If you would like to determine if a man is the father of an unborn child, and do not wish to wait until the child is born, a prenatal paternity test may be what you need. This test is a simple procedure that can extract DNA from the placenta or from the amniotic fluid. However, another less invasive option is having a test done from a sample of the mother's blood.

Prenatal Paternity Test Sample of the Placenta

With the Chorionic Villi Sampling (CVS), it is completed with a procedure that is done by taking a small sample of the placenta either vaginally or through the abdomen wall. This is a fairly invasive procedure and can cause problems to the unborn baby. This procedure is done between the 10th and 13th week of pregnancy.

Prenatal Paternity Test of the Amniotic Fluid

Testing with Amniocentesis, a sample of the amniotic fluid is taken through the abdomen using a needle. The amniotic fluid surrounding the developing fetus is drawn into the syringe and tested for DNA. This procedure can be done after the 14th to 24th week of pregnancy.

Who Performs the Prenatal Paternity Test and How Much Does it Cost?

Both of the above tests are done by an OBGYN and are commonly done to test for genetic birth defects. Because the tests are invasive, there is a risk of infection or miscarriage. The cost of these types of prenatal paternity testing is also high, as you will need to pay a separate physicians fee for the sampling. This can range from $500 to $1500, however if the mother is having the testing done for medical reasons as well as to determine paternity, insurance companies may pay the fee.

Other Options for Prenatal Paternity Testing

Prenatal paternity tests done by only drawing the blood of the mother is becoming more common as testing from amniotic fluid or the CVS (sampling the placenta) can sometimes cause injuries to the unborn baby, induce labor or even terminate the pregnancy. Another benefit of using this type of prenatal paternity test rather than the others is that it assures total confidentiality because no doctor involvement is necessary. All you need is a collection technician to do the blood draw and do the swab tests of any potential fathers.

Legal Binding Prenatal Paternity Testing

If you do need a legally binding paternity test done, you can still get a prenatal paternity test and have your doctor submit the samples for testing. Since legally binding results depend on chain of custody, there are slightly different rules for handling the samples and your physician is aware of what must be done. The only difference is that you will not be able to submit the samples yourself. Of course, since chain of custody is involved, there will have to be a witness to the taking of the samples also so you may want to consult with your doctor well before the procedure is done so you will know what to expect.

When considering having any type of paternity DNA test performed, you should consult with your local paternity DNA testing laboratories as well as your doctor's office. For example, New York State requires a court or physician to order prenatal paternity testing, however other states in the United States do not have these requirements. Check around, do research on the internet and find the most affordable laboratory for you.

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