A paternity test tells you who is the father of your baby. Establishing the paternity of your child is important for a number of reasons.
- To make sure that father and baby have a bond and get to know each other. Just because you and the father aren’t together doesn’t mean to say that your ex wants nothing to do with the child. On the contrary he may be looking forward to becoming an active co-parent.
- You may need to know who your baby’s father is in order to claim child support or collect other benefits that are due to you as a single mother.
- It is always useful to know your family’s medical history and if you know about the baby’s father’s history too, then this will be helpful in the future.
Most States in America insist on knowing who the name of the baby’s fathers father at the hospital. You will be given a form to fill in and this is a legal document. Once the form has been filled in, you and the baby’s father are given a time limit in order that you can apply for a paternity test. If the tests aren’t carried out, then the person with his name on the Acknowledgement of Paternity form, will be treated as the father, even if he is not and will be liable for child support.
There are several different tests that can be performed in order to prove paternity whilst you are pregnant and they are as follows:
This is a test that is normally taken to find out whether or not a baby has downs syndrome. The test can be performed during the 14th to the 20th week of pregnancy. It is carried out by inserting a long needle into your abdomen and into your uterus to draw out amniotic fluid for testing. It is important to rest for 24 hours after the procedure as it does carry a small risk of miscarriage. If you want to use this method for paternity testing, you will need the permission of your doctor.
Non Evasive Prenatal Paternity (NIPP)
This is a simple blood test that can be carried out after the 8th week of pregnancy. It is 99.9% accurate. All it requires is a blood sample from you and one from the baby’s father both samples will then be analysed. It is an accurate and comfortable way of finding out paternity, as long as the father agrees to have the blood test.
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
Chorionic Villi are the tiny pieces of tissue which are attached to the wall of the uterus. Your baby and the chronic villi come from the same egg, so they will have the same genetic markers.
The test is done by placing a thin needle into your vagina and up into your cervix, using an ultrasound. The chronic villi will then be scraped from the wall of your uterus and used for testing. This can be done between the 10th and the 14th week of pregnancy and it will need the permission of your doctor.
After pregnancy the test can be done by taking blood or doing a cheek swab from your baby, or through umbilical cord collection at the time of birth.
DNA laboratories who do your paternity tests keep them confidential. The costs of a test range from 400 dollars to 2000 dollars. It is more expensive to take the test whilst you are pregnant because of the doctor and hospital fees.
If you think you need the test results to use in court, then make sure you use a court approved test centre. Have a look at the DNA Diagnostic Center web site.