Paternity Tests Father Dna Test

Pregnant women and mothers seeking to verify the identity of their baby’s father may choose to use any of a variety of paternity tests.

Establishing paternity is one of the most essential and useful things you can do to ensure your child’s future health and well-being. For legal, emotional and medical reasons, if you have had more than one sexual partner prior to the pregnancy, it is important that you use a DNA paternity test to confirm the father of your child.

Reasons to Opt for Paternity Testing

Many factors need to be considered before you decide whether or not to have a paternity test. Below are a few reasons why testing may be of value for you and your child:

  • Financial security: The law requires that both parents support their children, even if the pregnancy is unplanned. A child’s needs are often hard to meet in a one-parent household. Child support cannot be obtained until paternity is proven.
  • Your child will likely want to know the identity of his or her father. While it may not bother you to see only one name on that birth certificate, you now have more than yourself to think about. Even if the father will not be involved in raising your child, it’s a good idea to have his name on the document.
  • Survivor benefits: Medical and dental insurance may be available through the non-custodial parent’s employer, union or the military. Medical assistance programs may be available through family and child assistance agencies. If something should happen to either parent, the child could qualify for Social Security, pensions, inheritance rights, veterans’ benefits and life insurance. Paternity must be established to receive these benefits.
  • Medical history: Many medical problems are inherited. Verifying the biological father can help establish a family medical history for the child.

How Paternity Tests Work

Everyone inherits their DNA from their biological mother and father. A DNA paternity test compares a child?s DNA pattern with that of the alleged father to check for evidence of this inheritance – the most definitive proof of a biological relationship.

Standard tests are 100 percent accurate from the standpoint of exclusion and over 99.99 percent accurate for inclusion.

Your objectives and the amount of money you can afford to spend will likely dictate which type of test you use. In the case of less expensive paternity tests, the tested parties collect the samples themselves in the privacy of their own homes. Some clients occasionally inquire about this option when they want a paternity test for personal reasons, such as curiosity or peace of mind.

Home Paternity Tests

Some companies offer a home paternity test kit you can order on the Internet. For around $200, you receive a self-collection kit instructing you on how to collect cheek swabs for a child, mother and potential father. Once the samples are mailed back to the company, you receive the results in about a week.

The one drawback of home paternity tests is that they are not admissible in a court of law. Although it is the same test the laboratory would use, a secure chain of custody of the samples has not been established.

The American Pregnancy Association recommends paternity testing for courts of law using a testing facility accredited by the AABB (formerly American Association of Blood Banks). Depending on what you want, a court-admissible test usually costs between $435 and $2,000.

Prenatal DNA Paternity Tests

While a test is less expensive once your child is born, there also are prenatal tests that can establish paternity early in your pregnancy.

A CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) test can be done from the 10th to 13th week. In this test, a thin needle is inserted from the vagina through the cervix to obtain tissue attached to the uterine wall. The tissue and the fetus come from the same fertilized egg and have the same genetic makeup.

An amniocentesis can be performed from the 14th to 20th week by using ultrasound to guide a thin needle through the abdomen into the uterus. A small amount of amniotic fluid is drawn out and tested. Risks associated with this procedure include a small percentage for miscarriage.

Both prenatal procedures require a doctor’s consent.

Resources

American Pregnancy Association. (2007). Paternity testing. Retrieved September 9, 2008, from American Pregnancy Association Web site: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/prenataltesting/paternitytesting.html

DNA Diagnostic Center. (n.d.) Why establish paternity? Retrieved September 9, 2008, from the DDC Web site: http://www.dnacenter.com/science-technology/articles/paternity-affidavit-5.html

Families Online Magazine. (2008). The top five reasons that unwed parents must establish paternity. Retrieved September 9, 2008, from Families Online Magazine Web site: http://www.familiesonlinemagazine.com/parenting-advice/39363.php

Beta Paternity. (2006). In-home DNA paternity tests. Retrieved September 9, 2008, from Beta Paternity Web site: http://www.betagenetics.com/paternity_test_fees.html