Can you get paternity DNA testing while pregnant?

Helping you understand DNA paternity testing before birth

Casey Randall Alphabiolabs

By Casey Randall, Head of Genetics at AlphaBiolabs
Last reviewed: 04/20/2023

Prenatal paternity testing is a type of DNA testing that allows you to find out whether a man is the father of your baby before the baby has been born.

In other words, the DNA test can be performed while the mother is still pregnant. 

In this guide, we provide a full breakdown of everything you need to know about prenatal paternity testing, how it works and when you should consider taking a test.

How does a prenatal paternity test work?

A prenatal paternity test works in a similar way to a standard paternity test.

By examining the baby’s DNA together with the parents’ DNA, it is possible to identify which half of the DNA is inherited from the mother and which half is from the father.

If the tested man is the biological father of the baby, both will share DNA. When the tested man is not the biological father, there will be differences in the DNA of the man and the baby.

Is it safe to get a paternity test while pregnant?

Yes, a non-invasive prenatal paternity (NIPP) test is perfectly safe and risk-free for mom and baby.

Order a Home Prenatal Paternity Test Online

AlphaBiolabs’ prenatal paternity testing uses cheek (buccal) swabs from the potential father and the mother (pregnant woman), along with a blood sample from the mother to determine whether the man is the biological father of the child.

A simple blood sample is taken from the mother’s arm, and no needles need to be inserted into the womb. As a result, there is zero risk to the mother or the unborn child when taking this test.

What is a non-invasive prenatal paternity test (NIPP)?

A non-invasive prenatal paternity test is the safest and most accurate way to establish paternity during pregnancy.

Unlike other tests which involve taking cells from the placenta (chorionic villus sampling or CVS test) or extracting a sample of amniotic fluid (amniocentesis), all that is needed for a NIPP test is a blood sample from the mother, and cheek (buccal) swabs from the mother and potential father.

A NIPP test is the only prenatal paternity test that poses zero risk to mom or the unborn baby.

How soon can I do a paternity test?

A prenatal DNA paternity test can be performed as early as seven weeks into pregnancy, or nine weeks since the mother’s last period.

How is a prenatal paternity test done and what samples are required?

To perform a non-invasive prenatal paternity test, we need to look at three samples:

  • The man’s DNA (potential father) – collected using cheek swabs
  • The pregnant woman’s DNA – collected using cheek swabs and a blood sample and
  • The unborn baby’s DNA – identified via the mother’s blood sample

The baby’s DNA is passed into the mother’s bloodstream via the placenta during pregnancy. The test is performed by analyzing the baby’s DNA and comparing DNA markers to that of the parents.

Call Now to get your Prenatal Paternity Test: 727-325-2902

How are the samples collected?

Before you order a test, it’s important to remember that a prenatal paternity test cannot be performed without the consent of all parties involved in the testing (the woman and the potential father(s)).

Testing mom

Unlike DNA collected from cheek cells, blood samples are time sensitive and need to be collected by a medical professional such as a nurse, phlebotomist, or another medical practitioner.

Once the blood sample has been collected, it must be sent promptly to our testing laboratory to be analyzed.

This is to avoid hemolysis (the breakdown of red blood cells), which can affect the laboratory results.

Testing the potential father(s)

As in a standard paternity test, the potential father’s sample requires a mouth swab to collect cheek (buccal) DNA samples.

The mouth swab simply needs to be rubbed firmly on the inside of both cheeks for at least 20 seconds to collect cheek (buccal) cells.

The samples from the mother and possible father do not need to be collected at the same location. However, the samples should be collected around the same time to avoid any delays and the risk of the blood hemolyzing.

How do we know if the man is the biological father of the baby from a prenatal paternity test?

Once both the mother and potential father’s samples have been received, the samples are sent to AlphaBiolabs’ laboratory where DNA is extracted from both parents’ samples.

Our expert laboratory staff will extract DNA from the samples taken from both the man and the woman. Up to 42 genetic markers, known as short tandem repeat (STR) markers, in each DNA profile will then be examined by AlphaBiolabs’ geneticists.

The very latest scientific techniques are used to identify the baby’s DNA in the blood sample taken from the mom. It is then separated from the woman’s own DNA using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) microarray technology.

Babies will have two copies of each STR marker, known as alleles, in their DNA profile – one from the mother and one from the biological father.

Our geneticists will compare the alleles at each STR marker with the DNA collected from the man and the woman, to find matches. This information will then be used to assess whether the sample donor is the baby’s biological father.

How much does a prenatal paternity test cost?

AlphaBiolabs’ Prenatal DNA Paternity Test is available for $795 with your secure, confidential results emailed to you in 7 business days.

How accurate are prenatal DNA paternity tests?

Our prenatal paternity test results are extremely accurate based on the samples we receive.

Can I do a prenatal paternity test at home?

For a prenatal paternity test, you can collect your cheek (buccal) swabs at home using the swabs provided in your kit.

The mother’s blood sample should be drawn by a medical professional such as a nurse, phlebotomist, or another medical practitioner.

To avoid degradation of the samples, we recommend that the mother’s and potential father’s DNA samples are collected at approximately the same time.

Order a Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test Online

Is a prenatal paternity test right for me?

A prenatal paternity test can provide peace of mind in circumstances where you are unsure of who is the biological father of your baby.

For confidential advice or to find out whether a prenatal paternity test is right for you, use our Live Chat to speak to a support specialist now.

You can also email info@alphabiolabsusa.com or call 727-325-2902 to speak to our Customer Services team.

What are my choices when it comes to sample collection?

The blood samples must be sent to the laboratory quickly and must be professionally collected by either a trained nurse, a phlebotomist, or other medical professional. You are responsible for getting your blood sample taken and for any fees associated with this.

What other options do I have for doing a prenatal paternity test?

At AlphaBiolabs, we offer non-invasive prenatal paternity (NIPP) testing only, using cheek (buccal) swabs from both the mother and potential father, and a blood sample from the mother.

However, there are other options available for people seeking a prenatal paternity test.

These include a chorionic villus sampling (CVS) test or an amniocentesis test.

What is a CVS (chorionic villus sampling) test and how is it performed?

For a CVS test, a small sample of cells is taken from the placenta and tested against cheek swabs from both the mother and the potential father.

The cells are obtained from the placenta by guiding a thin tube through the cervix or using a needle inserted into the uterus to remove a sample of chorionic villus cells.

The test can be taken from as early as 10 weeks into pregnancy. However, unlike a non-invasive test, it is not without risk.

In fact, a CVS test poses a 1% risk of miscarriage. In about 5% of patients, a CVS test is not possible, meaning a non-invasive test – such as that offered by AlphaBiolabs – or an amniocentesis test would be required.

What is an amniocentesis test and how is it performed?

An amniocentesis test can be done between 14 and 20 weeks of pregnancy and is more commonly used to detect chromosome abnormalities or genetic disorders in the unborn fetus.

For an amniocentesis paternity test, your doctor will insert a long, thin needle into the abdomen to extract a sample of amniotic fluid from the uterus.

This fluid is used to retrieve fetal DNA, which is compared to the DNA collected from cheek swabs from the mother and potential father.

As with a CVS test, amniocentesis poses a small risk of miscarriage (0.5%).

What are the main reasons for taking a prenatal paternity test?

For peace of mind prenatal paternity tests, finding out whether the man is the biological father of the child can have a profound impact on families, especially if the man is found not to be the child’s biological father.

In these cases, knowing early on whether the man is the child’s biological father can help people make important decisions about the pregnancy.

How can I get a paternity test done while pregnant?

AlphaBiolabs’ non-invasive Prenatal DNA Paternity Test provides the most accurate way to determine paternity before birth.

Want to learn more about our prenatal paternity testing? Call 727-325-2902 or email info@alphabioalabsusa.com and our Customer Services team will be in touch.

Call Now to get your Paternity Test: 727-325-2902

 

Casey Randall AlphaBiolabs

Casey Randall

Head of Genetics at AlphaBiolabs
Casey joined AlphaBiolabs in 2012 and heads up both the Genetics and Health testing teams. An expert in DNA analysis and a member of the International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG), Casey holds an MS degree in DNA Profiling and a BS degree in Forensic Science. Casey is responsible for maintaining the highest quality testing standards, as well as looking for ways to further enhance the service that AlphaBiolabs provides and exploring new and innovative techniques in DNA analysis.

 

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