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Paternity Testing

What is Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing?

Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing provides pregnant women with information about the likely biological father of the baby. We all inherit our genes from our biological parents — half from our mother, and half from our father. The Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing compares the baby’s genetic pattern to a possible biological father to determine if there is a match. If a genetic match is found then this is proof of a biological relationship.

cute baby
There are several methods of paternity testing during the pregnancy. Women can choose to have an invasive procedure like CVS or amniocentesis though these tests are associated with a small risk of miscarriage following the procedure.

A safer option is the Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing which involves a blood draw on pregnant mother and possible fathers. This blood test is over 99% accurate and can be performed from 12 weeks of pregnancy. The risk associated with non-invasive prenatal paternity testing is no greater than any other blood draw that is performed on a pregnant woman during the course of her pregnancy. This test does not provide any other genetic information about the fetus (e.g. gender or inherited genetic diseases). Due to the technology used the test cannot be performed where the pregnant woman is related to the alleged father.

How long does it take for the Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing results to become available?

The test results will usually take 14 days to be received from date of blood draw at Ultrasound Care. In a small amount of cases however a blood recollection may be required; in this case the results will take another 14 days to be received.

Confidentiality

As with any test you have at Ultrasound care we offer high standards of confidentiality. The specific details regarding how the test is ordered and how we provide the results can be discussed further with your clinician at your appointment.

Can an exact date of conception be determined accurately?

Many women have questions about the date of possible conception, and unfortunately figuring this out is not always so easy. The assumption is that if a woman has pretty regular menstrual cycles, then she will be ovulating during a certain time of the month. Ovulation is the time when conception can take place because that is when an egg is made available.

Parental testing

The problem is that most women do not ovulate on an exact date each month, and many women have a different ovulation day from month to month. If you also take into account that sperm can live in the body 3-5 days after intercourse has taken place, this can make figuring out conception very difficult.

Most doctors use the first day of the last period (LMP) and ultrasound measurements to assess the gestational age of a baby and determine when the baby was conceived. But these are just tools used to estimate the dates—it is very hard to tell what the exact date of conception really is. Most people do not realize that ultrasounds are only accurate to 5-7 days in early pregnancy and up to a couple weeks if the first ultrasounds are done farther into the second trimester or beyond. Due dates are not an accurate tool for determining conception since they also are only an estimation date (only 5% of women give birth on their due dates).

If you are seeking the estimated date of conception for paternity reasons, and intercourse with two different partners took place within 10 days of each other then paternity testing may be on option to be sure of who the father is.

When can it be done?

Anytime after 12 weeks gestation. This is when most women have enough cell free DNA in their circulation from the pregnancy.

How much does the Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing cost?

All together prenatal paternity testing costs approximately $1730 to test the pregnancy and one potential father. The most expensive part is the laboratory testing fee, but this will also cover the courier cost of sending the sample to the USA, the obstetric ultrasound to ensure that the fetus is single, alive and the right size, and the consultation with the specialist. This is not medicare claimable.

The Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing is currently cheaper than invasive testing because of different laboratory fees.

Can I use the DNA test results in court?

Non Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing is not currently admissible in court because it is too new to have had the chain of custody verified.

How do I make an appointment for paternity testing?

Contact your local Ultrasound Care practice to make an appointment.