DNA testing has been common among most of the population for a few decades now. Such tests have been used to determine ancestry, search for signs of disease, and establish paternity.
While much of our current DNA knowledge is impressive, not all of this information is available easily to everyone. If you go to the convenience store to get an at-home paternity test, you’ll need to have already passed one important milestone: that baby’s birth.
What if you need to determine a child’s birth father while still pregnant? No one wants to wait nine months to figure out who Dad is. Luckily, technology is available to determine paternity while still in the womb.
Read on, and we’ll walk you through how to get a DNA test done while pregnant.
What Is Prenatal Paternity Testing?
Parenthood is a big responsibility. As such, it’s important that you’re absolutely certain of the paternity of your unborn child. When it comes to determining such matters, there’s no more helpful way to test than DNA.
DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid and is a material that exists in all living substances. You’re probably familiar with it from school, or at least from Jurassic Park.
DNA makes up chromosomes, and chromosomes carry the genetic information that we obtain from our parents. As such, DNA is the key to learning huge amounts of information about parental traits.
In the past, the only way to obtain a DNA sample from a newborn was to wait until it was born. This was because only blood or tissue were reliable sources of DNA samples. Invasive tests to obtain such samples during pregnancy were seen as far too risky to both the mother and the child.
But more recently, breakthroughs have been made that can allow doctors to study DNA as early as eight weeks after conception. This is an amazing advancement that is helping to get new families off on the right foot.
How Does It Work?
How does a prenatal paternity test work? Good question.
The reason this new type of paternity test is less risky is that it actually doesn’t attempt to take a DNA sample directly from the fetus at all. It instead only takes blood from the mother.
You see, scientists and doctors realized that at about eight weeks into a pregnancy that fetal blood cells began to flow freely into the mother’s bloodstream. This means that a paternity testing company is able to make a develop a DNA profile from fetal cells. They can then compare that to the profile of the potential father.
This means, of course, that the potential father in question will need to provide a sample as well. But this can be done with a simple cheek swab.
With both of these DNA samples in hand, most companies can turn around a definitive paternity conclusion within a week or less.
There may be some situations where the potential father in question is not available or is not willing to partake in the paternity test. In this time of situation, a sample from one of the potential father’s parents can be used. The same gene family will usually be found.
While this is less conclusive than getting a proper sample, it gives many young mothers the confidence they need.
There are some situations where invasive DNA tests are done during pregnancy. But as before, these types of test are dangerous and are rarely if ever done. In most cases, ensuring paternity is not worth the risk of damaging the fetus in this early stage.
You can learn more about pregnancy paternal tests by visiting this useful site.
How Paternity Testing Works
There are a number of different forms and various paperwork that all parties must fill out before a paternity test begins. Consent is important to obtain from the mother and the potential father.
Payment is usually given up front before samples are taken. Cheek swabs are the most common form of DNA testing, but a number of different methods may be used depending on where you are.
Once samples are taken, both the mother and potential father are allowed to leave. It’s that simple. The entirety of a paternity test appointment usually won’t take more than an hour.
The samples are then secured and safely transported to a paternity test company that will analyze the results.
Reasons To Consider Prenatal Testing
Why the rush to find out? For many mothers, there’s a number of reasons that determining paternity early on has its advantages.
For one, it takes the stress off. Raising a child involves a lot of planning and responsibility. To juggle that on top of having to wait nine months to determine paternity is a pill too bitter for many to swallow.
In addition, determining paternity early can allow you extra help and companionship during the pregnancy cycle. In less healthy relationships, DNA and paternity results are fair game to be used as evidence in a court of law.
No matter your particular situation, knowing is almost better than not knowing. With a prenatal paternity test, that knowledge is just a simple and inexpensive test away.
How To Get A DNA Test Done
Unsure about the paternity of your to-be-born child? You’ll likely want to know how to get a DNA test done while pregnant. These test can provide you with all the knowledge you need about the father of your child.
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