DNA Test - El Paso, TX
Health Street provides DNA tests and legal paternity testing in El Paso, Texas at 2 conveniently located testing laboratories. Call (915) 247-0680 or schedule online. We offer legal paternity tests, sibling studies, grandparent DNA tests, avuncular (aunt or uncle) testing, and postmortem DNA testing to determine if people are biologically related.
Set up DNA testing appointments online. Test results can be used in court for child support or to change a birth a certificate; it can also be used for simple peace of mind. Appointments can be scheduled together or separately. Legal DNA tests are done by cheek swab at our testing centers. We can also extract DNA samples from hair follicles, fingernails, and other specimens.
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Paternity Testing in El Paso TX
There are several types of DNA testing services that are offered at our El Paso testing centers to validate close family relationships. The most commonly ordered DNA test is a legal paternity test to conclusively establish whether or not a man is the biological father of a child. Health Street's 21 marker DNA paternity testing is the state of the art. Our paternity test results are statistically conclusive at the rate of 99.9% or greater.
Other DNA Tests
Relationship Tests to validate grandparent to grandchild, siblings, half-siblings, aunts, and uncles:
DNA tests such as sibling or avuncular studies, can sometimes come back with a result of less than 95% certainty. This is normal, especially if only two parties participate in the test. Adding an additional close relative to the test helps us learn more about the family's DNA composition and typically leads to a more conclusive result.
Specimens we can test for DNA
The easiest and most reliable way to perform a genetic sample collection for a paternity test is by a swab of the inner cheeks. These skin cells, known as buccal cells, rub off easily onto cotton swabs and remain in place, to be extracted by our testing laboratories for anlalysis.
Other specimens, such as hair follicles, fingernails, and garments that might contain someone's DNA, can also undergo lab testing to see if there is a match. These non-standard DNA tests are done by registering online for an Alternative Specimen DNA Test (Nails, Teeth, Fabric). Once registered, you ship the DNA sample to our lab. We'll attempt to extract the DNA and compare it to a cheek swab of the other party.
Legal DNA Tests vs. "Peace of Mind" At-Home Tests
When deciding which type of DNA test is right for you, consider first what you might do with the results. In order for the results to hold up in court, the DNA specimen must be collected at a clinic using strict chain of custody procedures. The DNA testing technicians at our El Paso test centers are trained to follow guidelines that ensure that the results can be used for legal purposes.
The results of our legal DNA tests can be used for any legal purpose:
Home tests offer more flexibility:
Home DNA tests are specimens containing DNA (or possible DNA) that are shipped to us for analysis. The results of these home tests cannot be used in court (since there is no way to prove whose specimens were actually sent). However, the tests are just as accurate and can provide peace of mind. At-home DNA tests also offer a lot more flexibility.
In addition to commonly mailed in DNA specimens like hair follicles, we can also extract DNA from other bodily fluids. We can even try and lift the DNA left on items like clothing, a toothbrush, or a straw. If we can get the DNA from the alternative item, we can then compare it to another person to see if they are related. Some examples include:
How to schedule a DNA Test in El Paso TX
Scheduling a DNA test at one of our El Paso clinics is simple and fast, and we often have appointments available in the same week, though it's always helpful to schedule in advance to make sure you get the time you want. We have clinics in El Paso, plus many more throughout Texas and across the United States. During registration, we'll show you the nearest locations so you can choose the one that's most convenient. You'll pick the times and days that you prefer.
You can set up separate appointments for each of the people being tested, either at the same location or at different locations. You'll get an email and text message with your appointment information. There is no fee if you need to change the time or location of a DNA test appointment at any time.
How long it takes to get results of a DNA test
Paternity tests conducted at one of our El Paso facilities typically take about a week to come back. Other relationship tests, such as sibling studies, can take a few days longer to come back. When the results are ready, you are notified immediately via email. Then, the hard copies of the paperwork are sent afterward via regular mail.
The DNA test appointment - what to expect and what to bring
The appointment itself only takes about 15 minutes. The specimen collection process is a simple and painless cheek swab. No needles are used. When you're being tested at our El Paso clinic, you'll be asked to provide fingerprints and to show photo identification. We'll also take pictures of the people being tested so that the final report will include legal assurances of who was actually tested.
For infants, hospital discharge papers qualify as identification. Otherwise, a birth certificate or social security card can be used as ID for a child. No other preparations are required for this appointment.
Does the mother need to be present at a paternity test?
If a man is considered the legal father of a child, then the mother does not have to be present or give consent for paternity testing. However, if he is not currently considered the legal father, then he cannot sign for the child. Therefore, the mother does need to be there. If neither parent is available, other legal guardians can bring the child so long as they have the right to make medical decisions on the child's behalf.
DNA testing if one party is not in El Paso
The two parties testing (for example: father and child) do not have to be tested at the same time or even at the same location. We have many clinics across Texas as well as nationwide, so we can test one party in El Paso and the other party anywhere else in the USA. The specimens are then matched up in the lab for analysis.
Health Street works strictly with AABB Certified labs for DNA testing. All specimens that are collected in El Paso or elsewhere are shipped securely from our testing locations to a nationally certified laboratory.
Proving Paternity for Child Custody Purposes in El Paso
The El Paso County Family Court is located on 500 E. San Antonio Ave. in El Paso. Child custody cases are determined at the Family Court. If there is a dispute over the identity of a child's biological father, the Family Court will order a DNA test for mother, prospective father, and child. If the test determines paternity with 99% degree of certainty, the court will name him as the child's biological father.
In addition, there are three Texas Attorney General Child Support Division offices in El Paso, including the El Paso Central office on Hawkins Boulevard. If paternity for child support needs to be proven in El Paso, the Child Support Division can order a DNA test for the prospective father. Cheek swabs may be taken at court, in a local clinic, or in the local Child Support office.
If there is no dispute over who a child's biological father is, El Paso parents can complete the Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) form and submit it to their local Child Support office and the Family Court.
Local DNA Stories in El Paso
Attempting to prove U.S. citizenship, a man accused of multiple types of fraud and convicted in Washington State conducted one of the most bizarre attempted paternity frauds ever documented.
Michael Peter Spitzauer, sentenced to over 6 years in federal prison in 2018 for multiple financial and fraud-related crimes, was ordered back to prison in 2019 for aggravated identity theft. Spitzauer legally changed his name to Michael Peter Scott Spitzauer McCune to try to claim U.S. citizenship and reduce penalties for his many crimes.
Spitzauer and a female accomplice falsified a DNA test and concocted an elaborate cover story about an El Paso father, James McCune, who had searched for years to find his lost son. The falsified test purported to show that Spitzaeur, an Austrian immigrant, was McCune's son. Spitzauer was charged with aggravated identity theft because in addition to falsifying the DNA test by using his biological son's DNA and his own DNA purporting to be McCune's, he stole the identity of an El Paso, Texas baby, Michael S. McCune, born in 1967. The real baby born in El Paso, Michael S. McCune, only lived for less than 24 hours.
Notable Historical Events Related to DNA Testing in El Paso
In May 2019, the Department of Homeland Security initiated DNA testing to establish family relationships in people who have crossed the U.S. border and are applying for residency or citizenship. El Paso, which is across the Mexican border from Ciudad Juarez, was one of the two locations selected for the testing program.
According to Britney Walker, a Department of Homeland Security spokesperson, 84 families were part of the initial three-day DNA family relationship test period in El Paso. Out of these families, 16 included children who were not biologically related to the adults who had presented themselves as their parents. The tests were conducted with the family members' consent.
DNA Testing Experience
Health Street has been performing genetic tests nationally since 2010; our first DNA test in El Paso, TX was in July of 2011.