With the widespread availability of at-home paternity testing kits, thousands of parents are finding reliable results for that all-important question: “Who is the father of the baby?” But kits on the retail shelves are designed only for after the baby’s born. What about a paternity test while pregnant? Some of the reasons you might want to choose a prenatal paternity test include:
- Wanting to eliminate the nagging stress of not knowing who the father is right now and having to wait months before knowing for sure
- Making sure the right person is there to help you through your pregnancy, right up to and including being there for the delivery
- Wanting to start getting legal arrangements going, including child support and custody
Choices for Prenatal Paternity Testing
Traditionally, the only tests available used to be amniocentesis and CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling), which are invasive tests that may cause miscarriage. Because of this, most doctors do not offer these tests anymore for determining paternity alone. Fortunately, advances in DNA technology have brought about completely safe, non-invasive prenatal paternity tests that provide answers earlier than ever.
How it Works: Getting a Paternity Test While Pregnant
- At a doctor’s office or clinic, the mother’s blood is drawn and the possible father’s DNA is collected via buccal (cheek) swab
- Free-floating DNA from the baby is contained in the mother’s blood stream; those cells are isolated from the mother’s and a DNA profile for the unborn child is obtained
- The baby’s DNA profile is compared with both the father’s and the mother’s and a probability of paternity is able to be established
Quick Facts about Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing
- The mother must be 8 weeks (or more) pregnant
- A paternity test while pregnant is not an option for a woman carrying multiple fetuses (twins or triplets) because current technology does not permit the isolation of multiple babies’ DNA profiles
- The cost for a high-quality and reliable non-invasive prenatal paternity test is approximately $1,600, and payment plans are usually available
- The medical facility that collected samples works directly with the paternity testing lab to get the samples processed and analyzed. Results are generally returned in about one week and they can be used in court, since DNA collection was witnessed
Final Thoughts about Getting a Paternity Test While Pregnant
DNA testing is a booming industry right now and you may find companies online advertising unrealistically inexpensive prenatal paternity tests. Beware of trusting a lab without doing a little research of your own first, because there really are differences in quality and service. Your results are too important to leave to chance. Choose a highly-accredited and respected paternity testing lab with years of experience—you’ll be glad you did.
Do you have questions or comments about prenatal paternity testing? Share in the comments and we’ll answer.