A paternity test can be defined as a medical blood test which cross-checks an unborn child’s DNA with that of a certain man (the alleged biological father), to establish a relationship between them. In simpler words, paternity tests are DNA tests which determine if a certain individual is the biological father of an unborn child.
Recommended Laboratories for Paternity Testing
According to the “American Pregnancy Association,” one should get a paternity test done from laboratories which are authorized by the AABB (American Association of Blood Banks). AABB has recognition all over the world as a leading accrediting source for DNA testing. Apart from that, AABB has its own relationship testing program with the name of “AABB Relationship Testing Accreditation Program.” This particular program of AABB has set quality standards and also evaluates and provides recognition to different laboratories who are concerned with “relationship testing.” Also, the American Pregnancy Association supports DNA Diagnostic Centers (DDC), because of the standards that they have maintained throughout while providing services and also keeping their focus on personal health and hygiene. Moreover, the DDC is also accredited by the AABB, thus, giving it a further strong and reliable position for DNA testing. Here’s a list of paternity tests that can be conducted while pregnant:
Non-invasive Prenatal Paternity Test (NIPP)
Also known as NIPP, and with an accuracy rate of 99.9%, this is one of the most accurate and reliable paternity tests out there to take while pregnant. By amalgamating both the use of the latest technology and the ways in which DNA is preserved, this paternity test checks the unborn baby’s DNA (which is naturally found in the baby’s mother’s bloodstream). The non-invasive prenatal paternity test can be conducted anytime after the span of 8 weeks of the pregnancy by taking the baby’s mother’s blood sample and also that of the alleged father against whose DNA it is being checked.
Amniocentesis Paternity Test
The procedure for this paternity test involves the doctor doing an ultrasound, and using it as a guide to insert a needle into your uterus taking the pathway of your abdomen. The needle inserted is then used to draw out a fluid like substance which is known as the amniotic fluid. This drawn-out fluid is then analyzed during the paternity test. However, this is a procedure that has its cons, which include:
- The baby can be harmed because of the needle’s insertion.
- One also has to keep in mind that this procedure comes with the risk of having a miscarriage.
- The mother can also experience episodes of cramping.
- The leaking of the amniotic fluid is another problem to be considered.
- The threat of vaginal bleeding is also attached to this particular paternity test.
- This particular paternity test is usually conducted in the second trimester.
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
The procedure for this particular paternity test involves the doctor using an ultrasound as a guide to insert either a thin needle or a tube into the mother’s vagina through the pathway of the cervix. The purpose of inserting either the needle or the tube is to collect a certain amount of sample of a substance which is known as the chorionic villi. The chorionic villi are the finger-like pieces of tissue that sprout from the chorion and can be found attached to the wall line of the uterus. Chorionic villi provide the most contact area of the fetus with the mother’s bloodstream. Moreover, the fact that both the chorionic villi and the fetus are a product of the same fertilized eggs further helps with the DNA testing. The time span for the Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) is the 10th week – 13th week of pregnancy. It is recommended to take this test as early as possible, for more accurate paternity test results.
Other Types of Paternity Tests
While you’re here, listed under this section are different types of paternity tests that can be performed.
After The Child is Born
This particular paternity test is conducted after the birth of the child. The postnatal paternity test is either conducted right after the birth of the child or after the baby has been released from the hospital. When conducting this particular paternity test right after the birth of a child, the sample is collected from the umbilical cord. Whereas, if this particular paternity test is done after the baby has been discharged from the hospital, it is done through collecting the sample either from a cheek swab or a buccal or simply through collecting the blood and then performing a blood test.
- There are two broad options which are available for parents to choose from.
- This particular paternity test is not that much time-consuming.
- The postnatal paternity test can either be performed immediately after the birth of the baby or after the said baby has been discharged from the hospital.
- This particular paternity test can be costly – with both hospital and lab testing costs.
Simple Paternity Test
This particular paternity test is also known as the “peace of mind paternity test.” To conduct this particular paternity test, one just has to purchase the paternity test kit either online or from any of your local drug stores or retailers. Once you have purchased the paternity test kit, the only thing left to do is collect the sample at home and then after collection, either send the collected sample to the nearest lab for DNA testing or drop it off yourself.
- This particular paternity test can be conducted in the privacy and hygienic environment of your own homes.
- As you are either sending or dropping of the sample, the processing fees of the laboratory and hospital are also minimized.
- This particular kit is not yet available everywhere.
- It is difficult to determine if the people sending the sample or dropping it off are truly providing their sample. Thus, this makes the test results inadmissible in court.
The Legal Paternity Test
The legal paternity test is taken by people usually if they feel that they may need the “evidence” in a court of law or for some other legal procedure. In this particular paternity test, a third party collector, who is completely independent and unbiased, is responsible for either collecting or supervising the collection of the DNA sample. Then, the collector sends the collected sample himself to the lab for testing.
- The samples collected can be used in a court of law.
- It is an easy and convenient procedure as collectors are operational everywhere.
- It is an expensive method as additional fees are also included, such as those of the collector.
Understanding the Importance of Paternity Tests
Listed below are the reasons as to why a paternity test should be conducted.
Recommended Read: 5 Reasons You Might Need A Legal Paternity Test
- Paternity tests are conducted to take advantage of social welfare benefits. These social benefits include social security, veteran’s benefits (which are benefits given to families of those enlisted in the armed forces), the right to inheritance and other such welfare and legally determined benefits.
- By conducting a paternity test, the doctor can better manage the child’s health. This is because the medical history of the parents would also be available with the doctor, hence allowing him or her to diagnose any potential health issues that the child may develop now, or later on in life. For example, heart disease, diabetes, cancers, etc. are hereditary.
- Paternity tests are also mandatory during immigration, especially when necessary documents such as a birth certificate, etc. aren’t available.