How Early Can You Do A Paternity Test? 

By  Staff Writer

how early can you do a paternity test
Prenatal DNA

How Early Can You Do A Paternity Test?

What is Paternity Test?

Modern science has made it possible for women to learn who fathered their child at increasingly early intervals. Even as early as eight weeks into the pregnancy, a non-invasive paternity test can be administered. If the mother decides to wait until after the birth, then the testing could be completed at the hospital. Proving paternity is important for a variety of reasons. With these innovative testing procedures, it’s easier than ever to indisputably establish paternity before birth or immediately thereafter.

Not many years ago, doctors could only offer invasive prenatal paternity testing. These methods, which include amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, involve inherent risks. Miscarriage, preterm labor, and other complications rarely occurred, yet the statistics were significant enough to cause considerable concern. Plus, these tests could be carried out at 10 weeks at the earliest, with waiting until 15 weeks or beyond sometimes being recommended.

Those tests may still be used to determine paternity on limited occasions. A newer method for prenatal paternity testing that involves the simple collection of a blood sample from the mother and a DNA sample from the suspected father has largely replaced these invasive procedures.

Doctors have long known that the fetus’ DNA was present in tiny amounts in the mother’s blood. However, they did not yet have the knowledge that would enable them to collect and isolate that DNA in sufficient amounts for testing. That changed when researchers discovered that they could mix a fixative agent with the blood sample, making it possible to settle prenatal paternity issues in the safest way possible.

How Early Can You Do A Paternity Test?

These prenatal paternity tests can be carried out at as early as eight weeks. Accordingly, expectant mothers and fathers are able to make important decisions much earlier. Still, some parents may prefer to wait until after the baby is born.

The most convenient and quickest way to establish paternity after birth is to have samples collected at the hospital. Medical staff can collect a sample from the baby by taking a cheek swab, extracting a sample of blood, testing the blood from the umbilical cord or capturing a hair sample. The prospective father’s sample can be collected at the same time.

This is most efficient when all parties agree to the paternity testing. If either the mother or the father does not wishes to participate in the testing, then it may be necessary to wait for a court order to have the testing done. Because paternity tests can be conducted at any time after birth, this should not present a major obstacle.

Establishing paternity early is important from social, financial and legal viewpoints. Parents who are eager to prove their rights or assert a claim in court can begin the testing process at as early as eight weeks after conception. Alternatively, DNA paternity testing can be carried out at any time after the baby’s birth.

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