The most recent government statistics show that 40.3% of all births in the United States are to single mothers. Additionally, a married woman may be unsure about whether or not her husband is the biological father of her child. If you are a woman who falls into either of these categories, rest assured you’re not alone, a non-invasive prenatal paternity test, also known as a DNA test may be what you need.
Can I Take a Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test While Pregnant?
If you want or need paternity answers, they are readily available—even while you’re still pregnant—thanks to advancements in DNA science. Here is an overview of everything you need to know about (NIPP) or non-invasive prenatal paternity testing that you can take before birth.
Top 5 Reasons Why a Paternity Test While Pregnant Might Be The Right Choice
- Not knowing who the father of your child is can be stressful, and waiting till after the baby’s born to get a DNA test means months of worry.
- Knowing ahead of time can help you make decisions about your romantic and family relationships before the baby’s birth instead of afterward when life gets considerably more complicated.
- In anticipation of the birth of your little one, you may want the biological father involved in helping you through the pregnancy itself (attending childbirth classes, buying furniture and clothes, etc).
- If you know who the biological father is before the baby’s born, you can have some or all of your legal ducks in a row ahead of time, if necessary—for child support, custody, and more.
- You can be confident that the right person is with you in or waiting outside of the delivery room when the big moment arrives.
Science Behind Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Testing
The test can be performed as early as the 8th week of pregnancy, meaning you can choose to confirm who the father is nearly immediately after your pregnancy is confirmed. Unlike outdated methods for determining paternity like amniocentesis or a CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling) test that can cause a miscarriage, a prenatal DNA is completely non-invasive and safe for both mother and fetus.
How Non-Invasive Testing Works
- DNA is collected from the mother with a simple blood draw, and DNA is collected from the possible father using a cheek swab
- Both samples are then sent to the lab for analysis
- The test analyzes free-floating fetal DNA from the mother’s plasma and compares it to the mother’s own DNA profile
- Once the fetus’s profile is determined, that profile is then compared to the possible father’s and paternity can be determined
- Results for the prenatal paternity test are generally returned in about one (1) week, once testing has begun. If the man tested is determined not to be the biological father, then the report shows a 0% probability of paternity. If the man tested is considered to be the biological father, the report shows a 99% or greater probability of paternity
IMPORTANT: If you are carrying twins, doing a prenatal paternity test is not possible, since there is free-floating DNA from both fetuses in the mother’s bloodstream and current technology does not permit the lab to isolate each fetus’s profile separately.
Selecting a Lab For Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Tests
Like any other important diagnostic service, it’s important to remember that not all labs who do a paternity test before birth are created equal, so be sure to do some research and compare before making a choice!
What To Look For In a Lab:
- An accuracy guarantee: Make sure the lab stands behind its results
- Full accreditations along with an excellent reputation in the industry: Your prenatal paternity test results are too important to leave to chance—be sure the lab maintains extensive, current accreditations with important independent lab-oversight programs such as the AABB
- Tests that are consistently updated: With improvements in DNA technology, and updates to existing tests, ensure the
- Utilizes the latest and best technologies to give you the most accurate results
- Caring and professional support before, during, and after your test: Getting a DNA test isn’t hard, but it can be an emotional process. Having the support of a highly-trained and sympathetic customer care team who can answer all your questions knowledgeably and help you feel comfortable makes a big difference
- Beware of too-good-to-be-true pricing: This is one of the most important tests you may ever take, and you really do get what you pay for. So don’t let price be the only determining factor in making your decision
Is NIPP Testing Right for you?
Women have more accurate, accessible, and affordable options than ever when it comes to paternity testing. Which is right for you? The choice is yours.
The DNA Diagnostic Center is a corporate sponsor of the American Pregnancy Association. The DDC is a testing facility that provides the NIPP prenatal paternity test. You may contact them at 1-800-798-0580.