What It Costs
What you can expect to spend on personal DNA testing depends a lot on your goals. If you simply want to have your DNA analyzed in order to learn more about your ancestry, or to determine paternity, a number of websites offer inexpensive testing options that can accomplish these things. The cheapest paternity DNA tests start at about $100 and you can do a search online to find a host of options. But it is important to note that if you need the test results to stand up in court to prove your relationship to a child for a custody or child support case, the price can be considerably higher. In fact, it can go up to as high as $600 in order for the analysis to be fully documented in order to be legally binding. Some companies also offer expedited results around for an additional fee. To trace your ancestry, websites such as Ancestry.com charge $200 and up and in exchange for this fee, they will examine your DNA and find other people who match your specific DNA markers and therefore may be related to you in some way. Both of these types of DNA testing are relatively straight forward.
But if you are want more detailed analysis, including your predisposition toward various illnesses, then you should plan on investing more money in the process. There are several companies on the forefront of this field and the prices they charge range from $400 on up to $2,500. On the low end, you can get some basic genome testing performed by 23AndMe, which in addition to providing test results also offers internet-based education and tools to help participants understand the findings. Or, for $1,000, you can try deCODE Diagnostics’ version of the DNA test. This price also gives you access to a wealth of information and interactive online tools to make sense of the results. Finally, a company called Navigenics requires a higher financial commitment: $2,500 up front for testing, plus $250 a year to subscribe to the website. In exchange for this investment, you will receive personalized genetic counseling to help you decide how best to respond to your findings and what, if any, lifestyle changes you should make as a result of the information. In addition, regular updates will be provided for customers as new markers are identified for different diseases and new treatment approaches are found to be effective.
So you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 for a basic paternity test on up to $2,500 or more to learn about your genetic health risks.
While the concept of finding out your genetic predisposition to certain diseases may sound tempting, keep in mind that not all companies offering to help you with this endeavor are legitimate. Critics warn that some DNA testing companies will offer to sell you vitamins and supplements that are supposed to address the conditions for which your DNA shows you may be at risk. If you are considering getting personal DNA testing but aren’t familiar with the company’s reputation, find out more first to be sure it is a reputable business. For more information on how to safeguard yourself, you can access an online report called Dubious Genetic Testing, which is provided by a company called Quackwatch.