What is a paternity test?
A paternity test is an accurate method to establish the biological father of a child. The procedure involves collecting a DNA sample from the child and the alleged father, in some cases a sample from the biological mother is also collected.
A standard paternity test is a simple procedure which requires a mouth swab used on the inside of the each person’s cheek.
What types of paternity tests are available?
Depending on your circumstances and reasons for needing a paternity test, you can choose to have a home or legal test. A home paternity test is commonly used for peace of mind, and a legal paternity test is required for several reasons such as proving paternity in a court of law or immigration applications.
You can read our article about the differences between home and legal paternity tests to find out which one you might need.
Can you have a paternity test whilst pregnant?
Yes. Prenatal paternity tests are available from 9 weeks gestation. There are three types of tests available; a non-invasive test, a CVS test, and an amniocentesis test.
The non-invasive prenatal test requires a blood sample from the biological mother and alleged father taken by an approved doctor, nurse, or sampler. The earliest this type of prenatal test can be taken is 9 weeks after gestation, this is when the baby’s DNA is naturally found in the mother’s blood.
CVS testing involves removing a small sample of cells from the placenta and requires a mouth swab sample from the mother and alleged father. The earliest this type of test can be taken is 10 weeks after gestation.
In approximately 5% of patients, it is not possible to perform the CVS procedure. In this scenario, you can choose to wait until 16 weeks gestation when the amniocentesis procedure can take place or take the non-invasive test. Amniocentesis testing involves extracting a small amount of amniotic fluid from the sac surrounding the foetus, and a mouth swab from the mother and alleged father is required.
What are the risk of prenatal testing?
The non-invasive test poses no risk, other than the standard risk to the mother of having her blood taken.
The CVS test poses a 1% risk of miscarriage, and amniocentesis poses a 0.5% risk.
How much does a paternity test cost?
The cost of a paternity test varies depending on which test you choose. They can range between £99 for a home paternity test, to £1500 for a non-invasive prenatal paternity test.
Can a paternity test be done with a grandparent?
Yes. In cases where the alleged father is not available for testing, the father’s parents can be tested to determine a biological relationship.
Is consent required?
Yes. Each person who is taking part in the test must give consent to allow their DNA sample to be taken and tested. You can read our article ‘Is consent needed for a paternity test?’ for more information.
DNA Legal and Paternity Testing
DNA Legal provide court-approved paternity tests that are often required to prove paternity in a court of law, change a child’s name on a birth certificate, for use in child custody cases, and to support immigration applications. You can find out more about the legal paternity testing process and how you can request a test here, or if you require a home or prenatal paternity test visit DNA Worldwide for more information.