It’s possible to get DNA test results before your baby is born. There is a non-invasive procedure for doing this that accesses fetal cells floating in the mother’s blood stream. This is a safe procedure because neither the placenta nor the fetus is directly touched by a needle to get a cell sample. This process called NIPP, non-invasive prenatal paternal testing, can be taken at any time after a mother has passed her eighth week of pregnancy. Meanwhile, DNA cell samples can be obtained from the father using a cheek swab.
How A DNA Test is Done
There are essentially two parts to a DNA paternity test. First, the laboratory must collect the DNA from the possible fathers and the fetal cells in the mother’s bloodstream. Second, the laboratory must test and analyze the samples from the men and compare it to the cells of the child.
If the testing is done after the child is born, then the inside of the cheeks is swabbed and there is no need for a blood sample from either the child or the mother. Using cheek cells is the simplest and most painless way of getting DNA samples.
Before birth, there are other ways of obtaining cell samples from the fetus directly, like amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, but these are risky because they include the possibility of triggering a miscarriage. For the most part, these are rarely used for paternity testing, and are mainly used to test for Down Syndrome.
Once the samples are extracted from all the participants, the cells are amplified to make it easier to work with the samples. Generally speaking, about 16 STR genetic markers are used for each person. An STR is a Short Tandem Repeat analysis of the cell to get the genetic information. Due to the use of 16 markers out of a total of 20 possible markers, the tests are completely reliable. They will never confirm the wrong person as the father and are above 99 percent reliable when confirming the biological father.
How to Make a Decision
The first decision a mother has to make is whether she should get a prenatal or postnatal DNA paternity test. Usually, a prenatal test will cost twice as much because it involves far more laboratory work. On the other hand, this might be a necessary expense if there is uncertainty as to how to manage finances or whom the mother should choose in a relationship. Another important decision a mother must make is deciding on the laboratory. A mother should only choose a laboratory that offers the NIPP procedure, as this is the safest.
Regardless of your reason for getting a paternity test while pregnant, it is essential that you choose a highly-accredited laboratory to do the work. It is also essential that you only use a non-invasive procedure for paternal testing. Before the development of NIPP, amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling were the only options, and because they carried a risk, most doctors waited for the child to be born and then used a cheek swab to get the baby’s DNA. But now, NIPP makes it safe to do a paternity test before the child is born, and this test is usually done after the 8th week of pregnancy. Although a prenatal test does cost more than a postnatal one because of the advanced technology to isolate the free-floating fetal cell in the mother’s blood-stream, it may be worth the cost if there is a need to set up financial and child support before the baby is born.
Article Submitted By Community Writer