What is a prenatal paternity test?

You might have found yourself in a situation where you are considering getting a prenatal paternity test, you’ll understandably have a number of questions and concerns, so read on below to find out more about the process and what you can expect.

How does a prenatal paternity test work?

It might surprise you to learn that during pregnancy, the DNA of your foetus is present in your blood stream and by taking a prenatal paternity test, the parentage of your child can be determined. This procedure is fairly non-invasive and uses maternal blood to sequence and analyse the blood and is safe for both the mother and the unborn child. There are some forms of DNA testing out there that can be dangerous to the mother and foetus and could cause a miscarriage to occur, but new methds are very safe and relatively risk free. Non-invasive testing is now very advanced and very accurate and can be used to determine the parentage of a child with 99.9% accuracy, it can also be used to test more than one single possible father to more accurately determine who the child’s parents are. These prenatal paternity tests are usually performed for the peace of mind of the parents involved and are not admissible in a court room, if you need admissible results you’ll need to get a court order.

How many weeks pregnant do I have to be?

To have a prenatal paternity test performed you’ll need to be at least seven weeks along although optimally you’ll be at 10 weeks along, this can help to ensure you get accurate results. Providing a sample too early can mean that there is not enough DNA from your foetus in your blood to get an accurate result.

What samples do you have to supply?

To get results you’ll need to provide a blood sample from the mother and a few mouth swabs from the potential fathers, most providers will send you an easy at-home collection kit to get your samples and you’ll just have to simply mail them back to your provider or take them to a doctor or pathology facility to have the sample properly collected, there is usually a small cost involved.

Getting your results

Once the lab receives your samples they’ll be able to start processing and analysing the DNA. Most will usually have the results ready in around ten to fifteen working days from receiving your samples but you can often get this fast tracked for an additional cost and reduce the time to receive your result to about seven working days.

Why you should consider getting testing performed

A prenatal paternity test can put the minds of parents at ease and clear up any questions about the parentage of a child. They are very useful in situations where people are not sure about who the father is. For many people, the long wait until the end of a nine month pregnancy is too long and they need answers from early on in the pregnancy. Getting DNA checked with a non-invasive procedure is safe and can save people from a lot of pain, frustration and heartbreak later on down the road. Clarifying the correct parent is very important as having a child is a huge commitment.

Something to remember…

There are certain situations where getting DNA testing performed may not be the most appropriate action to take. Those with certain conditions like cancer, toxaemia or who have recently received a blood transfusion, organ transplant, bone marrow or recent stem cell therapy are not eligible for testing.

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