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What is an Avuncular DNA Test?

The word "avuncular" (a-vunc-u-lar) is from a Latin term meaning "of the blood of the uncle." An Avuncular DNA Test examines the DNA from a suspected niece or nephew with DNA from a person who may be their biological aunt or uncle. This type of DNA test is used to determine if a biological brother of the possible aunt or uncle is the father of either of the children being tested.

The possible father may be deceased, legally unavailable, unwilling,  or otherwise unavailable to participate in a paternity test with his suspected child, or children, and therefore this test is performed in the alleged father's place. If a legal Avuncular test is conducted, the results can help  to acquire custody,  file for Social Security survivor benefits, to resolve probate issues (estate or inheritance claims), and to establish proof of biological relationship between a U.S. immigration applicant and their U.S. citizen sponsor.

How does Avuncular DNA testing work?

Biological parents equally contribute 50% to their child’s DNA, so that one-half of the child's DNA comes from each parent. Since full siblings share 50% of the same DNA, this means that a biological aunt or uncle will share 25% of their DNA with their niece or nephew. This is the same amount a grandparent would share with their grandchild, which would be the niece or nephew of one of the grandparents other children (a brother or sister of the alleged father). This DNA test is designed to examine the DNA profiles of those testing and determine the probability that they are biologically related as aunt or uncle and niece or nephew.

There are 2 types of avuncular tests:

1. Solo Avuncular DNA Test: One aunt or uncle is tested with one suspected niece or nephew. The mother of the niece or nephew may be included at no additional charge, if her DNA is submitted at the same time as the other samples. The conclusive range is either greater than 90% for inclusion or less than 9% for exclusions.

2. Y-Chromsome DNA Test: The Y-chromosome is a DNA formation found only in males and is passed from a father to each of his biological sons. Due to this pattern of specific male DNA that is passed on, full brothers of an alleged father (the possible paternal uncles) have the same Y-chromosome DNA as the biological sons of the alleged father. If a Y-STR DNA test involving a male child and the full brother of the alleged father shows that their Y-chromosome markers do not match, then the alleged father can be conclusively excluded as the biological father of the child. If their Y-chromosome markers are the same, then the probability that alleged father is the biological father of the child will usually be more than 99%. Y-chromosomes are not passed on by the father to his daughters, therefore Y-chromosome testing cannot be used to test an uncle/niece, aunt/niece, or aunt/nephew relationship.

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Avuncular DNA Test FAQ's

An aunt/uncle DNA test is 100% accurate, and may be performed with only one aunt or uncle and one suspected niece or nephew.  Our labs run all DNA tests twice to confirm results, and the answers we provide are 100% accurate based on the DNA profiles of those being tested.

It takes 1-2 business days to complete testing and post results for standard DNA avuncular testing, once the lab has received all tested parties’ samples. 

Your avuncular DNA test results will be sent to the email address that was provided on the order form. They are sent securely and are in a PDF format.  You will need a PDF reader to view them. We suggest Adobe reader which is secure and free to download. Your results can be opened and viewed, printed, or forwarded depending on your choice to share the information. Only the ordering party, or designated email(s) will receive a copy of the report.

We also provide a booklet that explains in more detail some of what you may see on your report. 

USPS Priority mail is our primary method of sending printed sibling test results, if requested at the time of the order. 

We maintain your privacy every step of the way. All results and information are deleted from our system 30 days after the results are delivered to you (we keep the reports for 30 days in case you have any questions). We never sell or give your information to anyone, including government and private/public databases. No one will ever know this test was done unless you provide them the information.

DNA testing is not covered by health insurance or Medicaid because it is not a “medically necessary procedure.” 

As part of our mission to make the best DNA testing services accessible and affordable, we have partnered with PayPal to offer flexible payment plans to individuals who need time to pay for their tests. For more information on payment options, please click here.

Yes. If the mom can not, or does not want to be tested, we can still perform a avuncular DNA test. A “motherless” test may require more extensive analysis to produce the strongest results, but the results that are delivered to you are just as accurate as those of a standard aunt/uncle test.

Yes! It is possible to test a full sister or brother of the alleged father with a DNA test  to establish whether they are related to the child in question. This testing is designed to determine the likelihood that known siblings of the suspected biological father and the possible niece or nephew are related.

A biological aunt or uncle shares around 25% of their DNA with their niece or nephew. 

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Please click and read this if you are looking to confirm a relationship indicated by an ancestry test

Home vs Legal Avuncular DNA Testing

A legal avuncular DNA test may be necessary when there is a need to prove paternity in a court of law and the biological father is not available to take a paternity test. Other reasons for a legal DNA using and aunt or uncle test may be the need to change a name on a birth certificate, child custody issues, if a will is contested or there are probate disputes, as well as proof of relationship for immigration questions. A legal DNA test will need to be administered by a licensed doctor or nurse or a trained third party collector following a strict chain of custody.  More information on legal avucnular testing may be found HERE.

Our at home avuncular DNA test follows the same laboratory processing protocols as the legal testing, however the DNA collection is done in the privacy of your home. This option is the most common and is the least costly as there is no need to have a DNA collection preformed by someone else. The results of our home DNA testing are exactly the same as our legal DNA testing, just without the chain of custody.

How accurate is a Avuncular DNA test?

We guarantee we provide the most accurate DNA Avuncular test available.

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Aunt-Uncle DNA testing is based on the statistical probability that two or more people are related by bloodlines. The industry standard for DNA testing of this type compares 16 alleles (genetic markers) in an attempt to arrive at a conclusion regarding the suspected relationship.  Journey Genetic Testing holds the position that utilizing the industry standard 16 marker test is not a sufficient basis to perform adequate testing for an Aunt/Uncle relationship. The reason for this conclusion is that we do not believe there are a sufficient number of genetic markers being tested to be confident concerning the results.

Testing a lower amount of genetic material often results in an inconclusive finding on the DNA report. In addition there is a strong probability of a false negative or false positive as a potential outcome. When more genetic markers are examined it means a more accurate DNA test result. It's a scientific fact. We guarantee the DNA testing results we deliver to be at least 1,000 times more powerful than the standard processing occurring today by using a 24 genetic marker base. If necessary to obtain the strongest results, we will arrange for advanced testing of additional genetic markers, at no additional cost to you.

We can certainly obtain results with just one aunt/uncle and one niece/nephew being tested, however we do suggest that whenever possible you consider adding the mother of the child's DNA sample. We do not charge an additional fee for the mother's DNA sample if it is submitted at the same time as the other DNA samples. If the mother is not available to provide a DNA sample, we can still perform the testing.


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An Avuncular DNA test may well contain the most important information you will ever have. We guarantee the highest quality testing at the most affordable prices. We process thousands of DNA samples every year for lawyers, physicians, adoption agencies, and private individuals.

The price for avuncular DNA testing includes our DNA collection kit sent to you by USPS Priority mail, all necessary DNA collection supplies, a prepaid mailer for returning your samples (orders within the USA only), all lab processing fees, and results from our AABB accredited DNA testing lab in as little as one to two business days. If you do not want a kit sent to you for privacy or other reasons, we also allow the option to make your own kit and will email you a case number and step-by-step instructions for collecting and sending your DNA samples to our lab for processing.

Number Of People Testing Processing Time Cost
Child & Uncle or Aunt 1-2 Business Days $129
Child, Mother, Aunt or Uncle 1-2 Business Days $129
Each Additional Child or Relative 1-2 Business Days +$110
Each Non-Standard Sample +5 Business Days +$125

How to collect a DNA sample

Our standard DNA testing procedure, and the most accurate method of collecting a DNA sample, is to use a buccal swab (similar to a "Q-tip" cotton swab) rubbed on the inner cheeks of the mouth of those being tested. Mouth swabs are simple to use and yield enough DNA to successfully complete a DNA test.

We realize that sometimes it may not be possible to provide an oral swab DNA sample and that a person may wish to test other sources of genetic material. Under these circumstances, DNA samples such as hair, a toothbrush, or blood stains known to have belonged to the other person being tested may be able to be used. We are able to test alternative samples for a nominal extra fee.

To learn more about alternative non-standard samples, click HERE.


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