Paternity Test After Pregnancy
Parental Testing After Childbirth

Paternity Testing

DNA Testing After Childbirth

Paternity Test After Pregnancy


Why Use An Accredited Laboratory
Testing Methods
Costs Involved
What If The Alleged Father Lives Somewhere Else?
Are Results Confidential?
Genetic Reconstruction
Genetic Finger Printing

Return To Main Article
Guide To Paternity Testing

Paternity Testing: Why Use An Accredited Laboratory?

Paternity tests works by matching the DNA of the alleged father with the child. Paternity testing can be carried out before or after pregnancy. Postnatal tests which are carried out by an experienced laboratory are almost 100 percent accurate. The AABB (previously known as the American Association of Blood Banks) only recommends using paternity testing centers which have been accredited by them and which pass their strict guidelines. Results from an accredited laboratory are usually more trustworthy. Their legal DNA tests will stand up in a court of law. In addition to straight forward paternity suits, legal paternity tests may be required for other situations where proof of relationship must be determined. These situations include child support, custody, tax forms, birth certificates, immigration (proves immigration status in cases where families seek to be reunited). Also people who were adopted now have an accurate way to confirm their biological identity or to find their birth parents. Home paternity test kit results, do not stand up in a court of law and are generally considered less reliable because they are taken outside of a clinical environment and there is no way to legally confirm which person was actually tested.

For some interesting statistics, see: Paternity Testing Research.

Testing Methods

There are two types of paternity tests: one involves taking a blood sample and the other a buccal swab. A blood sample is tested for blood groups called histocompatibility antigens. These are proteins which exist within the body's tissues and whose form is inherited from the parents. As most people are uncomfortable with needles, a buccal swab tends to be more popular (the AABB reports nearly 99 percent of samples taken in 2008 were buccal swabs and less than 1 percent were blood tests). A buccal swab is where the father, child and sometimes mother's inside cheek is swabbed with a special cotton. Skin cells are taken during the process which can then be matched for DNA. Some of the larger clinics have collection centers around America, and this is where the swabs are taken. The collection center then sends the swabs to their laboratory for analysis. A professional laboratory team will check the sample twice for accuracy. Results are usually mailed to all adult tested parties within 7-14 days and can be used in a court of law.

Costs Involved

Legal clinic paternity tests are much more expensive than home paternity tests. Prices start from about $400 and rise to $1,000. See also: How much does a paternity test cost?

What If The Alleged Father Lives Somewhere Else?

Some clinics have multiple collection centers around the country. DNA Diagnostic Center for example has over 2,500 partners who can carry out the swab test. This means that the alleged father does not have to test in the same center as you. He will also receive an official result in the post.

Are Results Confidential?

Yes, results are confidential. It is important to choose a reputable testing center, and check their privacy policy. Results should never be disclosed over the phone or via email, even if you request them to do so.

What Is Genetic Reconstruction?

This is a test which may be carried out to determine if a child is related to the alleged father's relations. It is used where the alleged father is dead or not available for paternity testing. Results of a genetic reconstruction are considered scientific proof in cases of social benefits and inheritance rights. In the test, a child's DNA is compared to at least 2 of the alleged father's close relatives. That is, either parent or siblings. Genetic reconstruction is more complex than regular paternity testing to analyze and hence is a little more expensive. Results are usually returned within 14 days. Although a woman can opt for this paternity test while pregnant, it makes more sense to wait until after the baby is born, to reduce the risk of any possible pregnancy complications.

What Is Genetic Finger Printing?

This is considered one of the most conclusive methods for parental testing. The DNA is analyzed for structures called gene markers. If certain markers are in the child's DNA, but not the mother's, it follows that those markers must be in the biological father’s too. If the man being tested for paternity has those markers, it is almost certain that he is the father. This DNA sample can be collected by using a buccal swab or via a blood sample. A swab is more efficient than a blood sample as it helps reduce the possibility of contamination.

Other types of tests include:

Sibling DNA Tests
Grandparent DNA Testing
Twin DNA Testing
Y Chromosome DNA Tests
Ancestry Gene Tests

  Related Articles on Paternity Testing

How accurate is a home paternity test?
How do you get a paternity test?
Can a paternity test be done without the father?

Back To Homepage: Womens Health Advice

Please Note: Information provided on this site is no substitute for professional medical help. See Disclaimer.
Copyright. All rights reserved.