Paternity testing can already be a nerve-wracking process for all participants involved. This is why it’s important for expectant mothers who have paternity questions to make an educated decision about whether or not a prenatal DNA paternity test is the right choice for her or if it’s preferable to wait for the child’s birth to get tested. It’s essential to know up front that a prenatal test costs a whole lot more than a postnatal one, mainly due to the extensive amount of analysis involved with isolating an unborn child’s DNA profile: so weigh your options carefully.
What Is a Non-Invasive Prenatal DNA Paternity Test?
A non-invasive prenatal DNA paternity test is called “non-invasive,” because it doesn’t involve sample collection through the vagina, cervix, or belly. A fetal-cells analysis paternity test uses a small blood sample from the mother from which the fetus’s DNA can be profiled. Fetal cells are present in maternal blood, and this allows scientists to create a limited genetic profile for the baby as early as seven (7) 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. The sample from the possible father is collected via a simple cheek swab. Unlike the CVS and Amniocentesis tests outlined below, this test presents no risk whatsoever to the mother or the pregnancy.
Learn more about a non-invasive prenatal DNA paternity test
CVS Test for Paternity Testing
CVS sampling for paternity testing 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 Test 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 collected 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 about Prenatal Paternity Testing
Of the three tests listed above, only the non-invasive prenatal paternity test presents absolutely no risk whatsoever to the mother or pregnancy, and it is becoming more and more popular as a result. But it’s essential to be wary of cut-rate labs and choose a laboratory that you can trust to provide accurate results. DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC), parent company of the IDENTIGENE postnatal-paternity test kit, offers the only non-invasive prenatal paternity option that is accredited by the AABB. This means only DDC maintains strict standards of accountability for prenatal DNA paternity testing, including analysis, PhD review, and documentation.
If you think that either a CVS or Amnio prenatal test must be done, it should 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. The tests are are generally not covered by insurance if the only reason for doing them is to answer a paternity question.
If you decide prenatal testing isn’t for you, the baby can be swabbed immediately after birth and a buccal (cheek) swab DNA collection can be done on all participants. Postnatal testing costs only $139 + the price of a paternity kit.
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