If you have questions or concerns about the paternity of a child, it’s important to resolve those issues right away.
Determining paternity right away helps establish legal and social benefits for both the parent and child, helps provide an accurate medical history for a child, and strengthens the bond between parent and child. It can also immediately resolve potential domestic law issues long before they spill over into a courtroom.
Pre-Birth and Post-Birth Testing
Although many parents wait until after a child is born to determine paternity, it’s possible to establish it before the child is born via three popular options:
- Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity (NIPP)
The NIPP test analyzes the baby’s DNA which can be found in the mother’s bloodstream. This test can be performed with a simple blood draw from both the mother and father and is around 99.9 percent accurate after the 8th week of pregnancy.
Using a thin needle, a doctor performing an amniocentesis procedure will draw a small amount of amniotic fluid from the mother’s uterus. The fluid can then be used to analyze DNA and compare it to the father’s genetics. This test can be performed between the 14th and 20th weeks of pregnancy during the second trimester.
- Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
A third option involves using a small needle or tube into the cervix to obtain chorionic villi—small pieces of tissue that are attached to the uterine wall. This tissue will have the same genetic makeup as the child, as it comes from the fertilized egg. This test can be performed between the 10th and 13th weeks of pregnancy.
Paternity tests performed after birth involve collecting the umbilical cord at delivery or by collecting a blood sample/cheek swab from the baby.