As scientific technologies continue to evolve and improve, more and more people are considering having their DNA tested.
DNA tests can serve multiple important purposes, from determining the existence of biological relationships to detecting health conditions and predisposition to certain diseases.
However, because DNA can reveal such sensitive and, in some cases, life-altering information, it’s crucial to use a reputable, scientifically-backed company to carry out your testing.
In this article, we’re going to be providing an in-depth review of Affinity DNA, one of the most well-reviewed UK-based DNA testing services.
We’ll be including reviews of the range of services provided by Affinity DNA, along with background information, evaluations of their customer service, pricing, website, and ethical standards.
Affinity DNA was founded over 10 years ago and is based in Hove, England.
Since being set up, the company has been accredited by the UK Ministry of Justice, the AABB (American Association of Blood Banks), the ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation), and many more organizations.
This DNA testing company provides an impressive range of services, from basic paternity tests to ancestry tests, health tests, and animal DNA tests.
Affinity DNA is so named because of the multiple relevant definitions of the word ‘affinity’, which denotes both natural understanding biochemical compatibility. Read on to find out to what extent Affinity DNA upholds the meaning of its name through its services.
Paternity tests are the most commonly sought DNA tests so, as is the case with most DNA testing companies, Affinity DNA’s paternity test is its most popular service.
Affinity DNA offers its paternity testing services in a variety of forms, so no matter your personal circumstances or testing requirements, you can get the results you need to set your mind at rest.
The standard paternity testing option offered by Affinity DNA is the Home Paternity Test. This test is easy and quick to take using the provided mouth swabs. Sample collection should only take a couple of minutes, and results will be ready in 3 to 5 days from the arrival of the samples at the lab.
If you require a prenatal paternity test, Affinity DNA can provide you with one as early as the 9th week of your pregnancy. All that’s needed is a medical blood sample from the mother and 4 mouth swabs from the alleged father in order to determine paternity.
This test is non-invasive and is actually the first (and currently, the only) non-invasive, AABB-accredited prenatal paternity test on the market.
Because prenatal tests are more complex than other forms of paternity testing, this test is significantly more expensive than the other paternity tests available through this company, and the results will take a little longer: 7 to 10 working days as opposed to 3 to 5.
There are cases where paternity needs to be proven in a court of law. These instances can include custody disputes and inheritance-related proceedings.
In order for the results of this test to be admissible in court, the Legal Paternity Test offered by Affinity DNA cannot be conducted from home and must be completed under the supervision of a medical professional such as a doctor or nurse, and legally valid photo identification will need to be provided before the test can take place.
Affinity DNA’s legal and immigration testing is a highly efficient service that provides results in as little as 3 to 5 days from when the samples arrive at the lab.
Affinity DNA’s Discreet Paternity Test allows for methods of DNA testing outside of the standard mouth swab method, such as nail clippings or hair.
Not only does the Discreet Paternity Test enable a more flexible and discreet method of testing, but it also has the added benefit of being the cheapest paternity testing service available through Affinity DNA (although prices can vary depending on the kind of sample used).
Of course, there may be instances when biological relationships other than paternal relationships need to be verified.
For this reason, Affinity DNA has a range of other relationship testing services. These include sibling, aunt/uncle, grandparent, twin, and maternal DNA tests. Mitochondrial, Y-Chromosome, surrogacy, and genetic reconstruction tests are also available.
Most of these tests provide results in 3 to 5 working days and can be conducted using 2 simple mouth swabs. The Y-chromosome test takes slightly longer at 5 to 7 working days, and the genetic reconstruction test takes 7 days.
Surrogacy testing can vary in terms of price, testing methods, and result times depending on a few different factors, so Affinity DNA advises customers to contact the customer support team for more information.
We mentioned Affinity DNA’s Prenatal Paternity Test in our overview of the company’s paternity testing services, but Affinity DNA offers even more in the way of prenatal testing.
In addition to the Prenatal Paternity Test, Affinity DNA provides non-invasive Prenatal Gender (sex) testing and a non-invasive test for Downs Syndrome.
Like the paternity test, the Gender and Downs Syndrome tests are completely non-invasive, requiring only a simple blood draw.
The Gender test can be done from home using a finger-prick blood sample from the 9th week of pregnancy. Results are 98% accurate and are made available in 8 working days. An express service is also available for an additional fee which can provide you with your results in just 4 working days.
The prenatal Downs Syndrome test relies on a 10 ml blood sample from the mother to screen for Downs Syndrome as early as 10 weeks into a pregnancy using Illumina’s Verifi technology. This test even works for twin pregnancies and egg donors, and results take just 5 working days.
If you’re curious about your ancestral lineage, Affinity DNA can illuminate your past with its exciting range of ancestry DNA tests.
The Ancestral Origins test will provide information on your GeoGenetic world population links, complete with a 10-page report and a colored map.
The DNA Origins test is designed to tell you about your bio-geographical ancestry. With your results, you’ll receive a certificate displaying your ethnicity percentages in a table.
If you want to find out about your paternal lineage, Affinity DNA’s Paternal Lineage Ancestry test can use your Y-chromosome DNA to determine your haplogroup affiliation.
Women or people who don’t Y-chromosomes can also take this test using the DNA of their closest male relative. Similarly, the Maternal Lineage DNA test can determine a person’s maternal haplogroup. These test results include a certificate, personalized map, and a manual to aid interpretation.
Affinity DNA’s AncestryDNA test provides a basic overview of your heritage, while the Living DNA Ancestry test is more advanced and breaks down your heritage over 80 world regions up to 10 generations back.
The MyHeritage Complete DNA package, meanwhile, allows you to build your own online family tree and comes with a free trial.
Affinity DNA’s genetic testing services can tell you whether you have a genetic predisposition to certain common health conditions.
The Genetic Predisposition test tests for predisposition to up to 35 different conditions using mouth swabs. Results take between 19 and 21 days to be made available.
The Coeliac and Lactose Intolerance tests will tell you whether you suffer from either of these conditions using DNA from mouth swabs. These results will take 2 to 3 weeks to arrive.
Many of us have had questions about our health and fitness levels at some point in our lives. For example, you may have wondered why a particular diet or exercise regimen isn’t working for you when others have been successful.
Or maybe you’ve tried a wide range of skincare products to no avail and want to know once and for all what kind of skincare routine you should be following.
These situations, and many more besides, are what Affinity DNA’s health testing services are here to help you with.
These health tests include Diet and Nutrition tests, Exercise and Fitness Tests, and Wellness and Lifestyle tests. Skincare, food and drink intolerance, and gut microbiome tests are also available, amongst others.
Affinity DNA’s health tests are conducted either using mouth swabs or small blood samples.
Humans aren’t the only ones who can benefit from DNA testing. There are many DNA tests for animals available on the DNA testing market, and Affinity DNA offers a large selection of such tests.
DNA tests are available for cats and dogs, so whether you’re hoping to find out exactly what breed your dog is or check your dog or cat for specific diseases, Affinity DNA allows you to do so.
Result times for different tests vary, with some taking as little as 10 days and others taking up to 6 weeks.
Affinity DNA also provides other services that don’t necessarily fit into any of the categories outlined above and are less in demand than other services.
These services include an Infidelity DNA test, semen detection, DNA profile testing, DNA banking and storage, DNA sequencing, DNA art portraits, and express services.
Extensive information about all of these services can be found through Affinity DNA’s website.
The first thing most potential customers want to know before investing in a DNA test is how accurate the results are likely to be.
Affinity DNA provides results that are, for the most part, over 99.9% accurate, with 100% accuracy in certain cases (for example, where a man is conclusively not the father of a child).
Certain tests, such as prenatal gender tests, are slightly less accurate, with accuracy ratings of 98% indicated on the company’s website.
Affinity DNA tests 21 genetic markers to ensure optimal accuracy in all of their tests.
As is to be expected, the prices of Affinity DNA’s tests vary quite significantly between services. This is because some tests are more complex than others and require different testing methods.
For example, the home paternity test is one of Affinity DNA’s cheapest services because it’s a standard type of DNA testing that only requires the use of mouth swabs and doesn’t need to be conducted in the presence of a professional.
Meanwhile, prenatal tests are amongst the most costly and can run up to 10 times more expensive than standard paternity testing.
Generally speaking, however, Affinity DNA’s services are roughly in the mid-range for reputable and accurate DNA tests. In some cases, individual services may be slightly more expensive than average.
However, considering the level of accreditation attached to this company and their fast and efficient service (more on this later), their prices are overall quite reasonable.
The company website is a fundamental part of any DNA testing service.
In order to provide the best possible customer experience, a DNA testing company’s website needs to be comprehensive, informative, and easy to navigate.
So, how well does Affinity DNA’s website meet these standards?
Affinity DNA’s website is well laid out, with all the information sections you’d expect to see along the header bar. These sections include the home page, a ‘DNA Tests’ section, ‘About Us’, ‘FAQs’, and ‘Contact Us’.
Each section has its own drop-down menu so that you can select the specific information you want to find. Alternatively, you can click on the main section header for access to all the information under that section.
A contact email and phone number are provided clearly at the top of the webpage, along with a link to all of the company’s offices.
Affinity DNA’s policies and terms and conditions are easily accessible through links at the bottom of the webpage.
The information provided through Affinity DNA’s website is very detailed and specific to each individual testing service.
Scientific background, result accuracy, testing methods, legal requirements, expected waiting times, and price points are all indicated for each test. Where these factors vary significantly, Affinity DNA provides contact information for a confidential consultation and further information.
However, we did notice some minor inconsistencies in the information provided on the website. For example, the Genetic Testing information overview section claims that 34 conditions are tested for in the Predisposition test, but then specifies 35 conditions in the specific testing information section.
Now you know exactly what services Affinity DNA provides.
But what is the real-life experience of using Affinity DNA like?
Affinity DNA provides efficient and confidential customer support from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm (UK time).
Affinity DNA offers an inclusive range of payment methods to make their tests as accessible as possible to everyone.
You can pay by debit or credit card, bank transfer, PayPal, or even by postal order, so payment incompatibility need never get in the way of you accessing the company’s services.
Affinity DNA ships its sample collection packages both locally and internationally, so wherever you are in the world, you can rely on Affinity DNA’s services. Naturally, shipping may take longer for international orders, but for the most part, delivery is prompt.
All kits are sent out in plain white envelopes marked ‘Private and Confidential’. No indication of the contents of the envelope or any details regarding the company are included on the envelope.
As we’ve already mentioned, the results provided by Affinity DNA are highly accurate, with most tests yielding results that are over 99.9% accurate and, in some cases, 100% accurate.
From the day your samples arrive at the lab, results for most tests should be made available by email within 3 to 5 days. With certain tests, such as prenatal tests, results may take longer due to additional complexity.
In these cases, results should be available within 7 to 10 working days. Genetic and animal test results may take up to 3 weeks. Ancestry and health tests take the longest to produce results, with some wait times of up to several weeks.
This is a highly efficient service that provides results much faster than some other competitor companies. Most customers really appreciate receiving their results so quickly via email. However, emailed results may pose a slightly elevated security risk due to the prevalence of online hackers.
It should be noted, though, that any DNA testing service comes with a certain risk of unauthorized access once the results leave the lab, and this is outside of the company’s control.
DNA testing is an extremely sensitive and personal process, so the ethical standards of DNA testing companies are of the utmost importance.
Luckily, Affinity DNA adheres to the strictest ethical standards, so you can enjoy complete peace of mind when using its services.
As we touched on earlier, Affinity DNA is accredited by many reputable organizations and meets all the necessary laboratory standards.
Full and informed consent is always legally required from any party whose DNA is being tested through Affinity DNA’s services, and consent forms are provided with sampling kits where appropriate.
- Highly accredited
- Confidential and professional
- Wide range of test services
- Fast and efficient service
- Emailed results raise some concerns about security
- Some minor inconsistencies in the information on the website
Overall, having thoroughly researched Affinity DNA’s services and standards, we are able to highly recommend this company as a reliable, ethical, and customer-friendly DNA testing service.
The range of services and tests provided by Affinity DNA means there’s a test for just about every eventuality or circumstance, and with the lowest accuracy of all the tests being 98%, you can be sure that you’ll receive accurate results.
Affinity DNA respects your privacy and handles every interaction in complete confidentiality, except where you have otherwise consented to details of your testing procedure or results being shared.
The only potential issue with this service is the fact that results are sent via email, which can leave sensitive information exposed to hackers if serves and email accounts are inadequately protected.
However, emailed results mean a faster turnaround, and unauthorized access can also happen with physically mailed results, and the company cannot be held responsible for this.
If you’ve been looking for a fast, confidential, accurate, and reasonably-priced DNA test, whether it’s for yourself, your child, or your pet, Affinity DNA is an excellent choice.