Prenatal, Legal and Home Paternity Testing
Paternity tests help in identification of the father of a child and ensure many benefits to the child like securing child support, citizenship, inheritance, medical history ascertainment and social security benefits. These tests can be conducted either during pregnancy or after the birth of the child.
Prenatal paternity tests
This procedure is conducted during the second trimester between the fourteenth and twentieth week of pregnancy. A thin needle is inserted into the uterus through the abdomen to draw a small amount of amniotic fluid from the womb. A physician familiar with the mother’s and child’s health has to consent for conducting this procedure. This procedure might involve certain side effects such as cramping, vaginal bleeding and amniotic fluid leakage.
Chorionic villi sampling
This procedure is conducted between the tenth and thirteenth week of pregnancy, with the written consent of the medical practitioner familiar with the mother and the child’s health. A needle or tube is inserted inside the vagina and extended up through the cervix by the physician. There are small tissues attached to the uterus wall known as chorionic villi and this tissue is removed from the uterus for testing. The side effects of this procedure involve bleeding, cramping and contractions which can even result in miscarriage.
Postnatal paternity tests
DNA also known as deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid which contains genetic instructions for all living organisms. Post-natal paternity test and can be performed any time after the birth of a child. The potential test items are blood, cheek swabs, umbilical cord samples, semen samples, hair and tissues. But standard paternity testing can be done using just oral swabs for both the child and the alleged father. Any other sample used that is not an oral swab sample should only be used where it is not possible to collect a DNA sample with oral swabs.
There are two types of paternity DNA tests available.
Home paternity DNA testing
This test is done within the comfort of your home and can be booked online through companies who offer such tests, often at cheap rates. A home sampling kit is sent out through the post with extremely simple instructions. Oral swabs are also provided in the kit. These swabs are used to collect the cells from a person’s mouth. This swab is air-dried and placed under numerous envelopes. The sample is then dispatched to the laboratory through a self-addressed envelope for testing. The courts do not accept the results of private or at-home paternity tests but this can nevertheless be undertaken where a court case is not required. The results of this private testing are also as accurate as legal testing.
Legal DNA testing
This test is conducted in a formal manner by collecting samples in the presence of an official witness who authenticates the identity of the persons participating in the test. All the involved parties need to sign a consent form and proof of their identity as part of the strict legal process. The results of this test are admissible in a court of law and are often required when a legal battle is necessary. The formalities involved in this procedure make this test quite expensive and the test results are highly confidential.
The procedures involved in both tests are similar but one should always be wary when booking online for a DIY kit. Ensure you work with only accredited laboratories for accurate results.
Paternity test results
The paternity test results determine the probability of whether the male tested is the biological father of the child or not. This result is calculated as a percentage of probability of paternity which is generally either 0% or 99.99%.
The paternity test can be carried out at any time, but it is safer to conduct it after the baby is born then during the course of pregnancy. A paternity test is highly accurate with many opting for it to prove biological relations. However, the regulations of each state differ with respect to this test and it is imperative to keep updated with the rules and regulations before you begin the testing procedure.