DNA Paternity Testing

A DNA paternity test can be performed accurately before a child is born through amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling and fetal genetic material testing at between 5 - 13 weeks into the pregnancy.

Fetal Genetic Material Testing (Non-Invasive)
Non-invasive paternity testing during the term of pregnancy is now available. Traditionally, prenatal testing required samples to have been obtained from CVS (Chorionic Villi Sampling) or Amniocentesis under a physicians direction. In many cases such sample collection was difficult and the risks to the fetus may not warrant such invasive procedures. Through application of research technology it is now possible to determine the paternity of an unborn child using a simple maternal blood sample.

Non-Invasive prenatal testing utilizes a procedure that uses a mothers blood sample to separate the necessary foetal cells from the mothers circulation. These foetal cells are utilized in determining paternity relationships. Samples are obtained from all parties to be tested including the expecting mother. Once all samples have been received by the laboratory an extraction procedure will begin separating primordial foetal cells from the maternal blood samples. Recent research has shown that foetal cells are extractable after 5-12 weeks fetal gestation (depending on the claims of the testing company).

Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing will determine the paternity of an unborn child with one alleged father for 990. Each additional putative father tested costs about $200 (Cdn). Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing is more safe and cost effective than traditional prenatal testing.

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) (Invasive)
Chorionic Villus Sampling is usually performed at very early stages of pregnancy, generally around the 8th to 13th week of pregnancy. During the CVS procedure, a catheter is inserted through the cervix and a small sample is taken from the outside of the gestational sack by gentle suction. This sampling procedure allows the obstetrician to obtain a small amount of fetal chorionic villi (trophoblastic tissue) which is used for the paternity test. Paternity tests conducted using CVs samples are just as accurate as tests which are performed after the child is born.

Amniocentesis (Invasive)
Amniocentesis is generally performed at later stages of pregnancy. During an amniocenteses procedure, a small amount of amniotic fluid (10ml) is withdrawn transabdominally by your obstetrician. Amniotic fluid is also an excellent sample for paternity testing; paternity tests which are performed using amniotic fluid are just as accurate as tests conducted after the child is born.

If you choose chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis, results are usually available 3 to 5 working days after specimen collection. The cost for DNA testing is the same as the cost for the regular paternity test, however, there may be additional charges imposed by your obstetrician for collecting the sample prenatally.

Risks Regarding Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) and Amniocentesis
Although a DNA paternity test can be easily performed using either a chorionic villus sample or amniotic fluid, it should be noted that both procedures carry some risk to the fetus. Studies have indicated that the chances for fetal loss are increased by 0.5% for amniocentesis and 1% for chorionic villus sampling.

Paternity testers recommend patients who are considering Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) or Amniocentesisprenatal DNA paternity testing to consult with their obstetrician before initiating the test.

Paternity testing at the time of birth
If you are in a hurry to know the paternity of your child, you can also consider testing the child at the time of delivery using umbilical cord blood, which will pose no risk to the child. Paternity testers will be able to provide results 3 to 5 working days after the samples are collected. If you would like test the child at the time of delivery, please contact the paternity test provider in advance to arrange for testing and to have an umbilical cord blood collection kit forwarded to your physician before the due date.

If prenatal testing is determined to be necessary, paternity testers offers rapid and accurate results within 3 to 5 days for prenatal paternity testing.

The Cost
The cost for a DNA paternity test involving a chorionic villus sample or an amniotic fluid sample is the same as a standard paternity test. Sample collection is arranged by the patients with their obstetrician, and any fees imposed by the obstetrician for the amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling procedure are the responsibility of the patient. Once an appointment is arranged with your obstetrician, the laboratory will contact your obstetrician directly to arrange the details for specimen requirements. Comprehensive results stating inclusion of 99.9% (or more) or exclusion of 100% will be provided for all prenatal tests.