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Paternity Testing 101: What You Need to Know

paternity testing

Before the 90s, paternity testing involved looking for certain phenotypes in the child. Scientists would use that data to determine whether an alleged father is the biological parent of the child. Unfortunately, the procedure involved had a lot of challenges leading to inconclusive results.

But current advancements in medical science have made paternity testing a quick and simple process, with an accuracy rate of 99%. Nowadays, DNA paternity testing ads seem to be almost everywhere you look. From posters on the subway to TV ads, and it can be all too overwhelming for some people.

To make it easier to understand, we’ve created a full guide on what you need to know concerning DNA paternity testing today.

What Is DNA Paternity Testing and How Does It Work

DNA paternity testing is a scientific method used to establish whether a man is the father of a child or not. A child gets genetic data from both parents. Therefore, by comparing a sample of the child’s DNA to the father’s DNA, scientists can deduce whether the man is the father if the DNA matches.

While all humans share several similarities in our genetic makeup, the similarity between the genetic code of a father and their child is indistinguishable. So, if the genetic code does not match, then the alleged father is not the biological father of the child.

If you’d like to do a paternity test and are wondering, ‘What are the options for paternity testing near me’, here are the types of paternity tests available.

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Types of Paternity Test

There are different kinds of paternity tests available depending on if the baby has been born or not. Let’s take a more insightful look below.

Prenatal Paternity Testing

This kind of testing is used in cases where the baby has not been born yet. They include:

  • Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity (NIPP): It is a highly accurate form of testing and is considered safe for both the mother and unborn child. The mother does not have to undergo any procedure where her reproductive body parts are ‘invaded’. Instead, the blood samples from the mother and possible father are analyzed for similarities because the mother’s blood has the baby’s DNA.
  • Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS): This process involves using ultrasound to guide a thin tube into the mom’s uterus to collect chorionic villi. The villi are made from the same egg as the fetus and thus, the same genetic composition. It can be done as early as 10 to 12 weeks.
  • Amniocentesis: Like CVS, amniocentesis is also invasive but instead, the tube is inserted through the abdomen. The doctor withdraws amniotic fluid and checks it for similarities between the baby and alleged dad.

Postnatal Paternity Testing

This sort of test is done by collecting a DNA sample from the cheeks of the possible father and the child. The sample is collected using a mouth swab to collect a touch of saliva. It is a quick and painless process that does not involve needles and blood.

In Conclusion

Apart from cases involving surrogate pregnancy, the biological mother of a child is usually straightforward. However, the case is a bit different when it comes to the father.

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DNA paternity testing is the best way to resolve legal or private disputes when it comes to parental child responsibilities. As such, many alleged fathers have resorted to paternal DNA testing to get a more definite answer.

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