Paternity testing can already be a nerve-wracking process for all participants involved. This is why it is important for expectant mothers in need of a paternity test to make an educated decision about if pre-natal testing is the right choice for her or if it’s preferable to wait for the child’s birth to get tested.
Non-Invasive Fetal Cells Analysis Test
Although it’s generally called “non-invasive,” a fetal-cells analysis paternity test cannot be performed with cheek-cell samples like a post-natal test. Instead, it requires blood samples from both the mother and potential father. Fetal cells are present in maternal blood, and this allows scientists to create a limited genetic profile for the baby as early as 9-14 weeks into a pregnancy. That profile is compared with those of the mother and possible father in order to determine whether or not the baby is biologically related to the man being tested. Unlike the CVS and Amniocentesis tests outlined below, this test presents no risk whatsoever to the baby or mother.
CVS Sampling for paternity testing Paternity Tests can be performed as early as 10-12 weeks. Samples from the child can be collected using CVS (chorionic villus sampling), which is an invasive collection through the vagina and cervix to gather placenta. It can also be collected with a thin needle through the belly. This is done for collecting Chorionic Villi which are tiny growths found in the placenta. The material in the chorionic villus cells are the same as the baby’s cells and can be used for paternity DNA testing.
Amniocentesis for paternity testing Paternity testing is also available if you are past the 12-week mark. Amniocentesis is usually performed at 15-20 weeks. The amniocentesis collection process is done by putting a needle through the belly into the uterus to collect amniotic fluid.
After the child’s samples are collected, the mother and alleged father’s samples can be done using buccal (cheek) swabs, and sent in for paternity testing with the child’s sample. The biological mother and alleged father’s samples can be done as a self-collection for peace of mind paternity testing, or a legal collection (collected by a third party) to have the paternity results used for legal purposes such as child support.
The Bottom Line
If you decide one of these pre-natal tests must be done, it must be a decision made alongside your physician. There are risks involved with the CVS and Amniocentesis procedures, including miscarriage . Your physician can help determine if mom and child are healthy enough to undergo either of these procedures. In many cases, physicians will not agree to do these tests for the sake of determining paternity alone. All three of the above tests are very expensive and are generally not covered by insurance.
If you decide pre-natal testing isn’t for you, the baby can be swabbed immediately after birth and a buccal swab DNA collection can be done on all participants. Post-natal testing costs only $89 + the price of a paternity kit.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! If you have questions about paternity tests or other DNA testing services, please contact our Client Support Center at 888-404-4363, Mon-Fri from 9 AM to 6 PM Eastern Time. Our friendly, expert representatives are ready and happy to help. Get answers anytime by visiting our Help Center.