Most paternity tests are carried out at some point after the birth of a child, perhaps when the child is an adult, a child or even a new born. However, sometimes individuals might consider a paternity test whilst still pregnant (often referred to as a prenatal paternity test).
Carrying out a paternity test while pregnant is more complicated than doing the DNA test after the birth of the child. A standard home paternity test (not a prenatal one) is easy to carry out: all you must do is swab the alleged father and the child. This procedure involves using sterile oral swabs and rubbing them into the mouth for ten seconds. This provides more than enough DNA from the child and from the alleged father. At this point, the problem with a paternity test while pregnant should be clear: How do you get a sample of the unborn baby’sDNA? It is obvious that swabbing the mouth is not an option.
How can I get a sample of an unborn baby’s DNA
There are a number of methods which enable you to actually get a sample of your baby’s DNA. Do the termsamniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling ring a bell? These are actually procedures often used by pregnant moms to know if their baby is strong and healthy or whether the fetus has some genetic health problem. Both these two procedures must be carried out by a qualified OBGYN. There is no way you can collect the sample yourself. Depending on how many weeks pregnant you are, the OBGYN will choose which one of the two procedures to use. Both procedures will require a topical, local anesthetic to reduce discomfort.
If you are at around 10 weeks of pregnancy, he or she will opt for chorionic villus sampling. This procedure can be done by either putting a needle into your abdomen and into your womb or else by passing a catheter through your cervix. To be sure that everything goes well and that the catheter or the syringe is inserted into the correct place inside your womb, the OBGYN will use an ultrasound. Following the procedure, you will have a sample of your baby’s genetic material. If you are around 12 or 13 weeks pregnant, your OBYN will need to carry out amniocentesis. Amniocentesis is done by inserting a needle into your womb through your pregnant belly. Once the needle is inside your womb, the OBGYN will withdraw a tiny amount of amniotic fluid. This fluid is very rich in fetal DNA.
Once you have your fetal DNA sample, you need to provide a sample of DNA from the alleged father (perhaps collected by rubbing an oral swab inside the mouth). You can then send these off for testing and wait a couple of days for the results.
Why do some mothers opt away from paternity tests in pregnancy?
Paternity testing during pregnancy works out far more expensive then a paternity test done after birth. The cost of the OBGYN and the cost of laboratory analysis using baby DNA samples from inside the womb will treble the costs. But more than the cost, it is the risks that many moms are worried about. Any OBGYN is duty-bound to let the mother know that following amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, there is a tiny possibility that she could lose the baby.
There is a recent innovation in the field of prenatal testing for paternity. It is in fact possible to use samples of blood from the mother to extract her baby’s DNA. This is a very complex scientific technique but has been embraced by the scientific community after over a decade of studies by various laboratories to verify and confirm its validity. This type of test is referred to as a non invasive prenatal paternity test. The term non-invasive refers to the fact that unlike amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, the mother does not need to worry about any miscarriages because this test has no risk whatsoever. Blood samples for this paternity test while pregnant will need to be provided for both the mother and the alleged father.