When the pregnancy was around 12 weeks, I made several inquiries to DNA Plus about their fetal cell prenatal paternity test. Phone calls to a Dr. Barry and a Bruce seemed overly casual, off-the cuff, and awkwardly timed. E-mail responses were choppy and similarly casual. I should have known by the impersonal way that DNA Plus communicated with customers that this was not a professional operation.
Nevertheless, because the pregnant mother refused to do an invasive CVS or amniocentesis, and because the DNA Plus site claimed that their non-invasive fetal cell prenatal paternity test was reliable, we moved forward with DNA Plus. I made my $200 deposit and paid the remaining balance of $1,049 ten days later.
A red flag went up when my credit card payment needed to be made to Rebel Productions. Another red flag went up when I learned that DNA Plus has to make up a story about a research project in order to get hospitals to make appointments and draw blood for their customers.
At 14.5 weeks, as scheduled, we went to the hospital for the blood draw. We had the blood sample spun, packaged with my cheek swab and all the paperwork, and shipped off to a lab in Canada in a pre-addressed Fed Ex envelope.
In the three weeks between the test and results, I did some more research on DNA Plus. Turns out that their prenatal paternity test is not accredited by the AABB, the governing body over DNA-based paternity tests, and the results do not stand up in court. I found many unfavorable reviews from DNA Plus customers, some saying that their results were unreliable and others saying that DNA Plus was an outright scam operation. I also learned that the technique of collecting viable fetal cells from maternal blood is theoretical and experimental. The research studies on the DNA Plus web site, when the links work, only seem to confirm this.
The results from DNA Plus stated that I cannot be excluded as the biological father of the fetus, which according to their web site, meant there was a 99+% chance I was the father. I contacted DNA Plus, asking them if this in fact meant that there was a 1% chance I was NOT the father. Their reply suggested that the 1% inaccuracy is caused by people mislabeling samples and not from flaws in their scientific technique. My samples and files, according to DNA Plus, were clean and in order. I was the father.
This was an unfavorable result for me, and the next six months would be the most difficult in my life.
The baby was eventually born with a blood type that makes my paternity a genetic impossibility. A subsequent DNA test with the other alleged father confirmed his paternity.
I sent DNA Plus a long letter requesting they refund my money for the inaccurate and likely fraudulent test. After responding with a series of poorly constructed arguments, they refused.
I filed a dispute with my credit card company over the charge. After submitting the results showing another man as the father, I successfully had the charge reversed and got my money back. But no amount of money can make up for six months of emotional distress.
DNA Plus is playing an unbelievably selfish, careless, and dangerous game in an effort to make a few bucks. Spread the word.