DNA Testing FAQs

You’ll find the answers to commonly asked questions about genetic testing here. If you have any other questions about DNA testing that aren’t listed, we’ll be happy to answer them for you – just contact us to speak with one of our staff.

The following video explains the sample testing process.


1. How much does DNA paternity testing cost?

A standard legal paternity test costs $1275.00 (including GST). All paternity tests carried out by DNA Diagnostics are court acceptable and processed within New Zealand in an ISO 15189 accredited laboratory.

The cost of a paternity test covers collection of samples from anywhere in New Zealand, transport of the samples to DNA Diagnostics, processing the case and release of a written report.

2. When does payment need to be made?

Payment for private DNA tests must be made when samples are taken. Samples WILL NOT be processed unless full payment has been made.

Payment for cases referred through a lawyer and/or the courts must be made within 1 month of invoice.

Please refer to the payments page for options on how to pay.

3. When can I make a DNA test booking?

You can make a booking for collection of your sample as soon as you are ready. Please refer to the list of collection centres.

4. Who needs to be tested for a paternity test?

The alleged father and the child must be tested and it is preferable to test the mother as well. The result is more conclusive when the mother's sample is analysed. If the mother is a legal guardian and she is not willing to be tested, she needs to complete an affidavit to confirm her identity, and consent for the child's sample to be used, if the child is under 16 years of age. Download a consent form in PDF format.

5. Can I have a paternity test without the mother’s permission?

For a paternity test we require consent to test the child from all guardians, if the child is under 16 years of age. The mother, at least, is usually a guardian but if the mother's guardianship has been legally transferred to another person, that person must provide the consent and proof that they are a guardian.

6. Can a child consent for a paternity test?

Any child of the age 16 and over is able to consent for parentage testing.

7. Can a paternity test be done if the alleged father is deceased?

If there is a sample available from the deceased alleged father the test may be possible, with permission for the use of the sample from the next of kin or person with the power of attorney. The types of samples that have been used to date are a blood sample or tissue sample taken at death, or tissue existing from a histological sample obtained prior to death. Grandparent testing, where both biological parents of the deceased alleged father are tested, can substitute for the alleged father. A test substituting the deceased alleged father's sibling or one biological parent is possible, but unlikely to provide a strong result.

8. Does everyone need to come to the collection centre together?

Separate appointments can be made, if required. A recent true likeness photograph must be provided for every person having a sample taken. The photographs are retained on file. Additional photographic identification such as a passport, driver licence or evidence of age document should be provided if available.

9. What type of sample is required for a DNA test?

A mouth swab sample is taken or if preferred, you can provide a blood sample.

10. How old does the child need to be for parentage testing?

There is no minimum age for the child.

11. Can a prenatal paternity test be done, before the child is born?

A prenatal paternity test can be done using either chorionic villi or an amniotic fluid sample. Referral is needed from a medical professional who will receive the result. The cost for taking the chorionic villi sample or amniotic fluid sample is additional to the cost of the paternity test.

12. Will DNA testing hurt?

A mouth swab sample is simply a special cotton bud wiped inside your cheek and is painless.

13. Do all DNA samples need to be taken on the same day?

Samples can be taken on different days. We will extract the DNA from the sample(s) received and store the DNA until all samples are received and processing can continue.

14. Where can DNA samples be taken?

Please refer to the list of collection centres for a centre near you.

15. Can a DNA sample be taken overseas?

Samples can be taken overseas. We will coordinate with you either arranging a sample collection at a collection centre or by contacting the individuals GP to see whether they would be willing to perform the sample collection. Samples are couriered to us directly and most will be received within 3 days of collection via our international courier.

16. What identification is needed?

A recent (less than 3 months) true likeness photograph, preferably passport style, is required as well as photographic identification from every person having a sample taken. Acceptable photographic identification includes drivers licence, passport, 18+ card, firearms licence. If the individual does not have photographic ID then a birth certificate, hospital discharge papers or the Well Child (Plunket) Book is an acceptable alternative.

17. How long before the DNA test result is released?

Paternity testing results are released within 7 days of receipt of FULL payment and ALL samples. Relationship testing requires a number of complex calculations and can therefore take a bit longer.

18. Who receives the DNA test result?

Our company policy is that all participants have a right to the result. Therefore we will not allow one party to deny access of the other party to the result, regardless of who has paid for the test. The result is sent to the parties concerned or their nominated representative(s).

19. How accurate is paternity testing?

The DNA test is extremely accurate and can exclude an alleged father from paternity. The paternity index value provides the level of certainty for the test when the alleged father cannot be excluded from paternity. We aim to achieve a paternity index value of better than 100,000, meaning that the DNA evidence is 100,000 times more likely if the alleged father is the biological father rather than unrelated to the child.

20. Can I have my sample destroyed at the end of the test?

We can destroy the sample at the end of the test if we receive a special request to do so. If destruction is requested, a note will be attached to the final report to indicate that the sample will be destroyed in one month unless instructions to the contrary are received. If we do not receive indication that the sample is to be destroyed we will store it for the minimum retention period legally required and then it will be destroyed. We do NOT store samples for extended periods.

21. How much does a retest cost?

A retest with a new alleged father is $975.00 (GST inclusive). This amount must be paid when the second alleged father provides a sample or the lawyer(s) must guarantee the payment.

22. Are new samples required from the mother and child for a retest with a new alleged father?

In some cases, we can use samples from the first test in a new test. To check, please contact DNA Diagnostics on 09 571 0474 or . We require appropriate consent and identification for the reuse of any sample. A consent form will be provided upon request to DNA Diagnostics. Alternatively you can download a retest consent form in PDF format.

23. Is there a cancellation fee?

The cancellation fee is $450 per test grouping if samples have been collected and received.

24. Will alcohol, drugs or food affect the DNA test?

The DNA test will not be affected by alcohol, drugs or food.

25. Can you detect drug or alcohol levels when doing this test?

You only consent to us conducting the testing specified. It would be illegal for us to run any other test without your consent. The methodology used and the equipment that we have within the laboratory does NOT enable us to conduct drug or alcohol testing.


Contact us if you have any further questions.