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DNA Testing – Key Considerations

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There are several things one should consider before opting for DNA testing. A DNA test may be fairly harmless to undertake but you shouldn’t underestimate its potential consequences. Those who choose DNA testing often do so as a last resort and the results of the test become increasingly important. DNA testing shouldn't be considered as an option until you’re sure that you’re ready to accept the outcome, no matter what it is.

Preparing for DNA testing

Depending on the reasons for the DNA testing you may wish to seek advice before you even call to request a DNA testing kit. Perhaps you’ve already spoken to a medical professional or therapist who has mentioned the possibility of DNA testing as part of your treatment or recovery. It’s important to realise that the results of your DNA testing could have a negative effect or a positive effect on you and that even a positive result may not be the end of the road as far as you're concerned.

Seeking advice before the test

If you’re considering DNA testing, particularly as a way of finding out whether you are a certain child's father, or perhaps to assist you in tracing your own parentage, it’s worth sitting seeing a counsellor before you take the test. Talking about your current personal circumstances and discussing what you want to get from the DNA testing process can help you get things straight in your own mind. The counsellor will also be able to advise on strategies that may assist with anxiety when you take the sample and whilst waiting for the results.

When the results come back

If you have chosen a clinic that handles DNA testing at a distance, the results of your test will come by post, and you may wish to have someone with you when you open the results in case they don’t provide the answer you were hoping for. If this is the case, have a friend or relative on standby so that when your results arrive, you can call them to come and sit with you, or perhaps open the results for you. If the results are not what you expected or hoped, you may want to see a professional counselor again to make sure that you deal with the news as well as possible.

Remember that even positive results can have a long-term effect on you, and your problems or stresses may not cease simply because you have the confirmation you had sought. DNA testing is often just a small step in a long process, and you should always treat it as such.


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