Genetic testing of unborn babies has become quite commonplace these days, which has allowed for easier testing to determine the father of a fetus. In fact, paternity testing is so simple it can be done from the privacy of your own home, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
DNA test kits can be ordered over the internet, and although it is not covered by medical plans as a necessary procedure it is quite affordable and non-invasive. With a few swabs of the inside of you and the father’s cheek you can easily confirm the parentage of your little one.
Who Do Paternity Testing?
In any situation where the true parent of a fetus is unknown paternity testing can provide resolution. Easy to do and 99% accurate paternity testing can be used in the following situations:
- For child support or custody: proving who the biological father is can help with custody situations or help establish child support
- Insurance or inheritance: a paternity test may be required to prove that the father is biologically related to the child
- Adoption: often adoption agencies will request paternity tests in order to confirm the parentage of the baby
There are two types of prenatal tests available for the fetus, depending on the age of the baby. Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) can be done between 10-12 weeks gestation, which involves collecting a piece of the fetus’ side of the placenta and comparing it to the father’s DNA.
After 12 weeks it is safer to perform an amniocentesis, which withdraws fluid from the uterus. In both cases the procedure is performed at a hospital as a day procedure.
After the baby is born samples can be taken from mother, father and baby. Blood type alone is not enough to determine parentage beyond doubt, so usually a cheek swab is done to collect DNA. These types of tests can be done from a kit at home and are relatively affordable.
On occasion there may be a need to confirm the biological relationship between a baby and their uncle, aunt, grandparent or sibling. The DNA testing used for kinship analysis is more advanced than regular paternity testing.
Blood Brother Testing
DNA testing can be performed in order to determine the relationship between siblings whether half or full. Swabs are taken from the cheeks of the siblings, as well as a parent if possible. The results are used to determine whether the children share a father.
It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether a set of twins share the same DNA and are in fact, identical. A twin DNA test, called a twin zygosity test can be used to determine whether a pair of twins are identical or fraternal. If the twins are fraternal the test can also show whether they are born from the same father.
Choosing to proceed with DNA testing is a very personal decision and the consequences should be weighed carefully. If there is no reason to challenge paternity then the issue may be better left alone, as the stress of questioning paternity can be difficult for all parties involved.