There are many reasons why someone might want to test the paternity of their child or children. Maybe a past tryst has made a parent uncertain about who is the father of her child. An expecting mother might want to ensure the right man is raising their children. Or maybe two parents just want to be sure. Whatever the reason, there are many new options for a parent who wants to test the paternity of their child. Now, labs can test paternity as early as 9 weeks in to the mothers’ pregnancy.
How Do They Test For Paternity?
There are several ways to test paternity. Postnatal paternity testing can be performed by collecting cheek swabs or performing blood tests. Labs and hospitals can collect samples from all of the parties involved and test the connection between the parents (or alleged parents) and the children. For a paternity test for an unborn child, you can still perform blood tests. The child’s DNA can be detected in the mother’s blood, and so it is possible to perform a non-invasive DNA paternity test. There are other, more invasive options, but they carry greater risks.
Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing
- Performed at home
- No risk of inducing miscarriage
- Results posted online
- Blood sample collection
- Testing by week 9 of pregnancy
- Results as quickly as 3-7 business days
- Potential for human error
- Requires mail system
Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing
- Sample collection performed by professionals
- A more in-depth test
- Small chance of pregnancy complication (including potential for miscarriage)
- Requires driving to a hospital or lab, which may not be nearby
With this information, individuals will have to decide for themselves “What is the best paternity test?” While the risk of minor and major pregnancy complications is relatively small, most parents would probably choose the more cautious route of a non-invasive prenatal DNA paternity test.
Are Home Paternity Tests Accurate?
Some people might question the accuracy of a paternity test you can conduct yourself in your own home. As long as both potential parents submit samples, the results returned are up to 99.9% accuracy. But can paternity DNA test be wrong? The only thing that could reduce the accuracy of the test is tampering or human error. However, parents could always seek a second opinion if they’re unsure of the outcome of their paternity test, regardless of the accuracy listed on the original test.
Paternity Testing for Family Court
This raises another concern of a barrier someone wanting a paternity test might run into. What if only one person wants to test the paternity of their child? Can a father ask for a paternity test? What if a mother wants to test who the father of her baby is, but the potential father refuses a paternity test? Each instance raises its own set of complications and problems. For a person caught in a scenario like this, the answer is usually getting a court ordered paternity test. If a father wants to test the paternity of a child that he thinks is his, he must file the necessary paperwork and submit it to family court. If the potential father is unwilling or unable to get the court ordered paternity test, or wants to wait, there is always the potential for a test after the child is born. Cheek swabs from the potential father and the child can be compared for paternity without the mother’s DNA.
If a potential father is trying to get the family court to force a paternity test, then he should avoid signing the birth certificate. Family court as an institution sees signing the birth certificate as an acknowledgment of paternity, and will not require a DNA test if his signature is on the paperwork.
Does a Paternity Test Give a Father Rights? Unfortunately, a paternity test only proves parentage. Only the court can resolve issues regarding paternity testing and child support, or custody issues This is a section of the paperwork regarding family court. Instead of just filing for paternity, a potential father can file for paternity and custody.
At the same time, a mother can utilize the family court in the same way and file to establish paternity with family court. This is the best way to ensure a custody and support agreement is reached if a man does not want to submit to a paternity test and refuses to sign the birth certificate. In cases where the mother wants to establish paternity, but the alleged father does not, a non-invasive, prenatal DNA paternity test is easier to get. If the father wants the paternity test, but the mother does not, the time it takes the courts to mandate a paternity test make a DNA paternity test before the child is born unlikely.
For more information about non-invasive DNA paternity testing, contact the experts at Choice DNA Testing.