Paternity test gives answers sooner

A newly developed paternity test could give parents the opportunity to identify the father of an unborn child as early as five weeks. Earlier prenatal DNA tests were only able to determine paternity at about nine weeks, but this new test offers parents the ability to make plans earlier in the pregnancy, according to experts.

Scientists say the new test does not use amniotic fluid from the sac surrounding the developing fetus. Rather, the test simply uses blood that is drawn from the mother's arm, which identifies fetal DNA through a noninvasive procedure. This is far safer for the baby because the amniotic sac is not punctured; in rare cases, this could cause spontaneous abortion or other health problems. Even better, the procedure is also noninvasive for the potential father, with DNA collected through a simple cheek swab instead of a blood test.

Paternity can be tested through either inclusive or exclusive methods. That is, a man can be easily excluded as a father if certain genes do not match. The fetus will definitely inherit certain genetic alleles if the father is a perfect match.

Luckily, if the father is not available for a cheek swab, the laboratory also offers the option of using spittle, sperm or chewed gum as a source of DNA. The woman therefore does not have to include her current partner in the DNA test if she does not want to. Results for this test are available in five working days.

This test is the earliest of its kind to actually be considered admissible in court. So long as samples were collected with proper procedures, paternity can be legally proved through this early-stage test, giving results up to a month earlier than previously thought. Because this test can establish paternity earlier, men who are seeking paternal rights will have even more time to work through their legal options.

If you are a father seeking assistance with your paternal rights case, consider seeking the assistance of a qualified family attorney. These professionals can help you learn more about your legal rights and responsibilities.

Source:, "Prenatal paternity test works at five weeks" No author given, Jul. 08, 2013

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