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Frequently Asked Questions

Need more help? Contact us at or 1-888-343-1632.

Frequently Asked Questions

Need more help? Contact us at or 1-888-343-1632.

How is my child’s DNA sample collected?

Once you purchase the Nurture service, we will send you an easy-to-use collection kit that can be used in the comfort of your home. The kit includes a gentle cheek swab to collect a sample from the inside of your child’s cheek. You will also receive a pre-paid envelope to send the sample to the lab.

How can Nurture’s genetic counseling help me and my child?

We know understanding genetics can be complicated. Your Nurture genetic counselor is available before and after testing to help you understand the benefits and limitations of testing and to inform and educate you about your child’s results and recommended next steps. Counselors can also support your pediatrician by helping to interpret results and identifying specialists if needed. Learn more in Nurture’s Guide to Genetic Counseling.

Will you send me to another company to access genetic counseling?

No. All of Nurture’s genetic counselors and care navigators are employees of Nurture. No shuffling between inside and outside support teams. You’ll receive education, support, and guidance from the convenience of one organization and all from Nurture’s in-house genetic experts.

What can I expect to learn from the results and what’s included?

Nurture’s medical experts have selected more than 400 genes associated with childhood-onset conditions that are actionable. Learning that your child has an increased risk for one of these conditions allows your family to take action in order to access the right care as soon as possible.

When can I expect to receive results?

You can expect to receive results about 4 to 6 weeks after your child’s collection is received at the lab.

What if I don’t understand the results?

Please call us. Our genetic counselors are here to support you before, during, and after you receive your results. We know understanding genetic results can be hard to understand, and we are here to help.

Can Nurture report a false positive or a false negative?

Genetic testing is highly accurate, but no test is 100% perfect. Nurture may recommend follow-up testing or an exam with a specialist to confirm your child’s result. There could be a situation where a result indicates an increased risk for a specific condition, but follow-up diagnostic testing confirms your child doesn’t have that condition. This is referred to as a “false-positive” report. Though uncommon, there are instances where a result indicates no increased risk was found, but follow-up testing confirmed a diagnosis. This is referred to as a “false-negative” report.

How can Nurture’s Care Navigators help me and my child?

If your child’s lab results indicate an increased risk for one of the conditions on Nurture’s screening panel, our care navigators will assist you in locating the right specialists to ensure that your child receives the best possible care as early as possible.

Will my child’s lab results automatically be sent to my pediatrician?

When you activate your sample collection kit, we will ask for your pediatrician’s information. If that information has been provided, your child’s genetic screening result will be automatically sent to your pediatrician’s office. We highly recommend sharing your pediatrician’s information so that your child can receive seamless care from the Nurture team and your pediatrician.

How will Nurture share my child’s data?

As a parent or legal guardian you are in control of your child’s data. When you activate your sample collection kit, we will ask for your pediatrician’s information. If that information has been provided, your child’s lab results will be automatically sent to your pediatrician’s office. You may choose not to provide pediatrician information at that time, but later request Nurture to share results on your behalf. Nurture will not share your child’s identifiable data without your written consent. We have designed a highly secure infrastructure to comply with HIPAA regulations and meet PCI standards. To learn more about how we use personal information collected on our website, please read our Privacy Policy.

How will Nurture protect my child’s genomic data?

Your child’s genomic data is stored by our partner Broad Clinical Labs. Broad has a 30-year track record of handling large volumes of sensitive patient data. They have completed sequencing on half a million whole genome samples and counting. The systems used to host genomic data at the Broad meet the highest rigorous information security standards to achieve compliance with industry-accepted general security and privacy frameworks.

Can my child’s genetic information be used against them?

There is a federal law, the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA 2008), that protects against genetic discrimination in the workplace and through one’s health insurance. For example, a health insurer cannot establish premiums based on genetic health information, and an employer cannot use genetic health information to hire or fire someone. Read more about how GINA protects individuals from the misuse of genetic information in health insurance and employment.

Will insurance cover the cost of Nurture’s service?

No. Insurance doesn’t typically cover whole genome sequencing for healthy newborns; however, Nurture’s service may be HSA or FSA eligible. Please check with your plan’s administrator to confirm.

Is the Nurture service eligible for FSA/HSA reimbursement?

YES! Please contact us at for a detailed receipt that can be used with your FSA/HSA provider after you have activated your kit.

Are there any eligibility requirements for ordering?

Yes. Your child must be 18 or under and reside in California, New Jersey, or Texas. If your child has had an ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) procedure or a bone marrow transplant, they are ineligible at this time.

Who can order the Nurture service?

The parent or legal guardian of the child to be screened can order from Nurture’s website. No doctor visit is necessary. After an order is placed, Nurture will send the order to an independent physician to verify eligibility and approve it. Once approved, a DNA collection kit will ship to the address provided.

How does the Nurture service work?

Learn about everything about the process from ordering to genetic counseling in our How Nurture Works video.

What is included in the Nurture collection kit?

The collection kit includes a sterile swab for collecting saliva from inside your child’s cheek, instructions for activating your kit and collecting the saliva sample, and a box with a prepaid label to mail the sample to our lab partner for processing.

When can I expect to receive my Nurture collection kit?

You can expect to receive the collection kit within two weeks of purchasing Nurture’s service.

What is included with Nurture’s service?

Nurture’s service includes whole genome sequencing to screen for 400+ actionable, childhood-onset conditions, plus genetic counseling to help you understand your results. Early Access Members get additional Premium services in the first year. They include:

  • Access to genetic counseling throughout the journey, pre- and post-test
  • Care navigation to direct you to the right specialist for follow-up care
  • When needed, help in facilitating appointments on your behalf
  • A consult with your child’s pediatrician to discuss screening results
  • Information about clinical trials your child may be eligible for
  • Secure storage of your child’s genome for timely access for any future needs

Why might my order be deemed ineligible by an independent physician?

Nurture’s service is intended for healthy newborns and children. An order may be deemed ineligible if the individual that the service is purchased for is over the age of 18 or has specific health concerns that warrant a different type of test.

What is your refund/return policy?

If you have placed your order, but have not submitted a sample, you are eligible for a 100% refund for one year starting from the date of purchase. Once you have submitted a sample, you are no longer eligible for any refund. In all cases, Nurture cannot accept returned/unused kits. If you do not wish to continue with the test, we ask that you dispose of the kit.

How do I contact Customer Care?

You can reach Customer Care by email at or by phone at 1-888-343-1632, Monday thru Friday, 9AM to 5PM Eastern.

What can genetic information tell us?

Genetic information provides the basic instructions for everything in your body, from what you look like to how your muscles work. Most genetic changes are normal variants that do not cause or increase your risk for serious health problems. Some genetic changes impact your physical appearance, like height, but don’t have a health impact, and some genetic changes can result in serious health problems. Although your genes can not provide insight into all health conditions, scientists have found more than 6,000 genes that can cause genetic conditions.

Is there a difference between genetics and genomics?

Humans have approximately 20,000 genes. When we study one gene, or a select number of genes, we usually refer to this as genetics. When we study all genes, we refer to this as genomics. Visit the National Human Genome Institute for more information.

What is whole genome sequencing?

Also known as WGS, whole genome sequencing is the process of reading through all of your DNA that makes up your genome (all of the DNA across all 20,000 genes). The goal of WGS is to identify each of the 3 billion pairs of building blocks (technically referred to as “nucleotides”). Once the genome is fully sequenced, analysis of the genes can be used to identify if there are any changes in the genome that increase the risk for a genetic disorder. Watch Nurture’s How Genomic Sequencing Works video or read more from the National Library of Medicine.

What is the difference between next-generation, exome, and genome sequencing?

Next-generation sequencing describes the technology used to sequence a gene or an entire exome or genome. It replaced an older technique of sequencing called Sanger sequencing. Most labs today use next-generation sequencing.

Each gene is made up of alternating sections called exons and introns. Exons are the parts of a gene that are used to create the protein while introns are non-coding regions of the gene (however, they do include information that can be used to turn the gene on and off). Whole exome sequencing sequences all exons of all genes. Whole genome sequencing sequences all of the exons and introns. Whole genome sequencing provides the most in-depth analysis of a person’s genetic code.

What is included in Nurture’s screening panel?

There are thousands of genetic conditions that can present in childhood and adulthood. Some are treatable and some are not. Nurture’s panel will look for known genetic changes that cause treatable childhood-onset conditions. Nurture screens for more than 400 pediatric-onset rare conditions where identifying an increased risk would change the medical management of the child. Nurture includes blood disorders, neurologic conditions, metabolic conditions, conditions that impair immune response, endocrine conditions, and others. See our complete Gene List for details. Please note: Nurture is intended as a screening test for seemingly healthy infants and children. If you have a concern about your child’s health and you are seeking a genetic diagnosis, please contact us for more information.

Does Nurture screen for all childhood conditions?

Nurture does NOT screen for all possible genetic causes of childhood conditions.

Does Nurture screen for adult-onset conditions?

Nurture does NOT currently screen for adult-onset conditions. Nurture follows guidelines of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC), American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG), and Committee on Bioethics of the American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP), which all advise against genetic testing of children for adult-onset conditions.

If my child has an increased risk result, what does this mean?

Children with an increased risk result are at risk to develop symptoms of the condition and should seek follow-up care. Although we have selected genes that are associated with conditions that typically develop in childhood, there may be variability in the age of onset. In this case, our genetic counselors and medical specialists will help you understand what medical follow-up may be needed to better understand your child’s health risks. See our Gene List for details on what is included.

What is NOT included in Nurture’s screening panel?

Nurture does NOT screen for all possible genetic causes of childhood disease. Nurture does NOT screen for adult-onset conditions. Although our curated list of genetic conditions focuses on identifying childhood-onset, treatable conditions, some of the genes reported through our service are connected with a broad clinical spectrum that results in varying age of onset and variable symptoms. It is possible that you could receive a positive result, and upon further evaluation and workup, your child may not currently be at risk for early-onset symptoms. If you receive a positive result, our genetic counselors will help you understand what medical follow-up may be needed to better understand your child’s health risks. See our Gene List for details on what is included.

Who is Nurture’s screening panel for?

Nurture’s genomic sequencing service has been designed for healthy newborns and children. Most of the conditions included will manifest by age 3. However, some of the conditions included have onset later on in childhood. In addition, although Nurture will only analyze and report on 400+ genes, your child’s genome will be stored and available to you. Having access to your child’s full genome can be useful if your child develops any health concerns in the future.

How is Nurture’s service different from routine state newborn screening?

Newborn screening is a state-based public health program that checks babies for some serious conditions that are treatable when found early in life (typically within the first 1 to 2 months). A national committee reviews and advises on potential conditions to be screened for, but each state has the independent responsibility to decide which conditions will be included in their state’s newborn screening panel. States currently screen for anywhere between 31 and 77 conditions. Nurture is designed to be used in addition to routine state newborn screening.

Why would I need Nurture if I’ve already had carrier testing?

Carrier screening looks for genetic diseases where both parents must be carriers to have an affected child (autosomal recessive), or where mom may be a carrier and she has an increased risk to have an affected son (X-linked recessive). Carrier screening varies between testing labs and can range from just a few genetic conditions to hundreds. In most cases, these conditions are selected based on their frequency and severity, but not their treatability. Testing can take place prior to conception or during pregnancy.

Nurture’s service is for the baby and takes place after birth. While there is some overlap in the conditions that Nurture includes and on some carrier screening panels, Nurture’s comparison against a leading carrier screen with more than 400 genes found only 37% overlap. (Data on file.) See our Gene List for details on what’s included in Nurture’s screening panel or visit the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for more information about how carrier screening works.

I know I’m a carrier of a genetic condition. Will Nurture tell me if my child is also a carrier for that condition?

Carrier status will only be reported in select conditions where carriers have been reported to develop symptoms. Please contact for additional information.

Will Nurture’s reporting tell me if my child is a carrier of a genetic condition even if there is no increased risk for the condition?

Nurture will not report on carrier status. However, some of the reported conditions can be so mild in some individuals that the person remains asymptomatic. We can not determine disease severity based on genetic testing alone. This can happen particularly in females with an X-linked condition. Appropriate genetic counseling and medical evaluation are recommended in these situations.

Is Nurture only useful for children with a family history of genetic conditions?

No. Family history is always an important piece of risk assessment, but it isn’t everything. There are many types of genetic conditions that are passed through families unknowingly.

Some genetic conditions are passed through a family by silent (unaffected) carriers (people who have one genetic change for the condition). A child can only be affected by the condition if both parents are carriers. Because most families don’t know they are carrying one of these conditions, they are “hidden” and there is no family history.

In addition, some conditions, called X-linked conditions, typically appear in males but not females. In this group of conditions, it is possible that mom is an unaffected carrier and that there have been several generations of unaffected carrier females before an affected male is born in the family, making it appear as though there is no family history.

Finally, genetic conditions can also appear in a family due to a new genetic variant that arises in the egg or the sperm that created the child. These changes are spontaneous and are not linked to a family history of the condition.

How is Nurture different from other DNA testing services?

Nurture uses state-of-the-art technology to sequence your child’s genome and analyzes for 400+ medically actionable conditions. More importantly, Nurture is more than just a test. Nurture is a genomic-guided care service that includes genetic counselors, medical specialists, and care navigators to help you understand the results, make best use of your insights, and navigate next steps.

Who is Nurture’s laboratory partner for whole genome sequencing?

To facilitate our groundbreaking work, Nurture has partnered with the innovative team at the Broad Clinical Labs, a subsidiary of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a community of researchers founded in 2004 to fulfill the promise of genetic medicine. Broad Clinical Labs is a CLIA/CAP-accredited laboratory with a 30-year track record of delivering on transformative projects in the field of genomics. Learn more about CLIA and CAP certifications and why they matter.