particular official or government policy.

For example, we have done dozens of Thai citizenship cases using the "Personal" test whereby the mother was from Myanmar or Laos, and the alleged father was Thai, which were accepted by the Thai government (indeed, Thai government officials have initiated contact with us to request our services). The Thai court and other applications have also accepted our personal test.

The two tests are exactly the same in the laboratory as regards DNA checking and the DNA data on the DNA report. The percent probability of paternity is the exact same. There is no difference in quality as regards laboratory testing.

The cost difference is only because of the extra administrative procedures and formal documentation for the legal chain-of-custody report, whereby the laboratory charges us more for all that. There are certain formal requirements which must be followed to get a standard legal chain-of-custody report issued by the laboratory in the USA.

We usually talk or communicate electronically or by postal mail with the government officials in advance, but sometimes people have just walked into our office and we contacted the government later. We recommend that you call and talk with us first before making a decision.

We have 3 main kinds of test:

  1. Personal, which can be anonymous or with real full names, with only the simple personal report provided

  2. Personal Enhanced, which has the same report as the simple personal test above, but adds some extra documentation, photos, a Thai translation, and the contact information for our office in Bangkok. This has been used successfully many times for government and other official purposes. It is usually the same cost as the personal test, 9800 baht, if it follows our same format used over the years, but please contact us first to discuss which government you would use it with and discuss your needs.

  3. Legal Chain of Custody test, which gets a legal report which includes a Notary Public stamp, the contact information of the laboratory in the USA, and different wording on the report outside the data part. (The data is the same; the differences are administrative.)

We do very similar procedures for the Personal Enhanced report as we do for the Legal Chain of Custody test, but the reports are different. We understand that many Thai people as well as expats find the Legal Chain of Custody test to be very expensive, so we offer a hybrid alternative and try to help. We've had good relationships with Thai government officials for a long time, and a good track record in Thailand (especially with our expat director being here for 20+ years and having worked for the US government before in Washington, D.C., so knows how many things are done in officialdom), so we do the Personal Enhanced process routinely.

There is a Standard Identification Process (SIP) for putting a full name onto a report, or a Personal Enhanced or Legal Chain of Custody test:

  1. We must see and make our own copy of the government issued photo ID of all participants, or an original birth certificate or embassy registration of birth document for a child with no photo ID (we must make a photocopy in our office or take a photo using our mobile phone in the field), and

  2. We must take a photo of the participants at the time of the test.

Obviously, these don't apply to an anonymous personal test. If just a one word name or alias, then no ID nor photo required.

To be even clearer, the differences are as follows:

Personal test:

Personal Enhanced:

Legal Chain of Custody

If you plan to use the report for anything else besides just your personal knowledge, then you should discuss your potential applications with us before the test, as we have experience in this. We are willing to contact various third parties to find out what they require, such as Thai government offices and foreign embassies. We can make some reasonable extra effort to conform a personal test to some third party requirements, often at no extra charge, as we have many times before, when it is all discussed in advance. We cannot make any guarantees about whether or not a third party will accept a personal report without talking with the officials in advance and coming to an understanding and agreement. If we do not talk with the officials in advance, and you just try to use the report later, it may still work, as it has before, but it may not.

The co-founder and co-director of our company, Mark Prado, has worked for the U.S. government before and is familiar with how government organizations function, as well as experienced in working with officials to work out procedures and solutions to the satisfaction of requirements.

We have a separate section of this website on embassies and Thai government requirements about DNA paternity tests, which includes various requirements and issues. In this section, we wish to stay focused on the documents themselves and the general processes in common for all.

For personal tests using a full name, we keep your information on file so that if we are later contacted by a person you authorized to confirm your DNA test, we can provide additional information. This is often what governments want -- an established local entity which is trustworthy and accountable, and is properly organized as regards records. There is no extra charge for keeping your records; it is included in the cost. We are very organized. If the government later requires additional documents to be prepared, there might be a reasonable extra charge for this work, which we would propose to you and wait for your agreement on, as we must go back into our archives to remember your case, retrieve your files, and confirm everything. Whether or not there is any extra charge, and if so then how much, depends upon the requested work involved, and how much later you come back to us.

If you wish to stay anonymous and do NOT want to put your real name nor any full name onto the report, then we do not require that you show your ID or otherwise identify yourself to us if you wish not to, though in these cases you must use only a one word alias. We don't need to know who you are. No ID, no photo. We do not keep any extra information on file.

For example, for an alias, you could use the word "Tree" for yourself and "Sapling" for the child, or any aliases you can imagine.

For an anonymous personal test, you cannot change the names on the test report later. You would need to do another test following our standard identification process for putting your full names onto the report, and be charged the standard fee for another test, whereby you are issued a new report, and a new record is created in our system.

Once you do a personal test, it cannot be converted into a legal chain-of-custody test. You would need to test again if you later decide you also want a legal chain-of-custody report, and be charged separately the standard fee, with a new record created in our system, and using the laboratory's paperwork and procedure for a legal chain of custody report.

Notably, over the years, we have been asked multiple times to do things like issue fake reports, and offered money for it. We have always refused, and we always will say "No". We are not that kind of people in life. We don't care that corruption is common and other people do it. We don't. We also do not fake things for personal, non-official purposes. Please do not request it. If you do, the answer will be "No", full stop. (Since we've been asked, I would think other DNA testing companies have also been asked ...)

Life is not just a business to maximize the amount of money to make. Life is also about the kind of person you are, and your relationship with the world and the universe in doing the right things.

We have company policies and standard operating procedures which are well thought out and maintained, based on experience as well as anticipating possibilities.

We have many years of experience with DNA testing, including in Thailand going back 20+ years, but being the DDC Corporate Partner in Thailand since 2010 based on our confidence in the DDC from experience.

We have dealt with a wide variety of peoples' needs, preferences, and concerns.

The best thing to do is discuss matters with us in advance, which could save you a lot of time and effort in figuring out what you need. Discussions in advance are free, and there is no obligation. We understand the needs and preferences of many kinds of people. We often give advice and help guide people regarding various situations, including beyond DNA testing.

If you do a DNA test with us, we can try to help you make a decision on whether a cheaper personal test is sufficient, or whether you should do a legal chain-of-custody test, based on our many years of experience.

We also believe in privacy and confidentiality about your personal information. There is another section on this website about privacy on confidentiality.






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