Several different forms of sample collection work well for DNA testing. This page describes the most common forms of collection used for DNA tests.
The simplest and most painless way to collect a DNA sample for a paternity test is through a buccal swab, or a swab of the inside of the cheek. A buccal swab is performed by using cotton swabs, much like long Q-tips, or swabs made of other materials to rub along the inside of the cheek. Buccal swabbing can be performed by either a professional or yourself, depending on the type of DNA test you are taking.
Blood samples can be used for paternity testing, although greater risk is involved in collecting them than in performing a buccal swab. If you are already having blood collected for something else, you can request that a portion be set aside for use in a paternity test.
Blood samples should only be collected by licensed medical professionals such as doctors or nurses.
Other DNA Samples
If the father or child is not available to be tested, it is possible to use other DNA samples for paternity testing. Hairs with the roots, a toothbrush used by the missing party, or tissue samples from a deceased party are some examples of alternative DNA samples that can be used. These samples must first undergo viability testing.
For prenatal testing, DNA samples from the developing fetus can be collected through amniocentesis or chorionic villi sampling (CVS). Both of these procedures must be performed by an OB/GYN, as they present a greater health risk than collecting blood samples or buccal swabs.
It is important that you speak with the company through which you plan your paternity test before you make a decision on which type of samples to use.