Determining Paternity Before Birth

There are several types of paternity testing that can be done. Some of them can be done after your child’s birth, and some can be done before delivery. Paternity testing can vary widely in terms of cost, ranging from $250 TO $2500. Results of paternity testing can often be given in less than two weeks.

Prenatal paternity testing uses testing of the baby’s DNA to match it against the potential father’s DNA. There are two basic types of DNA testing that can be done before delivery. These include amniocentesis and CVS, or Chorionic Villus Sampling.

An amniocentesis is generally performed during the second trimester of pregnancy. Typically, it would take place between the 14th and the 20th week of pregnancy. During an amniocentesis, your health care provider will utilize an ultrasound machine to help him guide a thin needle into your uterus, by way of your abdomen. This needle will draw out a little bit of amniotic fluid. This amniotic fluid is then tested for DNA. There are some risks with amniocentesis, including a chance of harm to the baby as well as a chance of miscarriage. You might also experience leaking of amniotic fluid, vaginal bleeding, or cramping.

A CVS is typically done earlier in your pregnancy. This procedure is typically done between the 10th and the 13th week of pregnancy. With CVS, your health care provider will insert a thin tube or needle into the vagina, through the cervix, to try to obtain little finger-like pieces of tissue attached to the uterine wall, known as chorionic villi. Chorionic villi comes from the same fertilized egg that your fetus comes from, and consequently has the same DNA makeup as your baby.

The final thing to keep in mind in regard to paternity is that there are specific laws that can vary from one state to the next. For example, in many states, the husband of a woman who becomes pregnant is legally the father, paternity testing not withstanding. In addition, without certain paperwork, a father’s name will not be listed on the baby’s birth certificate if he is not married to the mother when the baby is born.