Paternity Testing Before a Baby is Born

Prenatal Paternity Testing

Prenatal means existing or occurring before birth. Prenatal DNA testing is usually not a good idea due to the potential harm to the mother and child. There are two ways to accomplish prenatal testing.

  1. Test amniotic cells for the child’s specimen. The mother’s OB/GYN can perform amniocentesis, to extract amniotic fluid. The fluid is then sent to a laboratory to test. The amniocentesis presents medical risks to the mother and the child. You should discuss those risks with your doctor. Because of those risks, most doctors prefer not to perform an amniocentesis unless there are medical reasons requiring the procedure. If the mother is going to have amniocentesis for medical reasons, then there is no reason not to perform the paternity test. Otherwise, it is better to wait until the baby is born to perform the paternity test.
  2. Test the Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS). This method of testing has significant risk (including birth defects) and should never be used for the sole purpose of paternity testing. If CVS is going to be performed for medical reasons, then it can also be used for paternity testing.

If prenatal testing is required and ordered, the kit will include collection swabs for the mother’s and the alleged father’s sample. This price does not include the OB/GYN’s fees, which are handled by the customer or the customer’s insurance company.



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VOLUNTARY ESTABLISHMENT – A man who wishes to acknowledge paternity – and therefore accept responsibility for the child and pay child support until the child reaches the age of majority – does so by signing a Declaration of Paternity (sometimes called an Acknowledgment of Paternity). This documentation is also necessary in order to have the father's name placed on the child's birth certificate, if desired. The father can complete an affidavit of paternity any time between the birth of the child up until the child turns 18.

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