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Different Methods Of Paternity Testing

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 3:14 PM
Wednesday, December 30, 2009

By Groshan Fabiola

Paternity testing is becoming increasingly popular as more and more people are beginning to realize the many answers that paternity tests can provide and the emotional and financial heartache that they can save a person. Paternity tests can determine up to 99% accuracy whether or not an individual is the father of a child. This can be very helpful in child custody cases when a man is claiming that he is or is not the biological father of a child. Depending on the results of the paternity test, the courts can then either force the man to pay child support payments or they can make it possible for a person to discontinue, or not begin to, pay child support payments. There are a few different methods that can be used to determine paternity and these different tests can be done either postnatal, which is after a baby is born, or prenatal, which is before the child is born.

A postnatal paternity test can be done by collecting a DNA sample from both the man in question and the child. This can be done through the collection and testing of blood, a swab from the inside of the cheek, umbilical cord and testing, or through various other kinds of testing such as hair and semen. This is generally considered to be the safest kind of paternity testing as the fetus will not be disturbed while it is still developing in the uterus. However, this is not always possible, or not always the preferred type of paternity testing and so, prenatal paternity tests, which are also considered very safe, must be completed to determine paternity.

Amniocentesis is one form of paternity testing that can be done before the child is born. During this type of paternity test, a doctor will insert a large, thin needle into the mother’s belly and right into the uterus. The needle is used to withdraw a small amount of amniotic fluid and that fluid will be tested. This is possible because the amniotic fluid contains DNA and can then be matched, or not matched, to the man’s DNA to establish paternity. This test can only be done under the approval of a doctor as there are some risks to the developing fetus. Some of these risks include miscarriage; leaking of amniotic fluid, which can also be fatal to the fetus, bleeding and cramping for the mother; and a very small chance of injuring the fetus. Because the doctor will use an ultrasound to guide the needle, these risks are very small but are present and so should not be done on a woman who is considered to be in a high-risk pregnancy.

Another type of paternity test is a Chorionic Villus Sampling, otherwise known as CVS. This type of paternity test will allow a small tube or needle to be inserted into the woman through the vagina, where it can then collect chorionic villi from the inside of the uterus. These villi are present on the walls of the uterus and contain the same DNA as the unborn child. These villi are then tested to establish paternity.

The method of paternity test that is chosen should always be taken into careful consideration as usually, this is an issue that can wait until after the child is born and doing so will certainly carry no risks to the child or the mother but still provide answers to questions regarding paternity.

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