You might be surprised to learn that studies suggest that as many as one dad out of every 25 is not the real father. That's 4% of all families.
That's why it's important for men or women who have doubts to get DNA testing. And you don't have to wait until the baby is born. Prenatal paternity tests are available in at-home test kits.
Read on to get the answers to the most common questions about prenatal DNA testing.
Is a Prenatal Paternity Test Risky for the Baby or Mother?
When people research prenatal DNA testing, the first thing they want to know is if it is dangerous to the mother or fetus.
In years gone by, there were some paternity tests that could have put a fetus at risk. Collecting a baby's DNA was done by using a large needle to pierce through mom's stomach to extract amniotic fluid. This came with a slight risk for miscarriage.
But these days, a non-invasive paternity test poses no risks to either the mother or the unborn baby.
How Does the Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test Work?
Once people are assured that prenatal DNA testing is safe, they next want to know how a paternity test works.
Non-invasive paternity tests use the latest advances in technology to extract the baby's DNA from a small sample of the mother's blood.
The lab will also need a cheek swab sample from the possible father(s). Lab technicians can then match the baby's DNA to the cheek swab sample to check for a match.
Is Prenatal DNA Testing Conclusive?
But how accurate are the results of prenatal DNA testing? Is it more accurate to wait until the baby is born to do a paternity test?
The fact is that a non-invasive paternity test is just as accurate as a paternity test that is taken from a child.
When done correctly, prenatal DNA testing is 99.99% accurate.
Is Prenatal DNA Testing Legally Binding?
Yes. Prenatal DNA testing can be used for child custody as well as child support, but not all labs offer a legal version of this test.
However, the test needs to follow a certain procedure to ensure chain of custody. Chain of custody means that the paperwork and samples have been witnessed by a neutral third party who has nothing to gain or lose from the test results.
Beware that at-home DNA testing kits are NOT court admissible and with the necessity for the mother to have blood drawn for a non-invasive prenatal paternity test, doing this test at home is not an option. You must choose a legal DNA paternity test that starts with the DNA samples collected by a trained DNA collector. The end result is a certified and notarized DNA test report.
At What Stage of Pregnancy Can I Get a Non-Invasive Paternity Test?
In the past, a woman had to wait until she was 13 weeks pregnant for DNA testing.
Thanks to the advances in technology, prenatal DNA testing can take place as soon as the mom is 8 weeks pregnant.
Why Should I Do a Paternity Test During Pregnancy?
Some people wonder what the benefits of conducting the paternity test before the baby is born.
There are many reasons why this is a good idea. Mainly, settling the paternity will help expectant mothers reduce their worry during pregnancy.
Having a definitive knowledge about who the father of the baby is will allow the soon-to-be dad to begin making plans for the upcoming birth of his child.
Regardless of the relationship between the parents, knowing who the father of the child is can help them work together as parents in the best interest of their child.
The father, once he knows for sure he is the father, may become interested in preparing for the upcoming baby. And he can begin to bond with the baby once he knows it is his child.
How Long Does it Take to Get Results?
The best prenatal DNA testing services understand that you don't want to be kept waiting. That's why the best sites return your results as soon as they are available.
You can also get your results mailed to you. To protect your privacy, Consolidated Lab Testing sends your results in a plain, unmarked envelope.
Your report will say whether the alleged father is excluded or not excluded as the biological child of the fetus.
When a report says that he is excluded that means that he cannot be the father. When a report states that a man is not excluded, that means that the fetus and the man do share biological DNA and he is the father.
The report will also include the probability of paternity. A result of 99.99% or higher means that man is the biological father.
What is the Cost of a Paternity Test?
Prenatal paternity tests cost from $1100-$2200. You may find a lab that offers paternity tests for less than this range. If a paternity test while pregnant costs less than this range, be skeptical.
These labs often do release their research to prove their method of DNA testing. And so the accuracy is questionable.
It's in your best interest to choose a reputable DNA testing provider from the start.
Final Thoughts on Prenatal Paternity Tests
Thanks for reading. We hope this list of the most frequently asked prenatal paternity test questions has given you some peace of mind.
Still, have some questions? Feel free to contact us online or by phone.
We're happy to answer any questions you have.