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Prenatal Paternity Test and DNA Testing During Pregnancy


Some of these tests end in abortion, especially when it becomes apparent that their illicit lover is the father. In some cases, it is the husband demanding to know the paternity of the child, particularly when he suspects that his wife is having an affair. In the event of the unborn child having the ‘wrong’ father, then a prenatal paternity test can end in abortion or adoption. With the absence of prenatal DNA testing on the NHS, going private is the only option.

Prenatal Paternity Test: The Procedure

In a prenatal paternity test, a sample of DNA cells are analysed by highly qualified scientists with the help of a DNA analysis machine, where the variations on different chromosomes are gathered to produce what resembles a bar-code. When sets of DNA bar-codes from different members of the family are lined up together, it is possible to observe a biological correlation between the members. In the case of a prenatal paternity test, where the samples are of the two true biological parents, half of the bar-code will correspond with those of the mother whilst the other half will correspond to those of the father. However, a less than 50% match in the bar-codes indicates that the test subjects do not share any biological relationship.

A prenatal paternity test can be performed only with written consent of the persons being tested. With the mother, two tests may be performed which may involve either chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or an amniocentesis. In the case of a chorionic villus, a sample of tissue is taken from the placenta by inserting a needle either through the wall of the abdomen or by inserting a catheter through the cervix followed by gentle suction movements. This usually takes place between weeks 11 and 18 of the pregnancy. Which ever method is chosen, it is usually performed by a GP or by qualified staff at a medical centre.

With an amniocentesis, a sample of amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus is taken from the womb. It can be drawn during or after the 15th week. Results for both methods are usually available between 7-10 working days and are predicted to be 99.99% accurate.

Whichever invasive method is chosen to conduct a prenatal paternity test, there is likely to be some side effects. With CVS it is common to experience some bleeding and/or period-like pain in the abdomen area. With an amniocentesis, it is mild pain or stomach cramp that is likely to be a side effect. A prenatal paternity test does incur a slight risk to the unborn child itself, with a 1% chance of miscarriage with CVS and a 0.5% chance of miscarriage for an amniocentesis.

The test involved for the supposed father is simpler, quicker and safer and can be performed at home. He provides either a blood sample or two individual swabs from his cheek cells. Swabs are then submitted for testing at a DNA testing laboratory. Click here for a step by step explanation on how to collect DNA samples with mouth swabs.

Interested in a Non Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test?

International Biosciences offers you the chance of discovering whether an alleged father is the biological father of an unborn baby with 0% risk. Non invasive prenatal paternity testing is available starting at just 10 weeks of pregnancy and all we need is a blood sample from the alleged father and another blood sample from the mother. Get more information about our non invasive prenatal paternity test.